Ineligible student trustee leaves the ISU board 3 members short
Illinois State University’s governing body has nearly half of its seats unfilled as it works to reschedule last week’s quarterly meeting that it had to abruptly postpone.
In addition to two board resignations over the last year, university spokesperson Eric Jome confirmed the student who was elected to serve as the board's student representative was ineligible to serve.
University officials determined Aneel Gillan, a computer science major who the ISU student body elected to the board, was ineligible to serve because he is not an Illinois resident, as state law requires. Gillan's hometown is listed as White Rock, British Columbia, according to his bio on the ISU athletics Track and Field's online roster.
The university announced less than 24 hours before its scheduled a July 22 Board of Trustees meeting it had to postpone due to “unforeseen circumstances.” The board currently has five members, the number of members that needs to be present to have a quorum. A new meeting date has not been set.
Rocky Donahue, who had served on the board since 2012, recently resigned, according to Jome. The university plans to recognize him for his service when the board holds its next meeting.
Sharon Rossmark, who was appointed to the board in 2017, resigned in the spring of 2021 with two years left on her term.
University trustees are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Illinois Senate. A spokesperson for Gov. JB Pritzker said the governor plans to fill at least one of the vacancies soon.
"The governor will have an update on an appointment for the board shortly and is always working to identify and appoint qualified individuals to boards and commissions around the state," said Pritzker press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh.
Jome said the university plans to hold elections for a new student trustee early during the fall semester.
The university’s Student Elections Committee oversees the election of the student trustee.
Student body president Patrick Walsh said news of Gillan's ineligibility "caught everyone off guard" and said it was unfortunate for Gillan, but "I'm sure whatever he goes on to do, he'll make a big splash and do something great."
Walsh added he wants to work to ensure the board of trustees always includes student representation.