February 25, 2009
By Amanda Dahlquist
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees lost its official student voice last week.
James A. Winters, the student trustee from the Chicago campus, announced his resignation from the Board of Trustees on Feb. 17 via an email to Niranjan Shah, the Board's chairman.
Winters was entrusted with the voting privilege for the 2008-09 school year over UIS Student Trustee D. Craig McFarland and UIUC's Paul Schmitt by former governor Rod Blagojevich. Only one student trustee has the official voting privilege at a time.
In his email to Shah, Winters claimed “it is with a heavy heart that I leave this position.” He cited medical and personal problems as the reason for his resignation, adding that his decision was the “result of much thought and consideration from myself, my colleagues, and my family.”
According to McFarland, following Winters’ resignation, the question of which of the remaining student trustees will be entrusted with the voting power for the rest of the academic year is at the discretion of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. McFarland and Schmitt discussed splitting the voting privilege, but were informed by University attorneys that such a situation is not possible.
McFarland expects to hear a decision before the next board meeting, which will be held in Urbana on March 11.