CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn said he would not resign Friday amid pressure from lawmakers over vulgar language he used to describe some members of the Carbondale community.
Those calls came after the Southern Illinoisan published an email where he said he used the "60-40 funding split" to quote "shut up the bitchers from Carbondale."
Reaction was swift as lawmakers called for him to step down.
"Because of his obvious and blatant disdain for his constituents and for the SIU Campus, President Dunn should resign immediately," Rep. Terri Bryant, (R) Murphysboro, said on the house floor Thursday.
Rep. Chad Hays, (R) Danville, added, "I join Representative Bryant in asking for his resignation, and on behalf of all Salukis, go to hell, sir."
During a press conference Friday, Dunn apologized for the comments, saying it was "inartful language".
"For those who took offense to that language I absolutely understand and extend a sincere apology for that," Dunn said.
The email, sent April 4th, was in reference to a proposal that would have shifted more than $5 million from SIU's Carbondale campus to the Edwardsville campus.
Dunn says with enrollment in Carbondale falling, while Edwardsville's enrollment increases, there have been calls for changes in the funding formula.
Historically, the flagship campus in Carbondale has had higher enrollment, and received more than 70 percent of the allocation.
Dunn says those calls for change aren't going to go away, whether he's president or not, especially with enrollment in Edwardsville expected to surpass Carbondale in the next year.
"This question is not going away," he said. "This is not something that's kind of going to roll into the next six months to a year and go away."
When asked if he can continue to be effective in his role following the divisive comments Dunn said, "only time will tell."