A high-profile appointee is joining the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Gov. Pat Quinn hit a home run last week when he appointed former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to the UI board.
Fitzgerald, a Chicagoan by way of New York, is a genuine hero to the many thousands of Illinoisans who have long since grown tired of our state's culture of corruption. As the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2012, he led a wide array of criminal investigations into corruption-related activities that resulted in scores of crooks, including two former governors, going to prison.
Indeed, the big question surrounding the impending appointment of Fitzgerald's replacement in the U.S. attorney's office is whether he or she will continue Fitzgerald's aggressive approach to official corruption or adopt the more timid approach that characterized many of his predecessors.
It's not just Fitzgerald's high-profile professional accomplishments that make him a fine appointee.
As an individual who grew up in humble surroundings, he's a walking, talking testimonial for the importance of getting a good education and the ability of anyone properly motivated to do so.
As to his activities on the board, Fitzgerald will probably be anything but flamboyant. People can expect a serious, attentive board member who will do his homework, ask thoughtful questions and work cooperatively with his colleagues.
In that respect, he won't stand out. It's the UI that will stand out by virtue of its new association with this outstanding citizen.