Introduction for President Jensen
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. The Jensens have two grown