"The measure failed in a 4-3 vote that fell along the trustees’ ties to each campus. An eighth trustee abstained."
This ending almost sounds like something in the US Senate or Congress but no, it's result of a vote by the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University over if and how to divide money between the University's "flagship" campus and its "sister" school in Edwardsville which, according to the Chicago Tribune, "receives less funding even though it has grown to nearly match Carbondale’s enrollment."
As the Edwardsville Chancelor stated: “It is difficult to wear two different hats. On one hand, we’re talking about what is in the best interest of the system, but the trustees live in a certain area, and they’re human. They are part of a community and these universities are very important parts of their towns.”
So these humans can't put their personal commitments and obligations to their hometown over the fiduciary duties to the University. A classic conflict of interest and to top it off, failure to meet the prudence standards of fiduciary duty which, were it a business (and it is) would be resolved accordingly. Yes, the issues are complicated but these trustees have failed to do their job. Removing them and changing the criteria for who sits as a Trustee would be one first step toward resolving this set of problems.