University News

New Trustees On Campus March 1

February 21, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Three newly appointed Western Illinois University Board of Trustee members will participate in campus orientation meetings Wednesday, March 1.

Steven Nelson of Moline and Robert Cook and Donald (Bill) Griffin, both of Macomb, were appointed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to replace Lorraine Epperson, Bill Edley and Dace Richardson, respectively. The terms for each trustee will be through Jan.17, 2011; and are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The three trustees will participate in meetings with representatives from academic, student, administrative and advancement support services. In accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act, sessions will begin at 8 a.m. in the office of President Al Goldfarb and will conclude at 5:15 p.m. During the day trustees will be available for news media interviews at 11 a.m. in the University Union Prairie Lounge. Media representatives who wish to interview trustees are asked to contact the Office of University Relations at 298-1993.

Nelson is an attorney with Snyder, Park and Nelson, P.C. in Rock Island. He has also served as an adjunct professor at WIU-Quad Cities. He started his law career in 1977 in Moline. Nelson has also taught social studies in Quad Cities-area schools.

A 1970 WIU graduate, Nelson is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, the Iowa Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the WIU Foundation Board, currently serving on the executive and scholarship committees. He is also the president of the Board of Directors for the Skills Foundation in Moline. Nelson received his juris doctorate from Drake University.

Cook, WIU educational administration and supervision (now called educational leadership) professor emeritus, joined Western’s faculty in 1969, retiring in 2002. Cook began his education tenure as a social studies instructor and acting principal in 1961 in Missouri. He was also the administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Parkway School District in St. Louis. He has also taught at St. Louis University and Central Washington State University.

Cook has served as the president of the University Division of the Illinois Education Association and as president of the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators. He was the WIU faculty representative to Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Faculty Advisory Council for 13 years, and in 1990 he was appointed to the Illinois State Senate’s Task Force on Governance of Higher Education. Cook has served as chair of the McDonough County Democratic Central Committee and as president of the McDonough County Labor Council AFL-CIO. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Truman State University and his Ph.D. from St. Louis University.

Griffin served as director of the Institute for Regional and Community Studies at Western from 1971 to 1993, and also was a geography professor at WIU. In addition, Griffin was a geography faculty member at the University of California-Los Angeles and Rhode Island College. He has served as a senior planner for the Worcester (MA) Planning Department, was a training officer for the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce and was a military instructor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Griffin also was the director of Macomb Certified Cities Projects and served as chair of Congressmen Lane Evans’ Citizens Task Force on the Hennepin Canal. He was the chair of the editorial board of the Western Illinois Monograph Series and a member of the editorial board of Western Illinois Regional Studies. Griffin has served as the president of the Illinois Association of Regional Councils, as a member of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Advisory Committee and as chair of the Western Illinois Regional Council. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and his Ph.D. from Clark University.

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