A spokeswoman for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the governor’s office regularly calls trustees at SIU and at other state universities to promote Quinn’s education policies and to make sure the boards are productive and accountable.
Wednesday, SIU President Glenn Poshard said Quinn’s office was working against him when the Board of Trustees decided not to support Trustee Roger Herrin for Chair. Herrin had served as chair since his appointment to the board by Governor Quinn last year. Poshard says some of Quinn's top aides called him personally, and other trustees, to pressure them to either vote for Herrin as chair or to resign.
Herrin has donated more than 20-thousand dollars to Quinn’s campaign fund. The Governor’s office denies Herrin’s donation has any role in the current controversy. Quinn's not the only one who got campaign cash from Herrin. Poshard did too, back in 1997 during his failed bid for governor. Herrin has also recently given money to other Democrats, including State Senator Gary Forby of Benton and Representatives John Bradley of Marion and Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg.