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EIU Media Relations

EIU Presidential Search Advances; Names of Finalists Released


Three individuals have been invited to participate in on-site visits as Eastern Illinois University moves forward in its search for the institution's next president.

Following off-campus interviews with nine semi-finalists last week, the EIU Presidential Search Advisory Committee has invited William L. Perry, Blair M. Lord and Sue Kiefer Hammersmith to participate in on-site interviews the week of March 18.

"The committee was extremely pleased with the qualifications of the candidates who applied for this position," said Robert Webb, vice chair of Eastern's Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee. "And now we look forward to bringing these three finalists to campus to introduce them to the Eastern Illinois University family and to members of the community."

Following each of the on-site sessions, Eastern staff, faculty and students, as well as members of the community, will have the opportunity to offer written feedback. This information will be considered by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee as it prepares its final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Webb expects the final decision will be made in late March/early April.

William L. Perry has been with Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, since 1971, and currently serves as vice provost (2003 to present). He previously served as executive associate provost (1998-2002), dean of faculties and associate provost (1990-1998), associate dean for academic affairs, College of Sciences (1988-1990), and associate head of the Department of Mathematics (1977-1981).

He received his bachelor of arts in both mathematics and history from Park College (Missouri), and his master of arts degree and doctorate in mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Perry will be in Coles County and on Eastern's campus March 18 and 19.

Blair M. Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern since 2001, previously served as vice provost for academic affairs (1991-2001), acting vice provost for information services (1996-1997) and acting registrar (1995-1996) at the University of Rhode Island; senior assistant to the president for resource allocation, University of Rhode Island (1990-1991); American Council on Education Fellow, University of Bridgeport (Connecticut) (1988-89); and chair, Department of Finance and Insurance, University of Rhode Island (1981-1987).

He holds both a bachelor of arts degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of California at Davis .

Lord plans to meet with campus and community constituents on March 20 and 21.

Sue Kiefer Hammersmith, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay since 2002, previously served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ferris State University (Michigan) (1987-2002); dean of the University College, Ball State University (Indiana) (1985-1987); and assistant dean, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (1982-1985).

She holds a baccalaureate degree in anthropology and her master's degree and doctorate in sociology, all from Indiana University.

Hammersmith plans to be in Coles County and on Eastern's campus March 22 and 23 .

Resumes and interview schedules can be found on Eastern's Presidential Search website, located at

Eastern began its search for a new president when Louis V. Hencken announced in August 2006 that he planned to retire this year. His current contract expires June 30, 2007; he advised trustees, however, that, if need be, he was willing to remain in office after that date and until a new president can assume the office.

Hencken has been employed with the university for 41 years, the last six as president.



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