SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Board of Higher Education is announcing the members of its Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, which will develop a draft plan to fulfill the board’s which will lay out a set of strategies to achieve the board’s vision and priorities (See https://www.ibhe.org/pdf/sp/Strategic_Direction_Revised_120320.pdf). The plan aims to create an equitable, accessible and innovative higher education ecosystem across Illinois that ensures students and communities thrive.

“The members of the advisory committee bring expertise from education, business, policy, community, and philanthropic organizations to shape the blueprint for our students and our higher education ecosystem for the next 10 years,” said IBHE Board Chair John Atkinson. “The members of the advisory committee will identify the highest-impact strategies to increase affordability, close equity gaps, and meet workforce needs. I am thrilled that this group has agreed to help us chart a course for higher education in Illinois.”

The strategic plan is being crafted in cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. It has garnered widespread public engagement so far, including the input from a survey of 10,000 people, 20 regional focus groups, and written comments. There will be room for more public engagement in each step of the process.

The committee will be co-chaired by:

Zaldwaynaka Scott, President, Chicago State University

Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago

Illinois Senator Pat McGuire

Betsy Ziegler, CEO, 1871

“At each step in the process, we have invited input on how to ensure Illinois has an equitable, innovative and nimble higher education system. The advisory committee will help chart the path to get us there,” explained IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro.

Co-Chair Zaldwaynaka Scott, president of Chicago State University, said, “I want to ensure that our higher education system makes the changes needed to alter the outcomes for students of color, because for too long they have been underserved. IBHE data will clearly tell us whether this new plan will make a difference.”

“This new plan must address the importance of an aligned education system,” said Co-Chair Juan Salgado, chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago. “Higher education needs to better serve the varied needs of our increasingly diverse, life-long learners, whether it be at two-year or four-year colleges and universities, public or private, or credential programs.”

Co-Chair Sen. Pat McGuire, who chairs the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee, explained, "Illinois post-secondary students and institutions have demonstrated their commitment to education throughout the Great Recession, the two-year budget impasse, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It's time we acted with equal determination and laid plans for a higher education system that's fair to all students, all community colleges and universities, and all parts of the state."

Recognizing that the input and support of the business community is critical to this effort, 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler will join the committee as a co-chair. “Employers know the nature of work is changing rapidly and that partnership with our higher education system is essential. Preparing students for jobs and civic life are critical to our companies and our economy, as is the innovation and research that come from a strong higher education system” she said. “We must work together to make sure we are investing in the needs of our collective future.”

To stay up to date on IBHE’s strategic planning process, visit the webpage.

The committee members are:

Darryl Arrington, DePaul University

Mara Botman, Circle of Service

Martha Burns, Oakton Community College

Tanya Cabera, University of Illinois Chicago

Brent Clark, Illinois Association of School Administrators

Jim Coleman, Accenture

Marlon Cummings, Governors State University, IBHE Faculty Advisory Committee

Mona Davenport, Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education

Julia diLliberti, Illinois Community College Faculty Assoc.

Cherita Ellens, Women Employed

Lisa Freeman, Northern Illinois University

Sameer Gadkaree, The Joyce Foundation

Dave Hanson, EOA Consulting LLC

Lauren Harris, ISU, IBHE Student Advisory Committee

Pranav Kothari, IBHE Board

Jack Lavin, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

David Lett, Illinois State Board of Education Member

Daniel Lopez, Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education

Nivine Megahed, National Louis University

Paige Ponder, One Million Degrees

Teresa Ramos, Action for Children

Jim Reed, Illinois Community College Trustees Association

Jonah Rice, Southeastern Illinois College

Amanda Smith, Rock Valley Community College

Audrey Soglin, Illinois Education Association

Samiha Syed, College of DuPage, ICCB Student Advisory Committee

Jose Torres, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Charlotte Warren, Lincoln Land Community College

Simón Weffer-Elizondo, Illinois Federation of Teachers

Kyle Westbrook, Partnership for College Completion

Ex-Officio Members:

Carmen Ayala, ISBE

Brian Durham, ICCB

Jason Horwitz, DCEO

Joseph Sanders, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Dave Tretter, Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities

Dan Wellman, Ill. Department of Veterans Affairs

Erik Zarnikow, ISAC

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