Richard F. Wilson, President
Illinois Wesleyan University
Richard F. Wilson has served as the President of Illinois Wesleyan University since 2004.
Over the last 11 years, Wilson has led two strategic planning efforts, strengthened the University’s financial position, and conducted 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 life in a global society, 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 helped secure more than $141 million toward the campaign’s original goal of $125 million. The campaign has resulted in a significant increase in scholarships and professorships, academic and extracurricular scholarship support for students and endowed professorships for the faculty, as well as several new facilities including State Farm Hall, a state-of-the-art classroom building.
Wilson earned master and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Alderson-Broaddus College, West Virginia. 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.
Dr. Wilson has served as chair of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, a board member of EIIA, an organization providing insurance and risk management services for colleges and universities, and serves on the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities’ Committee on Accountability. He is also chair of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Council of Presidents and serves on the Division III President’s Advisory Group of the NCAA.