SPRINGFIELD – The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees met in Springfield this week. Among agenda items were performance reviews of System President Dan Mahony and Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane.
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SIU Board of Trustees Chairman Phil Gilbert released the following statement after the meeting:
“Listening to the discussion today on the performance of our senior leaders, it is clear that this board is well pleased with our President and Chancellors and the leadership they are providing. President Dan Mahony and Chancellor Austin Lane, whose performance evaluations were up for review, and Chancellor James Minor, still early in his tenure, have tremendously impacted their campuses and this university system. They have the full support of the board.
The board made a great hire in March 2020 when Dan Mahony became SIU’s ninth president, and that was confirmed early during the pandemic as we shut down our campuses and sent our students into online learning formats only 11 days into his tenure. President Mahony led the university with determination and a calm confidence that not only supported our students, faculty, and staff but made SIU a recognized leader for its efforts during the pandemic.
President Mahony has been extremely busy, leading the SIU System through its first comprehensive systemwide strategic plan, conducting successful searches for system leaders, meeting with our state lawmakers, campus and community shareholders, and collaborating with the campus partners to develop strategies for addressing financial and enrollment challenges. He also set the stage to make SIU a national leader in Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI), all aimed at bringing our campuses together to realize the true value of cooperation and collaboration. Today, the board wishes to recognize President Dan Mahony for his outstanding leadership and job performance.
The Board of Trustees believes that one of President Mahony’s hallmark accomplishments has been his ability to identify and hire strong leadership throughout the system. Just four months into his presidency, the hiring of SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane was a pivotal leadership decision in helping SIUC begin the process of reversing years of decline in enrollment, financial health, and overall well-being. In his three years on campus, Chancellor Lane has exceeded expectations. He is building a professional team that is restoring the reputation of a great institution which is evidenced by increasing applications, enrollment, partnerships, record-making contributions to the university foundation, and so many other positive gains that President Mahony cited in Chancellor Lane’s excellent evaluation, which the board discussed today.
The Board wants to also recognize and applaud Chancellor James Minor regarding the critical impact he has had since taking the helm at SIUE on March 1, 2022. During his short tenure, he has shown outstanding leadership in addressing SIUE’s significant budgetary challenges by reducing the structural debt and ensuring SIUE’s operations are on a solid financial footing in the future. Chancellor Minor is to be commended on SIUE’s foundation raising over $11.1 million last year - the most ever raised by private philanthropy in the university’s history. He has also successfully extended SIUE’s impact into the region by being present in the community, bringing together stakeholders and alumni to support the university and its mission. With an aggressive strategic plan, he is leading SIUE in charting a course that will reap great rewards in many areas, including student enrollment which has shown a positive trend in freshman retention over the previous year. The creation of new student success programs championed by Dr. Minor have been key in this area.
As a system, we have realized a record year in fundraising; overall improvement in freshman enrollment since 2019; continued national recognition for our ADEI efforts; the expanding reach of our outstanding healthcare providers, academic educators and researchers; growing strength and stability in our financial health; and a renewed spirit of cooperation and collaboration across our campuses. These are the trademarks of our system and campus leadership. These are the highlights of the presidential and chancellor evaluations the SIU Board of Trustees discussed today. We wholeheartedly endorse their performance and look forward to their continued success in the coming year.”
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