Richard F. Wilson has served as the President of Illinois Wesleyan University since 2004.
Over the last 10 years, Wilson has given special attention to implementing a strategic plan for Illinois Wesleyan, strengthening the University’s financial position, and conducting the largest fund-raising campaign in the school’s history. These efforts have resulted in progress on many strategic initiatives, including increased attention to assessment of student learning in academic programs, expansion of efforts related to community engagement and globalization, growth in domestic and international student diversity, and increased commitment to sustainability, including construction of the first LEED certified building on the Wesleyan campus.
Under Wilson's leadership, the University successfully completed a new strategic plan, IWU 2020, which was adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 2014.
He has made the Transforming Lives fund-raising campaign a priority and thus far has helped secure more than $114 million toward the campaign’s $125 million goal, which encompasses endowed scholarships and professorships, academic and extracurricular program support, and new facilities.
Wilson earned master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of Michigan. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from Alderson-Broaddus College, where he began his career in higher education as Director of Admissions. He is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies.
Prior to his appointment at Illinois Wesleyan, Wilson held several leadership positions over a 26-year period at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, culminating as Associate Chancellor for Development and Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation.
In 2013, Wilson was elected to serve a second term as chair of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. He also is on the board of EIIA, an organization providing insurance and risk management services for colleges and universities. He is a board member for the McLean County Historical Society, the Illinois Wesleyan Board of Trustees, and the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area.
President Wilson and his wife, Dr. Patricia Wilson, have two married children, Adam and Rachel.