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WIU Board Poised to Hire New University President

Nov 11, 2020

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, November 16, to announce the school's new president.

A release from the university said the board will be asked to approve hiring Dr. Guiyou Huang. He has served as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania since July, 2019.

If hired, Huang will become the 12th president in Western’s history. The previous president, Dr. Jack Thomas, stepped down at the end of June, 2019.

Dr. Guiyou Huang
Credit Courtesy WIU

During an online meeting last month with WIU administrative and civil service employees, Huang was asked how he would boost Western’s undergraduate enrollment. Huang said he has made recruitment and retention a priority at his current job.

“I have stressed the importance of what I call the three “R” principle: recruit, retain, and revenue,” said Huang. He added it’s important to develop programs that are marketable and viable. “Programs that have real marketed needs,” he said.

Among his previous jobs, Huang served as Chancellor of Louisiana State University of Alexandria from January, 2017 to June, 2019; and as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont from July, 2010 to December, 2016.

The WIU BoT interviewed six candidates for the presidency, including Dr. Martin Abraham. WIU hired Abraham to serve as its provost starting July 1, 2019, but he has served as interim president since coming to Western.

Huang’s Thoughts on Public Radio

During the session with administrative and civil service workers, Huang was also asked whether he believes Tri States Public Radio is an important element of the campus community and whether he would advocate for the university supporting the station financially.

“The way I view media, like a radio station, like social media, they are important. They represent the organization that houses it. It can be a mouthpiece for the university, especially when we emphasize the importance of marketing and communications. I would use that radio station to market our programs, to share our news in the community as well,” he said.

Huang said he understood the university supported the station to some degree “but not the whole nine yards.” He said he would need to learn more about the station before he could speak more about it.

He concluded his response by saying, “A radio station is something like social media. We can use it to sell the university. And then the university should have a responsibility to support it as well.”

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