EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University President Dan Mahony, PhD, has named James T. Minor, PhD, as the 10th chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The selection is pending formal SIU Board of Trustees approval, slated for the Thursday, Dec. 2 meeting. Minor will assume his duties on March 1, 2022.
“Dr. Minor is a straightforward and innovative leader who has the vision to maintain a positive trajectory for the entire SIUE community, while at the same time embracing the strengths and collaborative nature of our university system,” Mahony said. “Those are qualities we heard repeatedly from individuals at the previous institutions he served as well as students, faculty, and staff in Edwardsville as we performed our due diligence to find the best leader for SIUE.”
“Beyond his successes as a faculty member and in a variety of leadership roles in higher education, what stands out is Dr. Minor’s strong focus on student success,” continued Mahony. “Throughout his professional life, this thread of improving student access, opportunity, diversity, and achievement is a recurring theme. As we look at higher education’s upcoming challenges and the kind of institution SIUE continues to become, these are common priorities that meld perfectly with our mission.”
SIUE Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Jessica Harris, PhD, served as the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee Chair, leading a 28-person committee comprising faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders. Executive search firm WittKiefer assisted the search committee.
“Dr. Minor is a recognized thought leader in the field of higher education,” stated Harris. “Throughout his career, he has leveraged his scholarly expertise and professional experiences to support institutions with increasing their capacity to more effectively serve students. He is a collaborative, mission-driven, and equity-minded change agent who will lead SIUE in its response to a number of higher education’s most pressing challenges; in particular, the persistence of inequities.”
“As I reflect on the university’s present and look to the future, the times beckon for inspired, bold, and decisive leadership,” Harris added. “Much progress and growth have occurred at SIUE these last several years; however, challenges remain. I am confident that with Dr. Minor’s leadership, the best is yet to come for SIUE and I look forward to his arrival.”
Minor most recently served as assistant vice chancellor and senior strategist in the Office of the Chancellor at California State University, which recently posted the highest graduation rates in its history. He has successfully advocated for hundreds of millions of dollars in support of graduation initiatives and served as principal investigator for $7.5 million in funded programs and research. Prior to his post at California State University, Minor served as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education where he administered more than $7 billion in federal higher education programming.
Additionally, Minor has a noted resume of teaching and scholarship in educational policy, administration in higher education, academic governance, and more.
“I am truly honored and excited about the opportunity to serve as the 10th Chancellor at SIUE,” shared Minor. “The institution has made tremendous strides but is also well-positioned to extend its reach and impact. As we emerge from perhaps the most challenging season of our lifetime, I believe that SIUE will rise to advance its mission in new ways to serve the region, state, and nation.”
“During my visit, I had the good fortune of meeting many amazing, dedicated educators,” he said. “I am eager to hear their voices concerning how we will go forward together. Our collective effort will be important to enhance the success of SIUE students so that they realize the many benefits that come along with earning a college degree. It will also be important that we, as a university community, define our future and then pursue it with great clarity, conviction, and enthusiasm.”
Minor holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a bachelor’s in sociology from Jackson State University and a master’s in sociology from the University of Nebraska.
Minor succeeds Randy Pembrook who has served as SIUE’s ninth chancellor since August 2016. Pembrook announced his retirement in May 2021, effective in 2022.
“I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Randy Pembrook for his over five years of commitment to SIUE as Chancellor,” Mahony said. “He has provided exceptional leadership during some of the university’s most challenging times.”
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.
Photo: James T. Minor, PhD, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s 10th chancellor, contingent upon SIU Board of Trustees approval.