(Larry Dietz is congratulated by Board of Trustees members after being named 19th university president.)
Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan has resigned. Flanagan did not attend a special meeting Saturday of the governing Board of Trustees, which accepted his resignation unanimously. The Board also unanimously chose Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Dietz to replace Flanagan. Dietz was given a three year contract at an annual salary of $350,000 to become the 19th ISU president. Flanagan is being investigated by ISU police after a former campus employee accused him of assault. After a short board meeting which included about an hour a half executive session over lunch, Board of Trustees Chair Mike McCuskey wouldn't comment on the terms of Flanagan's resignation except to say Flanagan gave no reason for stepping down. His severance package includes a payment of $480,418 and occupancy of the official ISU residence through May.
In a prepared statement, Flanagan is quoted as saying, "I appreciate the experience of working with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State, but after discussion with the board, I have decided it would be best to pursue other opportunities." Dietz was a finalist for the president's position a year ago following former President Al Bowman's retirement. McCuskey says that process helped Dietz win the approval of academic leaders on campus, with whom McCuskey says he met prior to the special meeting. McCuskey says, since a national search for a new president occured less than a year ago, it made no sense to do another one, or find an interim replacement.
The complaint filed against Flanagan accuses him of assaulting a former employee while complaining about the care of the president's lawn. There was no mention of the incident at the special meeting and there was no action taken concerning the former grounds superintendent, whom Flanagan fired. ISU Chief of Staff Jay Groves said the university would have no additional comment. Flanagan was also under campus consternation after failing to attend meetings deemed important by university officials, including two legislative appropriations hearings in Springfield attended by Dietz.
Hear the Board of Trustees accepting the resolutions concerning Flanagan's resignation and Dietz' hiring.
Hear 19th ISU President Larry Dietz's remarks to the Board.
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