Eric R. Jensen
The 19th President of Illinois Wesleyan University
Eric R. Jensen was named the 19th president of Illinois Wesleyan University on Sept. 14 and began his service to the University on Nov. 1, 2015.
Prior to being named president of Illinois Wesleyan, Jensen served as provost and chief academic officer at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota from 2012 to 2015. As Hamline provost, he oversaw undergraduate and graduate programming, academic advising, student affairs, intercollegiate athletics, the libraries and the international and diversity programs. In addition, Jensen had significant budgetary responsibility, working closely with the chief financial officer in developing the university’s overall budget. He also created a process to successfully deal with a significant budget shortfall that existed when he arrived at Hamline. His office funded the development of transformative, immersive courses offered variously on campus, in the Twin Cities, and abroad.
In 1982, President Jensen began his academic career as an economics and public policy professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. From 2004 to 2012, he served as director of the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at William and Mary.
An active scholar and researcher, Jensen has published numerous articles on the economics of demographic change, and has worked in a number of Asian countries as a Senior Fellow for the Honolulu-based East-West Center and as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow based in Washington, D.C. He has also been a Visiting Scholar in Economics at the University of Indonesia, and has worked on World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) projects in South and Southeast Asia. The Rockefeller Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Freeman Foundation have also supported his scholarly activity.
President Jensen 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. The Jensens have two grown children.