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Governor appoints 2 new members for ISU's Board of Trustees

Scott Jenkins and Lia Merminga
The new appointees are Scott Jenkins and Lia Merminga.

Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday said he would appoint two new members of Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees.

The new appointees are Scott Jenkins and Lia Merminga. Neither are ISU graduates. They will replace trustees Bob Dobski and Mary Ann Louderback, whose terms expired in January, an ISU spokesperson said.

Jenkins is currently strategy director for state policy at Lumina Foundation, which creates opportunities for learning beyond high school. He was previously education policy director to two Republican governors (John Engler of Michigan and Mitch Daniels of Indiana) and deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education in the George W. Bush administration. He's a member of the Conservative Education Reform Network.

Merminga is currently the laboratory director for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, overseeing physicists and scientists who work on the world’s most advanced particle accelerators.

Their appointments are pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

There is at least two other remaining vacancies on the ISU Board of Trustees. Anthony Byrd, who was appointed to the board last year, attended one meeting and then resigned, citing an apparent work conflict.

A full board would include seven trustees, plus a student trustee. Here's the current makeup of the board:

  • Julie Annette Jones - term expires January 2025
  • Robert Navarro - term expires January 2025
  • Scott Jenkins - appointed Friday, pending Senate confirmation (Louderback term)
  • Lia Merminga - appointed Friday, pending Senate confirmation (Dobski term)
  • Kathryn Bohn - term expired in January 2023; status was unclear as of Friday
  • Vacancy
  • Vacancy
  • Student trustee - Aselimhe Ebikhumi

The next Board of Trustees meeting is Feb. 17.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.