NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois State University’s president delivered her annual state of the university address Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy, the 20th president in ISU history, is in her second year at the institution. Kinzy’s speech Tuesday was upbeat and positive about the future five years and decade for the school.
One of Kinzy’s biggest talking points was the largest freshman class in 35 years at ISU. This fall, ISU welcomed 3,983 freshmen for the 2022-2023 school year when the semester began in August.
Of that number, 37% of the freshmen come from underrepresented groups. Kinzy said Tuesday, ISU is expanding its efforts at diversity by welcoming the Office of Equity and Inclusion. It’s set to be housed in Old Union.
“They’ll have a space for programming, have a space for meetings, the staff they hire when they get here,” Kinzy said.
Kinzy elaborated that the office will work with other university departments and the campus multicultural center to develop more programming for minority students and staff at ISU.
“Our goal is to make sure that we’re accommodating in every possible way for people that come with different life experiences, different backgrounds, different races, different political points of view. All of those are important for the rich environment that a university provides,” Kinzy said.
The president is also excited about new developments and buildings on campus. ISU’s college of engineering will open by 2025 and welcome its inaugural class then.
“We’re already very strong in STEM, we’re very proud of our math programs, our physics programs so it’ll allow us to expand that,” Kinzy said.
A new esports facility will open next month at the Bowling and Billiards Center. At over 11,000 sq feet, it will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the nation.