The New President of Illinois State University says the position is an important job, not just for students but for economic and social well being of the nation. Tim Flanagan is leaving the top job at Framingham State in Massachusetts to take the helm at the much larger ISU starting in mid August. During the campus announcement of Flanagan as the successor to the retiring Al Bowman, Flanagan quoted Horace Mann in saying Normal Schools such as ISU are an important American creation that has served the country well over the last 175 years.
"Suitable for the richest and available to the poorest people in states. And I think that is a tradition that serves to frame importantly the mission of these institutions as they have grown into terrific comprehensive public universities."
Flanagan says he looks forward to getting to know the students at ISU and feels it is an incredible privilege working with young people and seeing the transformation they make during their time on campus.
"Ultimately the reputation of any institution of higher education in the long run is developed and sustained by the accomplishments of its alumni, its graduates."
Flanagan acknowledges the challenge created by the trend toward fewer and poorer high school graduates will require universities to reach out and groom high school students to prepare them better for college.. He also says government de-funding of higher education will require more private fundraising and a renewed articulation of the case for college as a public good. Current President Al Bowman will step down next week. Provost Sheri Everts will be the interim President until Flanagan takes up the post in the fall.
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