|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 22nd and 19th district
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1999
|Preceded by||Kenneth J. Gray|
|Succeeded by||David D. Phelps|
October 30, 1945 |
Glenn Poshard (born October 30, 1945 in Herald, Illinois) is a former Illinois State Senator, U.S. Congressman, Gubernatorial Candidate, and is currently President of the Southern Illinois University system.
Glenn Poshard is a three-degree graduate of Southern Illinois University. He received a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1970, a master's degree in educational administration in 1974 and a Ph.D. in administration of higher education in 1984. After graduating from college, he taught high school, coached high school sports, and served as director of the Southern Illinois Educational Service Center in Benton, Illinois from 1975 to 1982.
He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1984 to 1988.
Poshard ran for U.S. Representative from Illinois' 22nd Congressional District and was elected in 1988. After Illinois lost a district as a result of the 1990 Census, Poshard's district was merged with the neighboring 19th District of fellow Democrat Terry L. Bruce. Although the new district retained Bruce's district number, it was demographically and geographically more Poshard's district. Poshard defeated Bruce in the primary, and continued to represent the district for another three terms.
As Congressman, he was considered to be a social conservative and fiscal populist; he was opposed to abortion, gay marriage, and the death penalty largely on religious grounds, and opposed free trade agreements. He was also a strong proponent of campaign finance reform.
In 1998 Poshard ran for governor against Republican Secretary of State George Ryan. He was somewhat more conservative on social issues than Ryan, a moderate Republican. While this garnered him support from social conservatives who normally voted Republican, it also cost him some support from Chicago liberals.
In keeping with his views on campaign financing, Poshard severely curtailed contributions to his campaign. He refused to accept any corporate or special interest group donations and limited private donations to a small amount per individual. He thus faced a significant financial disadvantage in the campaign against Ryan and was outspent by a roughly 4 to 1 margin.
Poshard was first to alert the public about Ryan's connection to the "licenses for bribes" scandal and other corruption. Some individuals, even prominent Democrats like former Senator Paul Simon, criticized Poshard for his attacks on Ryan's corruption. However, Poshard was vindicated to a considerable extent when Ryan was indicted in late 2003 on 22 counts of racketeering conspiracy, mail and tax fraud, and false statements charges alleging public corruption during his terms as Illinois Secretary of State and as Governor. Ryan was subsequently convicted and was sentenced to serve six and a half years in prison.
Poshard lost the Governor's race to Ryan by a 47%-51% margin. In his concession speech, Poshard declared that "no purpose is served by anger or resentment. No good is served by dropping out of the system in the future. The time for disappointment is only for this evening. Tomorrow we go back to work."
Continued public service
After he left Congress, Poshard and his wife Jo founded the Poshard Foundation for Abused Children, which raises more than $100,000 annually to fund care for abused children and other victims of domestic abuse throughout southern Illinois. Among its many activities, the Poshard Foundation led efforts to construct a new $600,000 women's shelter in Cairo, Illinois that opened in December 2003.
Poshard also served for four years as the Vice Chancellor for Administration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, before Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed him to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees in January 2004. He was later elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He resigned his position on the Board of Trustees in 2005 when he announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Southern Illinois University system.
President of Southern Illinois University
The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees announced that they had selected Glenn Poshard to serve as President of the system on Friday, November 18, 2005. He took office on January 1, 2006. Poshard was accused of plagiarism in 2007 after it was revealed that portions of his doctoral dissertation were lifted from another source without attribution. The faculty senate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville asked Poshard to step down as President. Poshard was later acquitted of plagiarism charges after a university committee he appointed called it "inadvertent plagiarism." "Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard announced July 25, 2013 that he will retire after the 2013-14 school year, according to the school’s board of trustees."
- 1998 election for Governor
- George Ryan (R), 51%
- Glenn Poshard (D), 47%
- Glenn Poshard at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography from Southern Illinois University
|United States House of Representatives|
Kenneth J. Gray
|U.S. Representatives of Illinois' 22nd Congressional District
no longer district
Terry L. Bruce
|U.S. Representatives of Illinois' 19th Congressional District
David D. Phelps
|Party political offices|
Dawn Clark Netsch
|Democratic Nominee for Governor of Illinois