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Illinois LP says voters should pick university board

From the Illinois LP:

A recent in-depth investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed that over 800 undergraduate admissions applications to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (”U of I”) received preferential treatment, as well as did dozens of graduate and law school applicants. The investigation also revealed that contacts of several politicians, generous donors and university trustees received preferential treatment in admissions. A investigation by the Illinois Admissions Review Commission , as well as Governor Quinn, called for the resignation of all current trustees. All but two offered their resignations and those two remain on the board.

The position of trustee at U of I was an elected one for decades. In the 1990's, then governor Jim Edgar signed legislation which would permit the Governor to appoint the trustees, thus taking the responsibility of choosing the trustees away from the voters and awarding it to Springfield. The Libertarian Party of Illinois (“LP Illinois”) strongly feels that the results of the investigation and the tarnishing of U of I's reputation is a result of the compromising of integrity by certain trustees and the blatant involvement by certain elected officials and their associates, which, once again, leaves a black mark on Illinois. LP Illinois feels that the voters should, once again, be allowed to make an informed decision as to who sits on the board of trustees of one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the nation.

LP Illinois supports House Bill 54, introduced by Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) which would require that U of I's Board of Trustees be elected. House Bill 54 awaits action during the fall veto session. Reis has been pushing for this legislation for three years. We strongly urge the members of the general assembly to pass this bill.

The State of Illinois cannot endure another embarrassing episode such as this. It is time to keep political clout out of education admissions, and let qualified individuals come before the voters to prove their case that they deserve to sit on the Board of Trustees.

Let the people decide, not the Governor.

Read the article in the Champaign News-Gazette.