Illinois State University’s first-female president reflects on goals, first two weeks

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois State University’s new president started July 1st and is already two weeks into the job.

Dr. Terri Goss-Kinzy was named ISU’s 20th president and first-ever female president earlier this year. She’s replaced the retired, Larry Dietz.

Kinzy comes to ISU from Western Michigan University, where she was the school’s vice president for Research and Innovation.

She is a tenured professor of biological sciences.

Kinzy said Thursday that ISU has tremendous potential to grow its national reputation. She said her goals in the first year are navigating out of a pandemic and continuing forward with the school’s proposed engineering school.

“That has a lot of potential to really impact the state and our region, but also a chance to grow one of the really important disciplines where we have a great need for the workforce in the State of Illinois and the country,” Kinzy said.

Kinzy said in the long-term, she hopes the university can become not just a local problem solver, but also help address national issues too.

“There’s a nursing shortage, a K-12 teacher shortage, and those happen to be areas where we’re particularly strong. It’s a question of how can we build that capacity while maintaining the high quality, student-focused experience we provide at Illinois State,” Kinzy said.

She said she hopes to use knowledge from her previous experiences at ISU.

“When you come from a different institution, you have that outside perspective and different experiences. And to bring together what you find at your new institution and what you learned at your past institution, you come to realize there’s some generalities of higher-education and it can be very helpful to explain to people that they’re not facing this alone,” Kinzy said.

ISU is planning for a more traditional college experience this fall and Kinzy said she looks forward to meeting and greeting with Redbirds.

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