In addition, per state statute, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, or his or her chief assistant for liaison with higher education when designated to serve in his or her place, serves as an ex-officio member of the board.
Former members of the Board of Trustees are listed here.
Major General (ret.) Randal E. Thomas, of Springfield, was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in May 2013. He served from 2003 to 2007 as the 36th Adjutant General of Illinois, the highest National Guard post in the state. He also served on the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission from 2008 to 2011. He currently serves as chair of the Board, chair of the Board’s Executive Committee, and member of the Board’s Finance Committee. He also serves as the Board’s representative to the Joint Trustee Committee for Springfield Medical Education Programs and the Board’s alternate representative to the Board of Directors, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Foundation and Board of Directors, Alumni Association of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
A native of Glen Carbon, he is a graduate of Collinsville High School. Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in English from SIU Edwardsville in 1973, a master’s degree in educational technology from SIU Edwardsville in 1980, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2000. He and his wife Joanne met and were married at SIUE.
Thomas received his commission as an Infantry Officer in 1967, while serving in the Army from 1966 to 1969. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for valor for his 1968-1969 combat service in Vietnam with the Army Special Forces.
Prior to his appointment as Adjutant General in 2003, Thomas spent 30 years as an English teacher, librarian and media director at Hillsboro High School.
He was inducted into the U.S. Army Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in 2006 and the SIU Edwardsville Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011. He is a member of the SIU Edwardsville Alumni Association, the U.S. Army War College Alumni Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Guard Association of US, and the National Guard Association of Illinois.
Dr. Donna Litton Manering of Makanda, a veteran southern Illinois educator, was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in March 2011. She currently serves as vice-chair of the Board, and member of the Board’s Executive, Academic Matters, and Finance Committees. She also serves as the Board’s representative to the State Universities Civil Service Merit Board and Board of Directors, Southern Illinois University Foundation, alternate representative to the Joint Trustee Committee for Springfield Medical Education Programs, and Board of Directors, the Association of Alumni, Former Students and Friends of Southern Illinois University, Incorporated.
She is a three-degree graduate of SIU Carbondale, earning her doctorate in Education Administration in 2000, her master’s in Special Education and Elementary Education in 1977, and her bachelor’s in Special Education and Elementary Education in 1974. She also holds a Superintendent Certificate, awarded in 1998, and a General Administrative Certificate, awarded in 1989.
Manering’s experience includes 21 years teaching in the Carbondale Elementary School District, including as a first, third, fourth and fifth grade teacher; special education resource teacher; and academic talent resource teacher. Between 1980 and 1986, she also taught sections of SIUC courses to area gifted education teachers. From 1986 to 1998, she taught a curriculum and instruction course for SIUC undergraduates.
From 1994 to 1995, Manering was the junior/senior high school principal in the Cobden, Ill., District #17, where she also served as chair of the District Technology Committee and was an administrative member of the Parent Advisory Committee. She served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Carbondale Elementary School District 95 from 1995 to 1999, and was a member of the school district’s administrative negotiations team.
Manering’s experience includes extensive service to the Illinois Education Association-NEA (IEA-NEA). From1985 to 1994, she was a negotiator for the Carbondale Education Association, including serving as chief negotiator between 1990 and 1994. She served as the IEA-NEA director of higher education and student program from 1999 to 2005, and from 2005 to 2008 was the director of program development for the IEA-NEA.
Donna and her husband, Greg, have two sons and two grandchildren.
Retired Circuit Court Judge Don Lowery was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in April 2011. He currently serves as secretary of the Board, member of the Board’s Executive Committee, chair of the Board’s Architecture and Design Committee and member of the Board’s Academic Matters Committee.
He served as a Circuit Judge for 26 years in the nine southernmost counties of the First Judicial Circuit of Illinois. During the last seven years prior to his retirement from the judiciary, one of his duties was managing the annual two-million dollar budget of First Circuit Probation. Prior to being elected Judge in 1980, he served as States Attorney in Massac County and as Public Defender of Saline County.
Judge Lowery earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics degree at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. During his senior year, he was chosen by the Department faculty to receive the Wall Street Journal Outstanding Student in Economics Award. Judge Lowery was a member of the charter class of SIUC School of Law. While in law school, he served on the Ethics Council and was the Chairperson his senior year. Judge Lowery was the first graduate of SIUC Law School to be elected a Circuit Judge. While working part time during undergraduate and full time during law school as a student worker at SIUC Travel Service, he completed his bachelor and law degrees in five years (1970-1975).
Prior to attending SIUC, Judge Lowery served in the U.S. Army (1966-1970). After being drafted at the rank of Private, he earned the rank of Captain and was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and Air Medal for his service in Vietnam. Judge Lowery is a licensed Master Captain with the United States Coast Guard and resides on a farm in southern Illinois.
Mr. Jesse Cler was elected by the students at SIU Carbondale to serve on the SIU Board of Trustees beginning April 25, 2012. His term ends on June 30, 2014.
Cler is a native of Penfield, Ill., and graduated from Armstrong Township High School in Armstrong, Ill. He is a senior at SIU Carbondale, pursuing a dual major in agribusiness economics and plant and soil science. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Cler plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration and finance.
Cler is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, where he
serves as the vice noble ruler of the Activities office. He
also is the president of the Inter-Greek Council, which governs
all fraternity and sorority life on campus. Other activities
include serving as the public relations chair for the College of
Agricultural Science’s Ag Council; serving on the executive
board of St. Jude’s Up Til’ Dawn registered student
organization as recruitment chair of Greek life; and serving on
the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students’ Student
His community service activities include Adopt-A-Spot, wheelchair basketball and football, the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, and Relay for Life.
Cler serves on the Board’s Architecture and Design and Finance Committees.
Dr. Roger Herrin of Harrisburg was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in April 2011. He has served as chair of the Board and chair of the Board’s Executive Committee. He currently serves as chair of the Board’s Finance Committee.
A native of Hardin County, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Bethel College in McKenzie Tenn., in 1960, and completed additional graduate work at DePaul University, Roosevelt University, Elmhurst College and Northwestern University. Herrin attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed pre-clinical studies before graduating from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in 1969 with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine Degree.
Retired from the practice of surgical podiatry and sports medicine in Harrisburg, Herrin is president of RDK Management Services, which owns and manages three long-term care facilities in Southern Illinois. He also is president of ComBank, Inc., a banking corporation that owns and operates seven community banks in Southern Illinois known as Community National Bank.
He formerly served on the board of the Illinois Finance Authority, the Illinois Health Care Reform Task Force and as a board member of the former Illinois Health Facilities Authority.
Mr. Nick Mehner was elected by the students at SIU Edwardsville to serve on the SIU Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2013. His term ends on June 30, 2014. He serves on the Board’s Academic Matters and Audit Committees.
Mehner is a native of Waterloo, Ill., and graduated from Waterloo High School. He is a senior at SIU Edwardsville, majoring in economics and finance. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Mehner plans to seek his Chartered Financial Analyst designation and work as a financial analyst.
Mehner is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and Cougar Trap and Skeet. He has served as a student senator and as fee review commissioner.
Dr. Shirley J. Portwood, of Godfrey, was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in May 2013. She is a professor emeritus at SIU Edwardsville, where she taught in the Department of Historical Studies for 30 years. She previously taught at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. She currently serves as chair of the Board’s Academic Matters Committee and member of the Board’s Architecture and Design and Audit Committees. She also serves as the Board’s representative to the Board of Directors, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Foundation and the Board of Directors, Alumni Association of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Dr. Portwood holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from SIU Edwardsville, and she earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Washington University in St. Louis.
She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency since 2009, and was recently appointed to the Illinois Amistad Commission. Dr. Portwood also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. She previously served on the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association; and on the boards of directors of various professional journals.
Much of Dr. Portwood’s extensive research and publication in professional journals has focused on Illinois African American history. She has participated in numerous professional conferences in the U.S. and in other countries.
Dr. Portwood and her husband, Harry, have five children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Joel W. Sambursky, of Carbondale, was appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees in September 2013. He currently serves as member of the Board’s Architecture and Design Committee and Audit Committee. He also serves as the Board’s representative to the Board of Directors, the Association of Alumni, Former Students and Friends of Southern Illinois University, Incorporated, and alternate representative to the Board of Directors, Southern Illinois University Foundation.
Sambursky founded Liberty Wealth Management in 2012 during his fifth year as an LPL Financial Advisor. Before becoming an LPL Financial Advisor, Sambursky became the youngest Executive Director in the history of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce while completing his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in 2007. Sambursky received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from SIU Carbondale in 2005.
Teamwork, leadership, and competition are important qualities in Sambursky’s life. As Southern Illinois University’s quarterback from 2002 to 2005, he led the Salukis to three straight conference championships and NCAA National playoff appearances, played in an unprecedented 49 consecutive games, became the first Saluki to be voted the “Toughest Saluki” for four straight years by his teammates, and set many Saluki quarterback records. The Gateway Football Conference awarded Sambursky the Freshman of the Year honor in 2002, and the Player of the Year award in 2004. In February 2012, Sambursky became a first-ballot inductee into the Saluki Hall of Fame.
Sambursky was also recognized by the Gateway Football Conference for his achievements in the classroom, becoming a member of the All-Gateway Conference Academic Team in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Sambursky was also named an Academic All-Star by I-AA Athletics Directors in 2005.
When he is not in the office, Sambursky, an avid outdoorsman, loves hunting, running, hiking, and any opportunity to get outside and enjoy the world’s beauty. Sambursky serves the southern Illinois community with his involvement on the board of directors for the Carbondale Community Arts, and is the past president of the board of directors for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce. Joel is married to Samantha, who was a four-year letter winner for the Saluki Women’s Golf Program and currently is the manager of the Jackson Country Club in Murphysboro. Joel and Samantha have a three-year- old daughter Laney, and a one year old son Jase, who was born in September 2012.
Ms. Marquita Wiley began serving on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees on November 7, 2005. She has served as Board secretary and member of the Board's Executive Committee. She currently serves as chair of the Board's Audit Committee.
Wiley, of Belleville, is a business executive with 30 years experience in the Financial Services industry. She is President of Trenier Enterprises, L.L.C. Her career includes serving as vice president for New Technology Development for Citicorp; senior vice president for Product Development at Boatman's Bank; and Senior Vice President and Central Region Executive for Bank of America's Premier Banking organization.
Wiley believes her analytical skills and experience in evaluating new concepts and ideas will help SIU move forward. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Marygrove College in Detroit and a master's degree in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
She has received many awards, including being named Corporate Executive of the Year by St. Louis American and RCGA. She received the YWCA Special Leaders Award and was featured as one of Ebony Magazine's most influential business women. She also serves on the Board of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.
She and her husband, Joe, have two children, Raymond and Johanna.