Gov. Pritzker shakes up SIU Board of Trustees - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Gov. Pritzker shakes up SIU Board of Trustees

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WSIL -- There's been a major shake-up on the SIU Board of Trustees.

John Charles, the Director of Government & Public Affairs of the Southern Illinois University System confirms Governor JB Pritzker chose to appoint five new members to the board Friday.

That comes after the governor chose not to reappoint Randal Thomas, Shirley Portwood and Joel Sambursky. 

"I am disappointed that I will not continue my service on the board. Yet, I leave confident in Judge Gilbert’s leadership. I will continue to offer my support to a University that has done so much for me and my family," Sambursky said in a statement.

Governor Pritzker also removed Marsha Ryan and Tom Britton from the board last month. The state senate never confirmed Ryan and Britton's appointments.

All five former members have already been removed from the SIU Board of Trustees website.

Charles also confirms the governor appointed Subhash Sharma, Roger Tedrick, Edgar J. Curtis, Ed Hightower and John Simmons.

All five will need senate confirmation

Hightower and Simmons both previously served as SIU Trustees.

Joel Sambursky's full statement to News 3:

Serving on the SIU Board of Trustees has been a great honor. I approached this responsibility as I have all other areas of my life and gave it everything I had. 

I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have served during a critical time in the University’s history. Despite the many challenges we faced, I am proud of those colleagues on the board who stood with me in defense of the SIU System.

I am disappointed that I will not continue my service on the board. Yet, I leave confident in Judge Gilbert’s leadership. I will continue to offer my support to a University that has done so much for me and my family.

I wish the new Trustees the best. It’s important to all of us throughout southern Illinois that they are successful.

State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo is weighing in as well:

“I would like to thank the former members of the board for their years of service to the university and the region. I look forward to working with the new members of the board to strengthen a vibrant and unified Southern Illinois University system.”

Gov. Prtizker's office released the following information about his latest appointments to the board:

Edgar Curtis will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Curtis has served as president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System since January 2008. He provides leadership for the strategic direction of the health system which delivers comprehensive health services to the central Illinois region. Curtis began in 1975 as a registered nurse and has served in a variety of administrative positions. Curtis is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and past chair of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association Board. He serves on the board of the BJC Collaborative, the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy board, and is Vice-Chair of the Sangamon County Economic Development Commission. He previously served on the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Commission on the Future of the Workforce, and the Advisory Board of the University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Nursing. Curtis is past-chair of the boards of the Springfield Urban League, United Way of Central Illinois and Central Illinois Foodbank. He has been named the Grassroots Champion by the AHA and awarded the Order of Lincoln by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Springfield resident received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and was inducted into the School of Nursing Hall of Fame.

Ed Hightower will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Dr. Hightower retired as Superintendent of the Edwardsville School District 7 in 2015 after spending 19 years as its leader. Under his leadership, the school district grew from 5,000 students to over 7,000 students and developed into one of the top districts in the state, academically, athletically and in the performing arts. Supervising over $160 million in school construction during his tenure, Dr. Hightower raised millions of dollars from private sources to build a wrestling center and aquatic center with an Olympic-sized pool as well as funding computer upgrades through the Technology in the 21st Century Classroom Initiative. He previously served on Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2014 and on the Lewis and Clark Community College Board of Trustees for over 26 years. He also was an NCAA Basketball Referee for 36 years, officiating 12 Final Four Championships. Hightower has been named the Illinois Principal of the Year and Naismith College Official of the Year, received the National Distinguished Principals Award and has been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The Edwardsville resident received his Bachelor, Masters and Specialist degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Doctorate in Education Administration from St. Louis University.

Subhash Sharma will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Dr. Sharma is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He joined SIU Carbondale in August 1983 and during his teaching career, he served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair for nine years prior to his retirement on August 2018. He chaired and co-chaired dissertations of 40 Ph.D. students and served on other 85 Ph.D. dissertation committees across campus, supervised 18 M.S. research papers and served on other 23 M.S. research paper committees. An active researcher, Sharma is a Fellow of the Midwest Econometric Group, an Executive Editor of the Journal of Asian Economics, and an editorial board member of the Applied Economics Journal. He has published 85 papers spanning economics, finance and statistics, many of which appeared in top academic journals. Along with his academic publications, he has also conducted numerous economic impact studies. The Carbondale resident received his B.A. (Honors), Mathematics and M.A. Mathematical- Statistics from the University of Delhi and his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Kentucky.

John Simmons will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* Simmons is an Army combat engineer whose military experience informed his development of a law practice that has represented thousands of individuals and their families harmed by corporate wrongdoing over the last 18 years. He founded Simmons Hanly Conroy in 1999 with seven employees and has grown it into a national litigation firm with more than 250 employees in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and its headquarters in Alton, Ill. Simmons and his firm made a joint $10.2 million donation to build the Simmons Cancer Institute on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Springfield. The cancer institute is a community-based patient care, research, education and outreach program created to improve cancer care for the citizens of Central and Southern Illinois. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, the Alton resident received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and his Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. In 2014, Simmons received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from SIUE.

Roger Tedrick will serve on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees.* He currently serves as CEO of The Tedrick Group, an insurance and risk management firm. He previously served on Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2011 — presiding over the board as chair for six years — and also on the SIU Foundation Board and SIU Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 2018, he and his wife Sally endowed the Tedrick Undergraduate Research Fellowship which expands opportunities for SIU students to get involved with research and creative activities. The fellowship expanded the university’s REACH program — which provides project-based opportunities in art and design, humanities, communication/media, science and engineering — to 40 students each year. The Mt. Vernon resident received his Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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