Parkland president takes four-week medical leave

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College board members will hold a special meeting Wednesday to grant medical leave to Parkland President Robert Exley and to talk about business in his absence.

The college announced Monday that Exley's four-week leave would be effective that day.

Board President Lin Warfel said the leave was requested because "all the difficulties of his health issues plus the challenges of being a new president are more than he can handle right now."

"Our thoughts and prayers go to Dr. Exley and his family for a full recovery," Warfel said.

He said Parkland's three vice presidents will run the college while he's gone, with Tom Ramage as head of the group that includes Jon Surma in administrative services and Linda Moore in student services.

Exley collapsed during a fundraising student-faculty basketball game in November and was hospitalized for a heart attack. He was discharged and coronary bypass surgery was scheduled but when he had heart-related episodes at home, surgery was moved up.

He had been Parkland's president only since July.

Exley returned to work – and Parkland board meetings – in December, less than two months after his surgery.

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