ISU President Resigns; VP For Student Affairs Named As Replacement
By Willis Kern
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 to become the 19th ISU president.
He was a finalist for the President's position a year ago following Al Bowman's retirement after ten years at the helm.
Flanagan is being investigated by ISU police after a former campus employee accused him of assault. The complaint filed against Flanagan accuses him of assaulting a former employee while complaining about the care of the president's lawn.
Board Chair Mike McCuskey said the earlier search helped Dietz win the approval of academic leaders on campus, with whom McCuskey says he met Saturday.
“They had no second guess – they thought it was a great choice," he said. "And they were willing to move forward with the choice. The purpose of today is moving forward."
McCuskey said 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.
Dietz, a former ISU administrator, said his quick appointment doesn't undermine his reliance on shared governance as a key value.
"After we're planned our work, we now need to work our plan," he said. "And we'll do so with shared governance, which is one of the hallmarks of Illinois State University."
Flangan received a $480,000 severance package. Dietz will be paid $350,000 annually for three years.
There was no mention of the allegation against Flanagan at the special meeting, and there was no action taken concerning the former grounds superintendent.
ISU Chief of Staff Jay Groves said the university would have no additional comment.