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Trustees Tell U Of I President To Mend Fences With Faculty

Updated 3/5/2012 at 5 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (CBS)--The University of Illinois' embattled president got a talking to Monday by the system's trustees behind closed doors.

His directive is to mend fences with faculty members who have expressed no confidence in his administration, CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports.

President Michael Hogan and trustees met behind closed doors for nearly four hours. After, Board Chairman Chris Kennedy emerged with a clear-cut message for the administrator he has previously supported.

"We needed our people to change or we needed change in our people," Kennedy told reporters.

The meeting followed a Feb. 23 letter delivered to trustees by 130 prominent faculty members from the main Urbana-Champaign campus. In it, they wrote they have "no confidence" in Hogan, and that he "lacks the values commitments, management style, ethics and even manners needed to lead this university."

Signing the letter were highly regarded professors like Nobel Prize winner in physics Anthony Leggett and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism professor Leon Dash.

"I think when we have so many of our incredibly important professors writing letters to us that express their concern … that in and of itself represents concern on the part of the trustees," Kennedy said.

Hogan, who earns $651 a year, took office in 2010 in the wake of an admissions scandal. The rift between him and the faculty has developed over a management style they charge includes the sending of unethical emails to encourage their support of Hogan initiatives.

While expressing confidence Hogan can mend fences, Kennedy said it's important he win over the faculty's trust.

"The issues around rebuilding that support are issues that Mike Hogan needs to play a leadership role in," he said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Regine Schlesinger reports


The next scheduled U of I Board of Trustees meeting is a week from Thursday.

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