Bill would fire beleaguered U. of I. trustees

A newly proposed law would fire the entire University of Illinois Board of Trustees following an admissions scandal at the state's most prestigious campus. Full Story
Phil

Milton, FL

#1 Jul 15, 2009
Hey Tribune, how about investigating Boland? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! How does he get to go scott-free?
Brian

Chicago, IL

#2 Jul 15, 2009
I may be a "cheesehead" from Wisconsin, but I also spent 7 years in DC. I'm not sure what it is about Illinois politics, but something tells me that the clout lists' history predates both Blago and Ryan...
Typical

Bourbonnais, IL

#3 Jul 15, 2009
Phil, the Peoria Journal Star has also been putting some pressure on Aaron Schock to explain what influence he may have exerted while in the state House of Representatives.

Dillard's bill is a good first step, but how about expanding it to fire every single legislator?
Clarence

Roselle, IL

#4 Jul 15, 2009
The question is why those involved were not only fired, but charged with breaking some law?
Mickey

Saint Charles, IL

#5 Jul 15, 2009
Didn't Dillard participate in this? Didn't he contact U of I admissions on behalf of a few applicants? That demonstrates he is not above the questionable ethics in this as well. The nerve....
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#6 Jul 15, 2009
This is grandstanding. I'll agree with this bill only if every legislator that has ever got someone jumped ahead also resigns. Don't forget that little privilege granted to themselves. Furthermore these trustees were elected by us, not the legislature. What else have they done wrong? Otherwise dump the lists and move on.
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#7 Jul 15, 2009
Let me lay a little more info if it is qualified students you are all worried about. How many athletes would have been denied had they not been given athletic scholarships? What big money people pressured the trustees to let someone in? We not only don't know enough about what they did, they didn't do anything different than coaches do every day.
Patrick

Columbia, MD

#8 Jul 16, 2009
A broken admissions process guarantees a broken promise of the best and brightest.

An alumni.
Patrick
Mark Winshel

Concord, CA

#9 Jul 16, 2009
At least some of these guys who are Trustees - and who have been arranging to put the fix in for their friends and relatives and for friends, relatives, and clients of politically connected lawyers - ARE ALSO POLITICALLY CONNECTED LAWYERS THEMSELVES.

So just think, if these politically connected corrupt backroom fixer lawyers who are on the Board of Trustees had not become Trustees, instead some of them might have become judges and where, and after going through their charades of pretending to examine the evidence, they would have automatically and predictably regularly ruled in favor of the most politically connected lawyers and their politically connected clients.

After all, whey do you think Vrdolyak did not go to prison!!
BG the TB

Fishers, IN

#10 Jul 16, 2009
In response to Disgusted, the difference between admitting "underqualified athletes" and admitting students on the clout list is that there are established policies for admitting "underqualified athletes". To admit underqualified students on the clout list, one has to circumvent established policies.
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#11 Jul 16, 2009
BG the TB wrote:
In response to Disgusted, the difference between admitting "underqualified athletes" and admitting students on the clout list is that there are established policies for admitting "underqualified athletes". To admit underqualified students on the clout list, one has to circumvent established policies.
I understand the difference. But the university is not there for athletic performance. If an academically unqualified athlete can get in just so sports fans can get excited, then I'm just not as excited about the clout list. Sometimes, rules need to be changed. The athletes might be legal. But I could just as easily argue in favor of the clout list, legal or not. Doesn't some guy who gives $100,000 to the university so his nephew can get in do just as much for the university as some academically underqualified linebacker possibly spending most of his time sitting on the bench?
Edmund

Evanston, IL

#12 Jul 16, 2009
The Trib should invite the IRS to join the investigation. Trustees are considered "disqualified persons" under the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, excise taxes are imposed on "disqualified persons" who engage in an excess benefit transanction (using clout to gain admissions for family & friends). Hit'em where it hurts: in their wallets. They don't care about their reputations!
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#13 Jul 16, 2009
Edmund wrote:
The Trib should invite the IRS to join the investigation. Trustees are considered "disqualified persons" under the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, excise taxes are imposed on "disqualified persons" who engage in an excess benefit transanction (using clout to gain admissions for family & friends). Hit'em where it hurts: in their wallets. They don't care about their reputations!
Are you a lawyer? What benefit did the trustees gain from this- who paid them? You have to report "income" to the IRS.
BG the TB

Fishers, IN

#14 Jul 16, 2009
Edmund said:

"The Trib should invite the IRS to join the investigation. Trustees are considered 'disqualified persons' under the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, excise taxes are imposed on 'disqualified persons' who engage in an excess benefit transanction (using clout to gain admissions for family & friends). Hit'em where it hurts: in their wallets. They don't care about their reputations!"

I have to agree with Disgusted here. Why would the IRS be interested in non-financial "excess benefits"? Are they taxing "good will" and "helping out a friend" these days?
wow

United States

#15 Jul 16, 2009
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand the difference. But the university is not there for athletic performance. If an academically unqualified athlete can get in just so sports fans can get excited, then I'm just not as excited about the clout list. Sometimes, rules need to be changed. The athletes might be legal. But I could just as easily argue in favor of the clout list, legal or not. Doesn't some guy who gives $100,000 to the university so his nephew can get in do just as much for the university as some academically underqualified linebacker possibly spending most of his time sitting on the bench?
You admit it's Clout U, but you're actually proud of it.

WOW.

Sports are the one thing that unites the university, they help more than just about anything with alumni relations and development, they provide an example of excellence, they provide role models and they have a history that you sadly ignore. Amos Alonzo Stagg and John Wooden, for example, are very important national figures, and the list goes on and on.

Who are the Clout Hall of Famers?

There are none.

You can't stand the spotlight being shined on you. Sports is under the microscope 24/7.

Don't compare sports and athletes to you miserable losers.

The 50 professors who sent the Trib the letter, Heidi Hurd, et al, are all falling over themselves denying and pointing fingers.

But then there's you: the only person in the world proud of Clout U.
BG the TB

Fishers, IN

#16 Jul 16, 2009
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand the difference. But the university is not there for athletic performance. If an academically unqualified athlete can get in just so sports fans can get excited, then I'm just not as excited about the clout list. Sometimes, rules need to be changed. The athletes might be legal. But I could just as easily argue in favor of the clout list, legal or not. Doesn't some guy who gives $100,000 to the university so his nephew can get in do just as much for the university as some academically underqualified linebacker possibly spending most of his time sitting on the bench?
When it comes to "clout" defined neutrally (i.e., "influence"), nothing has clout like a successful collegiate athletics program...not even Nobel Prize winners or rich alums.

Like it or not, state legislators react more favorably to funding requests from institutions with successful athletic programs. The UI doesn't use tax dollars to support its athletics programs...athletics generates its own revenue. But the success of an athletics program reflects favorably on the parent institution. I bet if the UI was regularly in BCS bowl games, and regularly in the Elite Eight or Final Four in basketball, that requests for funds for non-athletics purposes would be seen in a lot more favorable light by those controlling the purse strings.
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#17 Jul 16, 2009
BG the TB wrote:
<quoted text>
When it comes to "clout" defined neutrally (i.e., "influence"), nothing has clout like a successful collegiate athletics program...not even Nobel Prize winners or rich alums.
Like it or not, state legislators react more favorably to funding requests from institutions with successful athletic programs. The UI doesn't use tax dollars to support its athletics programs...athletics generates its own revenue. But the success of an athletics program reflects favorably on the parent institution. I bet if the UI was regularly in BCS bowl games, and regularly in the Elite Eight or Final Four in basketball, that requests for funds for non-athletics purposes would be seen in a lot more favorable light by those controlling the purse strings.
OK, no argument here. I merely suggest that for all the reactions here to the trustees, people ought to take a look at the big picture. There are many that get in that might not through normal channels. And I believe it to be a joke that the legislature wants to ride to the rescue when they have misused the privilege to get pets in for many years.
Fed Up

Chicago, IL

#18 Jul 17, 2009
The Trib needs to take a look at "clout" hiring. Admissions is not the only way you get in to the U of I. There are so many people getting hired because of who they know, even though the hiring process is supposed to be "fair".
BG the TB

Fishers, IN

#19 Jul 17, 2009
Fed Up wrote:
The Trib needs to take a look at "clout" hiring. Admissions is not the only way you get in to the U of I. There are so many people getting hired because of who they know, even though the hiring process is supposed to be "fair".
For example?
Back In Black

United States

#21 Aug 4, 2009
While they are busy firing the trustees, they also ought to fire the UI Conflict of Interest Officer, Melanie Loots.

Not only is she obviously not doing her job, but this isn't the first scandal she has presided over.

Melanie Loots was cited by the FDA for selling mutant lab pigs to the public for food.

Melanie Loots has been exposed for calling Catholics "papists" and making bigoted comments about Ash Wednesday rituals.

Perhaps worst of all, the "Conflict of Interest Officer" wrote a letter of recommendation for her husband, UIUC professor George Gollin and did not disclose that she was his wife!

It's no wonder UI is an orgy of nepotism and scandal, when the officer in charge of conflicts is an incompetent nincompoop.

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