Mikva Calls for U of I Trustees to Resign

July 28, 2009

Abner Mikva heads up the state commission looking into admissions practices at the University of Illinois.
The head of a state panel investigating admissions abuses at the University of Illinois is calling on most of the school's trustees to resign.

Abner Mikva says the university's board of trustees needs "new faces and new blood" if it wants to shake the taint of an unfolding admissions scandal.

He's the ex-federal judge hand-picked by Governor Pat Quinn to investigate whether the school gave special treatment to politically connected applicants.

After weeks of hearing testimony, Mikva says the problem was largely with trustees.

MIKVA: They were involved up to their eyeballs...seeking special considerations for friends and relatives, and on orders from the governor.  And that's not the way a board of trustees should behave and that's not the way an admissions system should work.

Mikva says he doesn't fault public officials for making admissions requests on behalf of applicants; he faults the the way the U of I handled them.

He also says he's "dismayed" that many trustees donated big money to the governors who appointed them - George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.