SIU president makes choice of chancellor known to trustees

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The head of Southern Illinois University says he wants former Texas Southern University president Austin Lane as the school’s next chancellor despite his contentious departure from the Texas school.

SIU President Dan Mahony says he has recommended Lane to the SIU Board of Trustees. If the board agrees, Lane will be the first African American chancellor in Southern Illinois’ 150-year history.

A special board meeting has been called for Friday for consideration of Lane’s hiring and contract terms.

Lane was among three finalists for the job, along with Susan Stapleton, special assistant to the provost at Western Michigan University. The third candidate, Lamar University President Kenneth Evans, withdrew his name in April.

Lane parted ways with Texas Southern earlier this year after getting into a public dispute with its Board of Regents over allegations of “fraudulent and dishonest” activities in the law school’s admissions process. He later reached a settlement agreement with the university, which found no wrongdoing.

Mahony, SIU Board President Phil Gilbert and School of Accountancy chairman Marc Morris, who headed the search committee, said details of Lane’s exit from Texas Southern, where he had worked since 2016, were well-known and thoroughly vetted.