Bringing a sense of closure to the U. of I. clout scandal, Gov. Quinn today appointed four university alumni to the beleaguered board of trustees and refused the resignation of another.
“Each new member brings integrity, professionalism and experience to this very important Board,” said Quinn in a prepared release. “They will work diligently and tirelessly on behalf of our great university.”
The four appointments include former Springfield mayor Karen A. Hasara; Timothy N. Koritz, Staff Anesthesiologist, Rockford Memorial Hospital; Pamela B. Strobel, retired Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Exelon; and Carlos E. Tortolero, President, National Museum of Mexican Art.
Edward L. McMillan, Principal and CEO, McMillan LLC, stays on board because he was not implicated in the clout scandal.
There's no word on whether Quinn will re-appoint several board members who resigned willingly.
The board's been plagued by scandal ever since the Tribune revealed earlier this year that the school was favoring specific, well-connected applicants for admission.
The applicants, about 800 in total, had their names placed on clout lists, known internally as Category I.
After the revelations, Quinn appointed an independent Admissions Review Commission, which eventually recommended that all appointed board trustees resign.
The first trustee to resign, Lawrence Eppley, quit before the commission's recomendation was issued. In a two-page letter to Quinn, he implored his fellow board members to step down with him. Tribune investigations showed that Eppley had a hand in a good many of the clout-based admissions, and worked closely then-governor Blagojevich to admit favored individuals.
All but two of the trustees, Frances Carroll and James Montgomery, accepted the commision's recommendations (some grudgingly), and resigned.
Quinn threatened to fire the remaining trustees, but backed off last month, saying that firing the trustees would touch of a lengthy legal battle.