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Flanagan gone, Dietz on damage control

Archive Photo: Larry Dietz, former Vice President of Student Affairs, was appointed ISU’s 19th president Saturday.

Archive Photo:
Larry Dietz, former Vice President of Student Affairs, was appointed ISU’s 19th president Saturday.

After just seven months in office, Timothy Flanagan resigned as president of Illinois State University Saturday. The Board of Trustees has appointed student affairs vice president Larry Dietz as the 19th president.

The move was a result of Saturday’s special Board of Trustees meeting. The Board released the information discussed to the public after meeting in an executive session.

After serving as president for seven months, Flanagan’s resignation was accepted Saturday morning and he will be paid a one-time lump sum of $480,418.

“The Board of Trustees thanks Dr. Flanagan for his service and wishes him well in future endeavors,” Board Chairperson Michael McCuskey said.

No reason has been given for Flanagan’s resignation, as the negotiations only took place this week.

Flanagan has been under public scrutinity since the assault allegation against a former superintendent, R. Patrick Murphy, in December.

“I appreciate the experience of working with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State, but, after discussion with the Board, I have decided it would be best that I pursue other opportunities,” Flanagan said in a statement released by ISU.

“Today is really about the university moving forward. It’s not about the past; the past is over,” McCuskey said.

Effective immediately, Dietz will take over as president of ISU and will serve through June 30, 2017 with an annual salary of $350,000. He was a finalist in last year’s five-month search for Al Bowman’s successor as the 18th president.

“I think that Dietz’s appointment was long overdue,” criminal justice department chair Jackie Schneider said. “I’ve always had the upmost respect for Larry Dietz.”

“In the climate of great change at Illinois State, the board believes that excellent leadership exists on this campus, and there is no need to repeat a long and expensive search process which was completed just a short time ago,” McCuskey said.

“The Board of Trustees believes that Dr. Larry Dietz will continue to provide exemplary leadership and integrity that will allow Illinois State University to continue to excel and move forward in its core visions of teaching, research and service.”

Dietz gave his first speech as president to conclude the Board meeting, expressing his gratitude to his colleagues, family and ISU’s students while discussing priorities and goals for his presidency.

“The institution is really about the legacy this place has had since 1857. It’s had a very rich history, and it will have a very bright future regardless of who’s in this role,” Dietz said.

“I’m just delighted to build on the tradition, the legacy, and the excellence of ISU.”

Dietz’s first priorities will be to meet with the chief of staff, appoint a new provost, replace his position and look at the university’s budget.

“I am humbled and excited about this opportunity. We have lots to do that will take all of us to do it, so let’s get to work,” Dietz said.

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