Eric R. Jensen
The 19th President of Illinois Wesleyan University
Eric Jensen became Illinois Wesleyan's 19th president in 2015.
Under his leadership, Illinois Wesleyan has increased economic, ethnic, geographic and racial diversity in its incoming classes, exemplified by efforts such as the University’s new partnership with the Posse Foundation. He has steered the University toward a concerted emphasis on experiential learning opportunities for students across the curriculum, highlighting the exceptional nature of the Illinois Wesleyan experience for a national and international audience.
Eric began his academic career as an economics and public policy professor at the College of William and Mary, where he served as director of the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy. On research leaves from William and Mary, he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow based in Washington, DC and Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He has worked internationally on fertility and maternal and child health, largely in South and Southeast Asia; on modeling the impact of financial aid on college attendance in the United States as part of a team assembled by the College Board; and in collaboration with undergraduate students, on the determinants of Mexican migration to the United States. President Jensen came to Illinois Wesleyan after serving as provost at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
He earned both his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Michigan, and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Miami. He hails from Homewood, Illinois and is married to Elizabeth, a former middle school science teacher, who grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In his spare time, Eric enjoys attending Titan games; walking Calvin, the family dog; playing guitar and mandolin; and the occasional round of golf. The Jensens have two grown children: Joe, a graduate of the College of Wooster, and Jessica, a graduate of Earlham College.