Shonrock’s petition sputters; he won’t attend board meeting, his attorney says


Michael Shonrock and his wife walk away from the St. Charles County courthouse on Thursday Feb. 7. He yelled “Go Lions, go Lynx!” as he walked past.
Photo by Kayla Drake

KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer

Michael Shonrock will likely not be able fight for his job as Lindenwood’s president at the board of trustees meeting Friday.

A petition set for Thursday afternoon that might have allowed Shonrock to attend the meeting, was dropped by Shonrock’s attorney, Jerry Dobson, just before the hearing was supposed to begin.

Dobson said university lawyers told him that even if Shonrock could go to the board meeting, he could not attend the executive session where his employment would be discussed. 

The hearing, which was supposed to begin at 2, was delayed when Neal Perryman, the attorney representing Lindenwood and Board Chairman J. Michael Conoyer, asked for a change of judge. Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham agreed to hear the motion. Perryman tried to close the hearing to the public, but Cunningham did not allow it.

Dobson dropped his motion when Perryman handed the judge a thick stack of papers. Dobson said he had not seen the papers before, and they included statements from executive board members about Shonrock’s performance.

“We started to review them, and we realized there’s a lot more than what we can respond to in an oral argument in a court,” Dobson said. “We decided we wanted to review the documents outside of the court and then determine our next step.”

In the petition Dobson filed with the court Wednesday, he had alleged that Conoyer had sidestepped the university’s bylaws to place Shonrock on leave and that those actions had “grossly” exceeded the powers given to the board chair. 

But after a brief look at the documents Perryman provided Thursday, Dobson said it was “less clear” that Conoyer improperly communicated with board members about Shonrock’s suspension.

“The board is the ultimate governing institution of the university,” Dobson said. “Ultimately the board has the power to hire and fire.”

Twelve people attended the court proceeding, including media from Lindenlink, KMOV and FOX, and a few students, including Posy Durr, president of the  student government.

“We’re just curious, we want answers,” she said.

No members of the board of trustees attended the meetings.

After the petition’s dismissal Shonrock and his wife, Karen, walked out of the St. Charles County Courthouse grinning.

“Go Lions! Go Lynx!” Shonrock said to a Lindenlink reporter.

Dobson said no hearings will be scheduled before the meeting on Friday, where the future of Shonrock’s presidency will likely be determined.

Friday’s meeting will be at the J. Scheidegger Center at 12:30 p.m. This will be the first board meeting since Shonrock was placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 5.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the time of the board meeting. It has since been corrected.