Governor removes two SIU board members - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Governor removes two SIU board members

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Governor J.B. Pritzker is already making changes to the SIU Board of Trustees. He removed Tom Britton and Marsha Ryan Tuesday, two people who were appointed by former Governor Bruce Rauner, but never approved by the state senate.

Britton said he heard rumors about Pritzker removing him from the board but no one from Pritzker's office talked with him about it. That includes when the decision was made Tuesday to end his appointment.

"I learned, from the Daily Egyptian, actually, that my appointment had not been extended by Governor Pritzker," Britton said.

Ryan said the move came as a surprise to her as well.

"This came as a bit of a surprise, at least in terms of timing," Ryan said. "And neither of us was contacted directly or even indirectly by the governor's office."

Pritzker didn't announce his decision publicly. He filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's office to remove Britton and Ryan from the board.

"While I might wish it had gone differently or wish it had been handled differently, I'm not questioning his authority to do that," Britton said.

Governor Rauner appointed Britton in August 2018 and Ryan in January 2017.

Both served during a time of turmoil and change at SIU, with the board working through controversy with former president Randy Dunn, and dealing with the death of former chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

"I did serve during a very stressful and tumultuous time, and I think we did real well given the circumstances," Britton said.

Britton feels the board has been moving in a positive direction the last several months and he hopes that will continue.

Ryan said she will remain committed to the university and respects the governor's decision.

"We were busy, and I think we did what we had originally been appointed to do," Ryan said.

Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh declined to comment on Pritzker's reasoning for removing Britton and Ryan from the board.

"Governor Pritzker looks forward to appointing members to the board that will help carry out his vision for higher education," Abudayyeh said in an email.

She also declined to comment on when Pritzker will announce who he plans to appoint to the board.

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