EIU President Bill Perry Leaving in 2015

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Published on March 27 2014 2:02 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

Eastern Illinois University President Bill Perry announced today that he will complete his service as president in 2015, consistent with the ending date of his contract.

 Perry said that he made his decision at this time in order for the university to have ample time to search for the next president of EIU. Perry noted in his email to the campus that in his remaining tenure he will continue to work with the campus to "forge opportunities and meet our challenges, always with an eye to providing the very best higher education experience for our students."

Perry began serving as EIU president in 2007, moving to Eastern from Texas A&M University where he had served since 1971 in professorial and administrative roles. EIU Board Chairman Joe Dively said that the board will reluctantly accept Perry's decision.

"We do appreciate the notice Dr. Perry has given," he said, "so that we have the time to find the right individual as EIU's eleventh president." Dively also noted that Perry has put a comprehensive enrollment management plan into place which has reversed enrollment declines and started a slow but steady growth in the number of new students at EIU. "And his leadership was critical in helping us meet and exceed our goal in our recent capital fundraising campaign," he said. "What's more, under his administration, we've had four straight years of record-setting giving to the university."

Dively noted that the timing of Perry's retirement will allow the university to complete a comprehensive program review begun earlier this year. The review is designed to examine every aspect and program of the university and adjust the budget and programs to ensure a sustainable future for Eastern Illinois University. "Dr. Perry has created an atmosphere of excellence and helped lead the university to become more student-focused than ever," Dively said. "He has been a hard-working leader and his shoes will be hard to fill."

The next step for the board of trustees will be the appointment of a search committee and the start of a national search for Perry's successor. That committee will be discussed at the next board meeting in April and the search will likely start over the summer.