Think Gov. Pat Quinn regrets getting involved in the power struggle over control of the Southern Illinois University Board?
We doubt he anticipated the firestorm he would create when he attempted to replace three well-respected metro-east board members, or expect the Senate to rebuff his nominees. Not one senator voted to approve Quinn's nominees.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern have asked Quinn to reappoint John Simmons of East Alton, Mark Hinrichs of O'Fallon and Ed Hightower of Edwardsville, and if Quinn is wise he will do so and distance himself from this fight.
Quinn's decisions were never about the good of the SIU system, it was about micromanaging the selection of the board chairman. The system is doing well, and the Edwardsville campus has had phenomenal growth during these board members' tenure. Removing them also means that the board would not have any SIUE grads on it.
Quinn so far isn't backing off. His spokeswoman said the governor's priority is to build SIU into a world-class institution. Well, it will be pretty hard to work toward that goal if Quinn continues his petty political meddling.