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ISU BOT Defends Flanagan Settlement; Group Wants Changes

Fri, 09 May 2014 14:47:04 CDT
By: Willis Kern

ISU BOT Defends Flanagan Settlement; Group Wants Changes
A campus-based interest group wants members of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees to apologize for the way the hiring and resignation of former President Tim Flanagan was handled. Chicago Senior Tomy Mick says the board should admit it erred in hiring Flanagan a year ago, and for paying him nearly a half-million dollars as part of a resignation settlement.

"Cleary, the contract language and the things we are doing are not supporting and truly protecting the university. I think it's kind of a cop-out to just say, 'That's over. We're moving on' without even an apology."

Board Chair Mike McCuskey says there's no reason to apologize, since the hiring was based on solid evidence Flanagan had been a good president elsewhere.

"We made a decision based on information at the time, and then things changed with the passage of time, and we made a decision for the future. I will not apologize for that. I sleep well at night."

McCuskey says no one from the board or search team traveled to Massachusetts, where Flanagan was president at Framingham State, because that university wanted to keep Flanagan on board through the summer. McCuskey says that showed commitment to a solid employee. Members of the student-led group known as "I Paid For Flanagan" say they expect to have a strong presence on campus when classes resume in the fall.

McCuskey spent time talking to the group after the meeting, agreeing to hear them out after graduation ceremonies and offered to buy drinks for those of age. The board also heard from former student body president Andy Manno, and benefactor David Brown, who both praised the university's handling of Flanagan's dismissal. During today's meeting, McCuskey said Flanagan is no longer living at the university residence, which he was allowed to do under the resignation agreement.

(above: ISU Board of Trustees Chair Mike McCuskey speaks to members of the "I Paid For Flanagan" campus group following today's BOT meeting)


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