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Gilbert voted as new chair of SIU trustees.

Byline: Staff report

CARBONDALE -- The newly seated chairman of the SIU Board of Trustees is pledging to carefully work through the issues that continue to divide the system's Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, while also bringing new focus to enrollment, retention, diversity and other topics of common interest.

Meeting last week in Edwardsville, trustees voted to install J. Phil Gilbert as the board's new chair, along with Shirley Portwood as vice chair and Joel Sambursky as secretary.

"I first want to thank my colleagues on the board for their confidence in choosing me to lead the SIU Board of Trustees for the next year," Gilbert said in a statement. "I intend to be a chairman for the SIU System and to be collaborative and communicate with my fellow board members on issues involving the system to move each of the respective universities and campuses forward."

Gilbert, appointed to the board in 2015, is a lifelong resident of Carbondale and graduated from Carbondale Community High School in 1967. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1974.

He served as special assistant attorney general from 1974 to 1975, and was assistant city attorney for Carbondale from 1975 to 1978. In 1988, he was appointed as a circuit judge in the First Judicial Circuit and served as a state court judge until his appointment to the federal bench in 1992. He served as chief judge of the Southern District of Illinois from 1993 to 2000.

In accepting his new duties on the board of trustees, Gilbert laid out a long list of priorities.

"We need to focus on increasing enrollment, improving retention, enhancing our diversity, expanding student opportunities, recruiting top notch faculty and staff, foster collaboration between the campuses, maintaining and growing our research enterprises throughout the system and providing an accessible higher education to our high school students," he said.

As chair, Gilbert replaces Amy Sholar, who voted against his appointment last week.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Feb 20, 2019
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