CARBONDALE – Two lawmakers say Southern Illinois University's president should resign following allegations that he tried to move more than $5 million in state appropriations between the school's Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.
Carbondale professor Kathleen Chwalisz said in a Thursday column that documents obtained through public records requests show SIU President Randy Dunn hid the proposed transfer from Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. Dunn used an expletive in an internal email last month that said he used certain funding distribution figures "simply to shut up" those against the reallocation.
The SIU Board of Trustees last month rejected the proposal made in response to projections that the enrollment at the Edwardsville campus will exceed Carbondale numbers in the fall. The proposal was made to benefit the system as a whole, Dunn said.
Dunn said in a statement Thursday that he never withheld details and that Chwalisz's statements are "misleading and ... grossly misrepresenting the situation." He said his wording in the email was a "mistake."
"I apologize for how I characterized those who reflexively refused to discuss the issue or engage in a dialogue about it," Dunn wrote.
Republican Reps. Terri Bryant and Chad Hays are calling for his resignation.
Bryant said Dunn's email was unacceptable and that he should resign immediately "because of his obvious and blatant disdain for constituents and for the SIU [Carbondale] campus."
Hays, who graduated from Carbondale, said he was "appalled" by the email.
Dunn didn't address the calls for his resignation but did say he doesn't hold contempt for Carbondale.
"My wife and I own our home here," he wrote. "We are proud and active members of this community."
Lawmakers have introduced proposals to separate the university system, giving each campus equal state funding and create a board of trustees with equal representation for the two campuses.