Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy named 20th president of Illinois State University, first female

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The search for a new president at Illinois State University is finally over after months of interviews and multiple candidates.

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University (ISU) is hosted a press conference Friday May 14 introducing Larry Dietz’s replacement, Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy as the 20th president of the university.

Kinzy is the first female president of ISU. More than 60 people from the campus community helped in the search for the new president.

Kinzy is replacing the 19th president, Larry Dietz who is retiring. She said she hopes to build off of his successes.

“I’m grateful to follow someone who has seen an institution through the challenges that have faced your institution particularly and higher education in general,” Goss-Kinzy said.

Dr. Kinzy has more than 25 years of experience in higher education and is currently the Vice President of research and innovation at Western Michigan University, but said she’s excited to be Redbird.

“The academic programs are strong, the athletics are very exciting, the volleyball team is good; cant wait to see them. So the faculty, students and staff; they’re people you can tell that want to be great and I want to help them do that,” Goss-Kinzy said.

Some challenges Kinzy is facing from the start is the ongoing student worker contract negotiations as well as navigating ISU out of a pandemic. She said she’s confident her leadership style can resolve both issues.

“I believe in being a person that has good people that have great ideas and that you empower them and support them to do that as one. I’d say (leadership style) is one of dialogue; so listening, giving feedback and hearing ideas,” Goss-Kinzy said.

“Dr. Kinzy rose to the top of a deep, diverse, and talented pool of candidates, and we are thrilled she will be the next president of Illinois State University,” said Board Chair Julie Annette Jones.

“She is a forward-thinking leader who is personally committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as University and community engagement. As we welcome Dr. Kinzy to campus, I also want to thank the great many students, faculty, staff, and alumni who participated in the search process, along with our University support and WittKieffer consultants. Throughout the search process, Illinois State’s shared governance model once again displayed its steadfast integrity and effectiveness.”   

Julie Annette Jones, Board Chair

Dietz announced his retirement in November 2020.

The board voted unanimously to approve Kinzy to the position.

On a personal note, Kinzy is married and has two kids; a son, daughter and also a grandson.

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