SPRINGFIELD − The newest appointee to the Illinois State University Board of Trustees says Gov. Pat Quinn has not asked him to vote in any certain way when it comes to overseeing the 20,000-student institution.

In an interview Tuesday, Robert Churney, 47, said he applied for a trustee position last year and met with the governor's staff to discuss the non-paying post.

"I've been interviewed a few times with questions about my background, but there's been no telling me how things are going to go," said Churney, an insurance broker from Bartlett who graduated from Illinois State in 1987.

Churney was appointed by Quinn Monday to replace Bloomington businessman Bob Dobski, whose term on the board had expired.

The term of Joanne Maitland of Bloomington, a trustee since 2002, also expired. Quinn has not named anyone to that slot.

Dobski said he was surprised Quinn didn't reappoint him to a second term.

"With our involvement in the community ... I think he's making a big mistake," said Dobski, who co-owns eight McDonald's franchises in central Illinois.

The shuffling at Illinois State comes in the midst of a controversy at Southern Illinois University, where Quinn was rebuffed by the Senate last month in his attempt to remake the board by installing three new trustees.

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Quinn's actions were seen as an attempt to stack the Southern Illinois board in an attempt to install trustee Roger Herrin of Harrisburg as chairman.

Churney said he's received no marching orders from the Chicago Democrat or his staff.

"It's been just the typical interview process," Churney said.

Churney, who grew up in Streator, said he is looking forward to his six-year term on the board, which will include picking a successor to retiring Illinois State President Al Bowman.

"I had a great experience at ISU," Churney said. "The university has really come a long way. I just want to give back."


I'm the city editor at the Quad-City Times. You can reach me at dbowerman@qctimes.com or 563-383-2450.