Southern Illinois University System, one of only two public comprehensive, multi-campus university systems in the State of Illinois, seeks a president who deeply understands the intense pressures facing American higher education and demonstrates a history of affecting change to accommodate the dynamic nature of the global, information-based economy. The SIU System’s next president will thus play a central role in securing the future of this storied institution.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, categorized as a Carnegie Doctoral University: High Research Activity, has a School of Medicine in Springfield, a School of Law in Carbondale, and off-campus degree programs at military bases and civilian sites. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, designated as a Carnegie Doctoral/Professional University, has a School of Dental Medicine in Alton, a center in East St. Louis, and a School of Pharmacy in Edwardsville. Together the two institutions serve more than 26,000 students, offering 138 bachelors, 120 masters, and 39 doctoral degree programs. Their students come from all of Illinois’ 102 counties and every state in the nation. The SIU System enrolls more than 1,400 international students. The System has an annual budget of approximately $870 million. In addition, the State of Illinois directly funds about $379 million of the System’s employee benefits costs. Each of the Universities in the System has its own foundation, with combined assets in excess of $220 million.

The president of the Southern Illinois University System will be an experienced leader with established credibility within higher education. The president will possess an earned terminal degree and have played increasingly responsible leadership roles for one or more public research universities or university systems. A demonstrated record of accomplishment as an agent of constructive change and for making difficult decisions with integrity is required, as is substantive and successful experience developing and executing strategic plans. Experience working with governing boards is required, and a history of successful and productive relationships with governmental leaders and philanthropic supporters is strongly preferred. While it is not anticipated that the president will play a role in internal campus academic or administrative issues, the successful candidate will demonstrate a record of respect for the principles of shared governance. Successful leadership within a unionized environment is required, and experience with a geographically-distributed workforce is strongly preferred.

A full leadership profile is available at Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited and should be submitted via email to For fullest consideration application materials (including a letter of application, a curriculum vitae/resume, and the names and contact information for five references) should be received by August 30, 2019. Candidate confidentiality will be respected and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.

Material that must be mailed may be sent to:


Southern Illinois University

c/o Witt/Kieffer
Attention: Dennis M. Barden and Elizabeth K. Bohan
2015 Spring Road, Suite 510
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Confidential inquiries and questions may be directed to the Witt/Kieffer consultants supporting this search: Dennis M. Barden and Elizabeth K. Bohan, at 630-575-6152.

Southern Illinois University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans that strives to enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff and to increase its potential to serve a diverse student population. All applications are welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.