Former Eastern Illinois University President Lou Henken has agreed to serve as interim director of admissions for the university as it moves into a more aggressive recruiting program.
“Eastern is just beginning to reverse a multi-year decline in enrollments,” said Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “But we know the competition is just going to get tougher and we needed a proven manager to help lead our admissions team.”
Lord said the university is just beginning a nationwide search for a new admissions director but felt that it needed to begin the transition.
“Henken is an EIU graduate and an avid supporter of the university,” Lord said. “What’s more, when he was vice president of student affairs, he supervised the admissions department.
“But more than that, he has the proven management experience to help lead our admissions staff during this period of transition without losing any momentum,” he said.
University President William Perry said he was pleased that his predecessor remains so active and committed to Eastern.
“Lou has been a great role model, but he’s also willing to pitch in wherever he’s needed,” Perry said. “Growing enrollments has been a particularly challenging problem to solve, particularly in a difficult economic environment.
“Our staff has worked hard,” he continued, “but we know we need to do some things differently if we’re going to complete the turnaround.”
Henken will be replacing Brenda Major who will remain with the university, but will be assuming special duties in the athletics department.
“Major is a passionate advocate for students as well as a great spokesperson for the university,” according to Blair Lord. “We think her talents will be better used in her new position and look forward to her continued contribution to EIU.”