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Illinois State University board chairman Rocky Donahue, right, swears in new trustees, from left, Julie Jones, John Rauschenberger and Sharon Rossmark at a special meeting of the board Friday at the Bone Student Center.

NORMAL — Dealing with the ongoing state financial issues is the biggest challenge facing Illinois State University, according to three new members of its board of trustees.

Julie Jones, John Rauschenberger and Sharon Rossmark were sworn in Friday at a brief special meeting of the board. They were appointed to six-year terms by Gov. Bruce Rauner in January.

All three are ISU alumni who have been involved with the university and expressed pleasure at having the opportunity to further their service.

Trustee Bob Dobski, of Bloomington, also was re-appointed to a full six-year term by the governor.

Jones, a 1990 ISU graduate, is principal attorney at the Juliette Annette Jones law firm in Chicago.

Keeping the university “strong and steady” in the face of financial challenges is important, she said, adding the best way to do that is “keep focusing on students.”

“It might be corny to some, but … every time I set foot on campus, there is a feeling of excitement.”

Rauschenberger, who received a bachelor's degree in 1972 and master's degree in 1974, both from ISU, is the owner of Rauschenberger Partners, a national consulting firm based in Chicago and Minneapolis. He played football and was an assistant coach at ISU.

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Rauschenberger said ISU has been “the cornerstone of my adult life” and he is “delighted with the opportunity to give back.”

He is optimistic that a budget agreement can be reached.

Rossmark, a 1978 ISU graduate, is chief operating officer of AeroVista Innovations, an unmanned-aviation firm in Chicago that provides aerial mapping and imagery solutions.

“The state budget is our biggest challenge,” said Rossmark, adding the university's leadership and the strength of its staff and professors have helped it weather the financial storm.

She credited ISU with helping to build her leadership skills and is looking forward to “making a difference in the lives of students and the community."

All three of the new trustees were named to the board's state affairs committee that monitors legislative and budgetary action in Springfield. Trustee Mary Ann Louderback was named chair of that committee, which was formerly headed by Anne Davis, whose term expired in January.

Louderback also was named to succeed Davis as the board secretary.

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Follow Lenore Sobota on Twitter: @pg_sobota

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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