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New Leadership for WIU Board

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Courtesy WIU
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The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will have someone new leading its next meeting.

Trustees chose Doug Shaw to be their new chairperson. He had been vice chairperson. Board members also elected Erik Dolieslager to serve as vice chairperson and Kisha Lang to serve as board secretary.

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Credit Courtesy WIU
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Doug Shaw

Shaw replaced Polly Radosh, who served as chairperson the past two years, the maximum allowed by board rules.

Radosh led the board during the search for Western’s next president – a search that at times proved contentious, and which took place while the institution was forced to adjust its operations due to the pandemic.

In addition, WIU dealt with an on-campus shooting this past fall.

Several trustees praised Radosh for her leadership.

Trustee Patrick Twomey said, “You had the board chair at one of the most difficult times in this university’s history,” to which Radosh replied, “You’re not kidding!”  as fellow trustees laughed.

Twomey, who is Superintendent of the Macomb School District, said he had a front row seat as Radosh basically worked full-time to help guide WIU through some difficult challenges.

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Credit Courtesy WIU
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Polly Radosh

“As a member of the Macomb community and as an alumnus, I am eternally grateful for the last two years because of the amount of time and effort and heart you put into this,” he said.

Trustee Carin Stutz was effusive in her praise.

“Women often fail because they don’t have the grit and they don’t have the confidence. I have never seen a stronger woman put up with the rest of us when you sat in this chair and took it like a champ and never wavered. That is strong leadership and I have full respect for you,” Stutz said.

Trustee Lang concurred, saying she would put an exclamation point on Stutz’s remarks -- even though Lang publicly criticized Radosh’s leadership at times the past two years.

The BoT’s next meeting will also feature a new board member. Kinsey Tiemann will replace Justin Brown as the board’s student member. Brown stepped down after completing his studies at WIU.

Western students elect the student member of the BoT. The governor appoints the board’s other seven members.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.