Office of the President

Presidential Accomplishments

Academic Year 2013-2014


Presidential Initiatives further advance Higher Values in Higher Education’s goals and priorities.


Academic Programs

  • Enhance the Quality of Western Illinois University Academic Programs and Services in general
    • Retention of first time-freshmen from Fall to Spring improved 8.5%, from 82.2% in to 90.7%
    • Received the 2014 Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award
    • All incoming freshman were required to take a University 100 course and meet with a Building Connections Mentor as a part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program
    • Admission standards were increased for student entering Fall 2014
  • Honors Program
    • Student participation in Undergraduate Research Day increased from 197 in 2013 to 214 in 2014
    • Increased enrollment of 726 students, up 212 students since 2011, with underrepresented students accounting for 22% of the total
    • Enrolled 11 new full-time freshmen in the first Quad Cities Honors Cohort
    • Named among the top master’s degree granting institutions in the number of Fulbright Scholars during 2013 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Nominated students for Rhodes, Truman, Udall and other prestigious scholarship programs. This past year WIU had its first finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award.
    • Signed a new articulation agreement with Rivermont Collegiate Academy that allows high schools students to take and earn college credit for WIU courses during their senior year of high school
  • Graduate Studies
    • Named one of the largest physics master’s degree granting departments from the American Institute of Physics (AIP)
    • Signed a new agreement with Palmer College that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Western and a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College
  • Ph. D. in Environmental Science
    • Received IBHE and Higher Learning Commission approval. Courses begin Fall 2014 at the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus
  • Ph. D. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration – for future consideration   
  • Ph. D. in Instructional Technology – for future consideration


Macomb Campus Master Plan

  • The Center for the Performing Arts
    • Design completed
    • The Governor announced the release of funds for the Center for the Performing Arts
  • Entryway to Campus
    • Grand Entryway completed
  • Completed Science Study programming
  • Completed Steam Line renovations
  • University Union Renovations – ongoing
  • Electronic classroom remodels – ongoing
  • Campus beautification projects – ongoing
  • Western Hall Main Arena floor replaced
  • Completed Class Room Space Study
  • Hanson Field Scoreboard
  • Completed Thompson Hall renovation
  • Thompson Hall Lobby renovation
  • North Campus Residence Hall Wireless Access
  • Horn Lodge residence
  • Agriculture – Greenhouse

Quad Cities Campus Master Plan

  • Complete Quad Cities Riverfront Campus
    • Phase II Construction – completed Summer 2014
      • Opening Fall 2014
      • Pursuing LEED Gold Certification
    • Phase III Planning and Construction – Programming study
  • Legislation to retain the proceeds of the sale of the 60th Street property passed the House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Enrollment Management

  • Increase Funding for Scholarships for Retention and High Achieving Students – ongoing
    • The University awarded over $6.2 million in scholarship support.
  • Increased grant funding for students, allowing attendance, continued attendance and/or reduction in loan volume.     
  • Due to MAP Grant reductions, Financial Aid conducted a successful campaign to increase the number of early FAFSA applications, resulting in a 25% increase in applications by March 1. The successful FAFSA campaign last year resulted in $1M more in MAP funding than last year.
  •  Developed a student employment program for 185 new freshman
    • Received a record 10,554 new freshmen applications, for the Fall 2013 semester.
    • Improved the academic quality of the freshmen class improving average ACT from 20.7 in 2012 to 21.1 in 2013 and average GPA from 3.04 in 2012 to 3.11 in 2013.
    • Continued the Western Commitment Scholarship Program in order to award students with excellent academic ability and demonstrated achievement in high school by offering 4-year scholarships towards the cost of attendance at Western Illinois University.
    • For the Fall 2014 semester, 46 student accepted Centennial Honors Scholarships and plan to enroll. These scholarships are offered to high school students with an ACT score of 32 or higher (top 2 percent of test-takers in the nation), and a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
    • Opened a new office in the St. Louis metropolitan area for recruiting
  • Increase the Number of International Agreements and International Students – ongoing
    • Visited nine embassies in Washington, D.C., including: South Korea, Japan, Peru, China, Ecuador, Brazil, Botswana, Thailand, and Chile
    • International relationships were cultivated with nations including: Botswana, Brazil, China, India, Myanmar and Thailand
    • Continued relationships with Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and many others
    • Visited South Korea in May 2014 to cultivate long-standing relationships
    • WIU participated in a Higher Education Trade Mission to China again in 2014 as a result of the University’s increased presence in international education
    • Hosted foreign delegations on campus at the president’s residence, including China, Japan, Myanmar, South Korea and Thailand
  • Continue to Enhance Marketing to Tell the WIU Story, Including Increased Advertising – ongoing
    • Increased visibility in west central Illinois and throughout the state/border states via billboards, commercials, print ads, radio and theatre ads to raise awareness for WIU the university of choice
    • Began digital signage campaign at 15 high school arenas/fields/gyms throughout central Illinois and Iowa
    • Developed new 15 and 30 second commercials for airing on television and in theatres throughout the state (and in border states - WI, IN, IA, MO)
    • Broadened marketing efforts to include border states (WI, IN, IA, MO)
    • Continued branding efforts through Think Purple campaign
    • Installed new WIU banners throughout the community
    • Launched digital marketing campaign to include Pandora and YouTube

Campus Collaboration

  • Diversify the Campuses – ongoing
    • Enhanced overall campus diversity from 20% in Fall 2010 to 29% in Fall 2013
  • Renegotiated contracts with UPI and other unions
  • Hold President’s Roundtable Meetings with faculty – ongoing
  • Host Town Hall Meetings – ongoing
  • Provide budget updates
  • Host Annual Legislative Reception in Springfield
  • Initiate exploration of new student and financial data systems – ongoing
  • Manage continued budget and cash flow issues to minimize impacts on students, faculty, and staff – ongoing
  • Requested comprehensive update of the Institutional Strategic Plan for Technology – completed

Alumni Relations

  • Met and hosted President’s National Advisory Board twice
  • Higher Values in Higher Education campaign completed December 31, 2013
    • Exceeded campaign goal of $60 million. Approximately $62 million was raised, with the University's endowment growing from $16 million to $42 million. Total Foundation assets now exceed $55 million
    • Recorded planned gift of $2 million to support Center for Performing Arts
    • Launched a short-term special 'NCAA 6th Fan' scholarship fund drive following WIU's participation in the 6th Fan Contest championship, which has raised $58,000 for students in need
    • Created the new WIU Philanthropy Club to assist in creating a culture of giving among current students
    • Increased total number of direct mail gifts for Fall ‘13 Annual Fund initiatives
    • Continued WIU Think Purple campaign locally, with 62 area business participating in 2013-14 campaign

Professional Development

  • Continue to Support Faculty Travel Awards – ongoing
    • Provided 206 grants worth $65,594 through the Provost Travel Award, to provide assistance to faculty doing research beyond their departments and colleges
  • 234 WIU faculty (Unit A & B) and ASPs received PAA Awards totaling $355,340
  • Enhance Technology for Faculty and Staff – ongoing
  • Funds were distributed to the Colleges and the Library to address various needs. These included:
    • Horrabin Hall 60 technology upgrade
    • Computer Sciences – Virtual Reality Lab
    • Biology – Truck for use at Kibbe
    • Broadcasting – HD Equipment
    • LEJA – Crime Lab
  • $75,000 was given to uTech to address technology needs related to bandwidth
  • One Time Funds were given to upgrade classrooms in Tillman (Nursing), and Simpkins rooms 207, 208 and 133 (WESL)
  • Successfully negotiated with the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) for the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment for Phase II of Riverfront Campus


  • Long Term Planning Committee – ongoing
    • The Board receives quarterly updates on the plan that was approved June 2013
  • Strategic Enrollment Management – started Fall 2011 – ongoing
  • Higher Learning Commission Persistence and  Completion Academy – ongoing
    • Committees with representation from both campuses are studying and engaging in continuous process improvements related to increasing the persistence and completion rates of students in Macomb, the Quad Cities, and those enrolled in distance education.


*contingent upon the release of state funding