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SIU names search committee

Staff Report
Carbondale Times 

SIU President Randy Dunn has named an 18-member committee to begin the process of selecting the Carbondale campus’ next permanent chancellor.

“These people have agreed to serve because of their commitment to the university, and I appreciate their willingness to assist in this critical undertaking,” Dunn said in a statement.

When the SIU Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Brad Colwell as interim chancellor effective Oct. 1, 2015, it was with the understanding that he would serve up to two years until a national search is completed.

The Carbondale campus has been without a permanent chancellor since July 2014, when Rita Cheng left to become president of Northern Arizona University.

Following her departure, Paul Sarvela was named interim chancellor, but he abruptly died in November 2014. Dunn assumed some responsibilities of the chancellor’s office until Colwell’s hiring about a year ago.

“My charge to the search advisory committee will be to work as expeditiously as possible,” Dunn said in a statement. “It is my belief that we need to have a permanent chancellor in place as soon as practicable, given the continuing deterioration of the budget situation at the campus and state levels.”

Members of the committee include Laurie Achenbach, dean of the College of Science; Jason Bond, professor, plant, soil and agricultural systems; Daniel Booth, principal, CCHS; Nate Brown, an alumnus; Deborah Burris, clinical associate professor, Office of Teacher Education; Judith Davie, associate professor, biochemistry and molecular biology; Wayne Glass, director, Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, A/P Staff Council; Ben Handler, vice president, Undergraduate Student Government; Andrea Imre, associate professor, Morris Library; Vicki Kreher, senior lecturer, journalism; Segun Ojewuyi, associate professor, theater; Julie Partridge, associate professor, kinesiology; Barbara Shiplett, coordinator of physical therapy services, Student Health Services, Civil Service Council; Matt Solverson, SIU Foundation Board of Directors; Naomi Tolbert, student member, SIU Board of Trustees; Tomas Velasco, associate professor, technology; Xiaoxin Wang Beardsley, associate professor, finance; and Brandon Woudenberg, president, Graduate and Professional Student Council.

Non-voting staff to the committee includes Matt Baughman, assistant to the chancellor; and Penny Moon from the president’s Office.

Thrift Shop seeking help with roof campaign

Geoffrey Ritter
Weekend Times

Even after a successful fundraiser last weekend, the Church Women United Thrift Shop in Carbondale is looking for some help keeping its head above water — literally.

The long-established resale shop at 215 N. Illinois Ave. in Carbondale played host Oct. 9 to a reception at the Carbondale Civic Center aimed at raising money to go toward a new roof, but the organization still has significant progress to make before it can afford the expenditure, which could run around $30,000.

“We’re fighting water from the attic and the foundation,” store manager Jennifer Johnson says. “We are literally treading water from both. Every time I think about it, I feel like Noah.”

The added trouble also comes just as the store celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer.

While it has used those decades to steadily build a loyal clientele, Johnson says that in the past year and a half she has cleaned no fewer than seven floods in the basement, which contains a significant amount of the store’s retail space.

The last such flood in July dumped more than a foot of water in the basement and took a week to clean, Johnson says.

Signs of the damage, including water stains on the floor and missing drywall near the floor line, remain as reminders of a major problem yet to be solved.

First formed by Church Women United, the Thrift Shop was chartered as a not-for-profit organization in July 1966 and first opened for business at the corner of East Jackson and North Washington streets. In 1991, the growing business moved to its current location, and it incorporated independently in 1996.

Throughout its history, the shop has played a charitable role in the community, mostly through its voucher program, which helps to provide clothing to the homeless and needy through collaboration with local pastors and agencies.

Replacing the roof, which is essential to the store’s long-term success, is a daunting challenge but not an impossible one. 

Martha Ellert, president of Church Women United in Carbondale, says local residents have donated hundreds of dollars at the shop itself, and a Gofundme page has raised several hundred as well.

Ellert says that after the dinner, which attracted about 110 people, the campaign has raised just short of $10,000.

Johnson, who oversees a staff of three, says the store is committed to serving the community even if she and her staff have to clean up a little water to make it happen.

“I’m a pro at this now,” Johnson says. “It’s a ministry. As long as we are here helping people, we will continue to clean water.”

Anyone interested in making a contribution toward the Thrift Shop’s new roof can stop by the store or go online to