Merchandise Mart boss re-elected as U of I chairman

January 20, 2011

Merchandise Mart boss Chris Kennedy has been re-elected to head the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Two new trustees also took their seats on this board at its meeting Thursday morning. Ricardo Estrada works for the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, and Patricia Brown Holmes is a Chicago-area lawyer. 

Holmes said one of her goals is to keep tuition costs down.

"Increasing tuition to a point where it's unaffordable is just unacceptable," she said. "I don't think that that's going to be one of our goals, and I think we will do whatever we can to keep it affordable."

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's appointments to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees still must be approved by the Illinois Senate.

This will be Kennedy's second stint as chairman of the U of I board. He took over after several board members resigned in the wake of an admissions scandal. It involved politically-connected applicants who were admitted to the U of I over more qualified students.