Updated: Documents Show Dunn Knew of Reallocation, Worked To Boost It

Jun 28, 2018

Nearly two-thousand pages of documents from the SIU Board of Trustees show a sharp division between the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, particularly when it comes to funding.

The documents, which trustees voted to make public last week, were released Thursday. Much of the discussion revolves around a proposed funding reallocation which failed at the Board's April meeting. That proposal would have shifted $5 million in state funds from the Carbondale campus to the Edwardsville campus. 

An email from SIU President Randy Dunn to SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook shows Dunn was coaching Pembrook on actions surrounding the reallocation proposal
Credit SIU

Emails show Dunn coached SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook on "joining the fray," and making a case for the reallocation. They also show he encouraged Pembrook to contact Metro East lawmakers about potential legislation to split the two campuses.

Dunn's critics say he undermined the Carbondale campus with his actions. Dunn also reprimanded SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno for his response to the proposal - calling the chancellor's actions "misleading at best and insubordinate at worst." 

Another email exchange between Dunn and an SIUE faculty member shows the president was considering Montemagno's future with the university.

"He can be reassigned as long as we pay him his salary until then (and he has tenure as a faculty member). He can go work as a researcher out at the McLafferty Lab if nothing else. As long as he maintains his compensation...he doesn’t have to continue as chancellor," Dunn wrote. "However, I don’t think there is sufficient Trustee support at this time to make such a move. Not yet anyway. But with the news stories which broke today by the DE as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., I’m not sure how he continues to maintain much semblance of support," he added, referencing news of Montemagno's family members being hired at SIUC.

An email exchange between SIU President Randy Dunn and SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook discuss potential action surrounding reallocation proposal
Credit SIU

Ahead of the April Trustees meeting, another exchange between Dunn and Pembrook shows the two were crafting messages and actions if the reallocation didn't pass. Dunn, who maintains he was working on behalf of equity in the system, also indicates Carbondale-based trustees would be kept in the dark.

The board split 4-4 last week on a call to suspend Dunn. He remains in office, though some trustees still believe he should be removed.