The president of Western Illinois University has resigned after 8 years in the role.
Jack Thomas, who has led the college based in Macomb and the Quad Cities in view that 2011, announced his choice to step down at a board of trustees meeting Friday and later issued a statement confirming his departure.
Thomas, 58, stated he would leave the workplace on June 30. Trustees later stated Thomas would pass on administrative leave via June 30, 2021, throughout which Western will retain to pay him his base salary of $270,528.
Thomas’ departure comes as trustees were scheduled to talk about a overall performance review and the terms of his contract. The board also scheduled Friday to lease a new provost, Martin Abraham, who will instead function as transient president till trustees can rent a period in-between chief.
Before becoming president, Thomas turned into provost and educational vp from 2008 to 2011.
“At this pivotal time in our history, I believe the university would fine be served with the aid of new leadership,” Thomas stated inside the announcement.
“It has been a privilege serving as president, provost, and as a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education in the course of this historical duration. Despite the problems our nation has faced concerning the price range and lack of population, our university remains resilient. We are a global-elegance university, and at some point of my very last days as president, I will work to make certain the entirety is in the vicinity for the new leadership to start the subsequent bankruptcy in Western’s history.”
After his departure, Thomas can be a part of the college as a tenured distinguished provider professor, effective July 1, 2021.
“President Thomas has been devoted and committed to serving our students,” board Chairman Greg Aguilar said in a statement. “He has mentored endless college students and impacted tens of heaps of lives for the coolest. Again, we desire to thank President Thomas for the leadership he has provided.”
As with a number of the nation’s universities, Western has struggled in recent years with falling enrollment and financial problems that ended in layoffs and furloughs of groups of workers and schools, falling credit ratings, and elimination of packages.
From a excessive of thirteen,602 college students in 2006, enrollment plummeted to 8,502 students final fall, a drop of greater than 37 percent.
There also had been more than one round of layoffs, including in March, whilst 132 employees have been permitting cross.
Thomas stated decreased kingdom investment, the country’s price range deadlock, population declines in the vicinity, and increases in students leaving Illinois for university all have contributed to Western’s woes.
“Without a doubt, I have needed to make some difficult selections — consisting of ones which have once in a while been very unpopular, however, though we’re constantly made with the first-class pastimes of the general University’s future at heart,” Thomas wrote.
Thomas’ departure is modern primary management shifts on the university. In March, Gov. J.B. Pritzker appointed an entirely new board, ushering in seven new trustees.
“The new board will recognition its efforts on revitalizing WIU’s pupil recruitment and outreach efforts, focusing investments on core programs, burnishing the college’s popularity and logo at some stage in the kingdom, and strengthening relationships with its surrounding communities,” the governor said at the time.