In 2009, as the University of Illinois was embroiled in controversy surrounding favoritism. One man who had caught a significant amount of heat in the investigations that followed was businessman and renowned philanthropist, Niranjan Shah.
Niranjan Shah came from humble beginnings but rose to a big player entrepreneur in engineering and architecture in Chicago. He had a resounding reputation for getting fair contracts, completing work that was paid for, and contributing a lot of donations to society. He has done all his business openly, avoiding any backroom deals in the interest of full transparency. He used his wealth in order to pursue a fair opportunity in the entrepreneurial realm, not paying to get him there.
Niranjan Shah served proudly as a new chair of the University’s Board of Trustees at the time of the favoritism scandal and regretted that he expressed poor judgment in a handful of cases when he came under scrutiny when he increased his personal involvement in the admission of family members to the university. One such case involved his future son in law, where Shah lobbied for a six-figure post to be set up for him at the university. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2009/08/u_of_illinois_trustee_chair_to.html
In his resignation amidst the controversial matter, Niranjan Shah seemed to admit that the rules and procedures that the university had in place at the time permitted his actions, but recognized that the rules called for changes.
These controversies landed at the feet of Governor Pat Quinn. After being left dealing with the mess left by disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich, it fell to Quinn to address the matters concerning the university as they occurred on his watch.
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