Current State Universities Retirement System (SURS) board members Steven Rock, Collin Van Meter and Antonio Vasquez have been reelected by the System’s members. The trustee election was conducted April 2 – May 1 by YesElections, an impartial election services company, that certified the results on May 2, 2024.

Steven Rock

Steven Rock 

Collin Van Meter

Collin Van Meter 

Antonio Vasquez

Antonio Vasquez 

Rock, elected by SURS annuitant members, is a retired economics professor from Western Illinois University. He has served on the board since 2015.

Collin Van Meter, elected by active SURS members, is employed in Technology Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also served on the board since 2018.

Antonio Vasquez, also elected by active SURS members, is a professor of economics at Wilbur Wright College. He has served several terms on the board. He began as an appointed board member in June 2008 before winning his first six-year term as an elected active SURS member in 2009. He was elected to a second term in 2015 and served through July 15, 2021. In 2022 he was selected by a majority vote of the other elected trustees to serve out an open term through 2024.

The final vote totals are:
Six-Year Active-Member Terms
Antonio Vasquez – 2,786
Collin Van Meter – 2,722
Randall Miller – 2,102

Six-Year Annuitant Term
Steven Rock – 5,447
Greg Dobbins – 1,134

There is also one three-year, elected active-member seat open on the board. Kristi Barnwell, an associate professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield, was the only candidate to return petitions with the necessary signatures to qualify for the seat. Because she was unopposed, it was not necessary to hold an election for that seat and her name did not appear on the ballot. However, because Illinois Pension Code and applicable SURS administrative rules* allow a maximum of two active-member trustees to be employed by any of the University of Illinois campuses, Barnwell is disqualified from serving due to Collin Van Meter’s successful election. Currently, Trustees Van Meter and Andriy Bodnaruk are employed by the University of Illinois. Per SURS election rules, the six-year term seats are filled before the three-year term seats.

The three-year, active-member term that remains open will be filled by an appointment by the elected trustees in the near future. SURS will issue a press release outlining the appointment process for active members who may be interested in serving on the board. Candidates for this appointment cannot be employed by any of the University of Illinois campuses.

Rock, Van Meter and Vasquez will begin serving their new terms on July 15.

4,170 (5.16%) of the 80,885 eligible active members voted. 6,592 (9.15%) of the 72,022 eligible annuitants voted.

The SURS Board of Trustees consists of 11 trustees: five appointed by the governor including the chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, four active members elected by SURS active members and two annuitants elected by the annuitants of the System.

Other members of the current SURS Board of Trustees include Chairperson John Lyons, Andriy Bodnaruk, Richard Figueroa, Jamie-Clare Flaherty, Scott Hendrie, Fred Giertz, Pranav Kothari and Mitch Vogel.

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 1600.740 of the Illinois Administrative Code, there is a seven-day challenge period beginning May 3, 2024. If, after that date, there is not a legitimate dispute, the election results will be certified by the SURS Board of Trustees.

* Due to 40 ILCS 5/15-159(D)(3) and (4) of the Illinois Pension Code and SURS Administrative Rule 1600.730(g), there cannot be more than two active-member trustees from any of the University of Illinois campuses (Urbana-Champaign, Chicago or Springfield) serving on SURS board. The election results comply with 40 ILCS 5/15-159(D)(3) and (4) of the Illinois Pension Code that allows for no more than two of the four active members of the board to be current employees of any of the University of Illinois campuses and for no more than one of the two annuitant members of the board to be retired from any of the University of Illinois campuses.