Two University of Illinois trustees are stubbornly hanging on to their positions despite calls for all trustees to resign in the wake of the Clout List scandal. Their refusal to follow the example set by the other trustees who quit sets up a showdown with Gov. Pat Quinn, who had called on all trustees to resign.

Two University of Illinois trustees are stubbornly hanging on to their positions despite calls for all trustees to resign in the wake of the Clout List scandal.

Their refusal to follow the example set by the other trustees who quit sets up a showdown with Gov. Pat Quinn, who had called on all trustees to resign.

James Montgomery and Frances Carroll contend they did nothing wrong, so they see no reason to resign, but their refusal prolongs the controversy that has given a prestigious university a black eye. They are making themselves an issue rather than doing what’s best for the university.

A Chicago Tribune investigation found about 800 students who applied to the Urbana-Champaign school during the past five years were placed on “clout lists” and were admitted to the university because of whom they knew instead of what they knew.

The Tribune report says trustees involved themselves in the applications process about 100 times in the past three years alone.

The Tribune report pointed out instances where Montgomery and Carroll inquired about student applications.

The Illinois Admissions Review Commission, among others, called for all trustees to resign and allow Quinn to decide which resignations to accept.

Quinn has hinted that he would fire any trustees who failed to heed calls to resign. He was hoping for a clean slate when school starts Monday and to have a new board by the next trustee meeting Sept. 11.

The public will not have confidence in the university until the housecleaning is complete. Montgomery, Carroll, University President B. Joseph White and Chancellor Richard Herman should realize that and do what’s best for the university and not what’s best for them.

We know the admissions process can be arbitrary and that by necessity, many bright, talented and dedicated students have to be turned away for lack of space. But when a student is accepted because of political power instead of brain power, it’s an insult to those who didn’t make it as well as those who did.

Students, alums and the general public need to be confident the clout list days are gone. Anyone who had a hand in it should be gone, too.

Rockford Register Star