Committee Named for Presidential Search

Feb. 5, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—The process of identifying the 19th president of Illinois Wesleyan University is moving forward with the naming of a 19-member search committee, which will include members of the board of trustees, faculty, staff and students.

Board of Trustees Chair George A. Vinyard '71 said that the search committee will begin its work immediately with the objective of conducting a thorough national search and the goal of identifying the best possible successor to outgoing President Richard F. Wilson, as quickly as practicable.  Wilson, who has served as president with distinction for the past 11 years, announced his planned retirement in December 2014 with the intention of stepping down at the end of the academic year, or as soon after that as his successor is in place.

“There are few events in the life of a University that are more important than the transition of presidential leadership. I believe this observation has been borne out in the very successful presidency of Dick Wilson and I will charge this committee with taking the time and making the effort necessary to conduct another successful search for his successor,” said Vinyard. 

Chairing the search committee will be Jean M. Baird, a Bloomington resident and longtime senior executive with State Farm Insurance Companies. Baird, a 1980 Illinois Wesleyan graduate, serves as secretary of the board of trustees, was co-chair of the Transforming Lives fundraising campaign, and is a past-president of the alumni association.

In addition to Baird, nine other trustees were appointed to the search committee, including:  Thomas L. Brown '79, vice president and CFO of RLI, a specialty insurance company in Peoria; Ceasar Douglas, Jr. '75, chair and Jim Moran Professor of Management at Florida State University; Herbert A. Getz '77, president of Aspen Creek Partners real estate development, Naperville; Marsha A. Guenzler-Stevens '78, director of the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland; Thomas C. McKinney, Jr.  '76, pediatrician with St. Louis Pediatric Associates, Chesterfield, Mo.; Sundeep V. Mullangi '97, senior managing director of PPM America investment management, Chicago; Laura C. Randolph '92, a Bloomington plastic surgeon; J. William Roberts '64, managing partner of Hinshaw & Culbertson attorneys at law, Chicago and Springfield; and Steven J. Wannemacher '73, vice chair of Heritage Enterprises, Bloomington.

The committee will include five members of the IWU faculty:  Wes Chapman, chair and professor of English; Vickie Folse, director and the Caroline F. Rupert Chair of Nursing; James Matthews, chair and associate professor of French; Rebecca Roesner, chair and professor of chemistry; and Michael Young, the Robert W. Harrington Professor of History.

Representing the staff and administration will be: Patti Henderson, senior administrative assistant to the provost and dean of the faculty; and Michael Thompson, assistant vice president for institutional research, planning and evaluation.

Student representatives to the committee are:  Yolanda Juarez '17, vice president of the Spanish and Latino Students Association from Chicago; and Jake Thaker '17, president of the Student Senate, from West Des Moines, Iowa.

Supporting the search committee's work will be Carl Teichman '80, director of government and community relations, and an outside search consultant not yet named.