Dec. 15, 2014
TO: Illinois Wesleyan Faculty, Staff, and Students
FROM: Richard F. Wilson, President
I want to share with you my decision to retire as President of Illinois Wesleyan on July 31, 2015 (or as soon thereafter as the new president's appointment begins). First and foremost, I want you to know that it has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve as President of the University for the past eleven years. This has been an immensely rewarding experience for me, due to the dedication of the faculty and staff, the talent and engagement of students, and the loyalty of alumni and friends.
I have given this decision serious thought for several months and have concluded that this is a good time for a transition in leadership. In the last two years, we successfully completed the Higher Learning Commission's accreditation process; adopted IWU 2020, the new strategic plan for the University; and completed the Transforming Lives campaign, the University's largest fundraising effort in history. All of these accomplishments set the stage for someone else to provide the leadership required for the next decade.
Making this announcement in an email message is not very satisfying, and I look forward to those occasions during the course of the winter and spring when I can personally express my gratitude to each of you. I also want to use the months ahead to continue working with you on several important University priorities, particularly in relation to completing the transition to the new enrollment and budgeting model, implementing the initiatives defined in our new strategic plan, increasing private support for important programs and projects, and ensuring that we have a compensation plan for faculty and staff for next year and the foreseeable future. As you might expect, I also intend to be as helpful as possible to my successor once that person is named.
Although our personal plans for the future are somewhat indefinite at the moment, Pat and I know for sure that we want to make up for some lost time with our children and the six grandchildren who have been born since we arrived at IWU. We also have an extensive list of places we would like to visit and friendships we would like to renew.
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as the 18th President of Illinois Wesleyan and am grateful for the encouragement and support I have received from so many of you over the years. The loyalty and dedication of those connected to the University are defining characteristics. I shall miss the thoughtful interactions, exciting ideas, and shared sense of accomplishment that are so much a part of this community. At the same time, I shall cherish the memories of eleven years of work together that has been more fulfilling than I could ever have imagined.
With deepest appreciation,