Dietz with Reporters

Vidette News Editors Kellie Foy and Grace Kinnicutt meet with President Larry Dietz for The Vidette's annual "Deets on Dietz" interview. 

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz will have served in his position for seven years by the end of this academic year. Upon his decision to retire, it is only suiting to adhere to a reflection of his journey in education and with ISU.

Dietz earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He later attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He earned his master’s degree in higher education/student personnel and his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Iowa State University.

Dietz has been known for his renowned comfort phrase, “strong and stable." He has kept ISU’s rankings above par throughout his time serving, as the university stays among the top ranked in the nation, with its very strong retention rate, top 10% graduation rate and exceedingly low student loan default rate. ISU has also achieved record-breaking fundraising under Dietz's supervision.

Dietz has been an advocate for diversity and global education. He has represented the American Universities Iraq Consortium on a panel with Prime Minister Al-Malaki as well as SIUC at the Iraq Education Initiative in Baghdad. He also held responsibility for SIUC’s campus in Japan. He has negotiated and compromised with educational institutions in the Czech Republic, China, Germany, Kuwait and Malaysia.

Dietz has additionally earned several honorary awards. He received the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Legacy of Excellence Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Mission Award from the American Heart and Stroke Association. He also received the Missouri Valley Conference Outstanding Leadership Award as chair of the MVC President’s Council.

He has served on an abundance of local non-profit agency committees along with his wife, Marlene, as their co-chaired events for the American Red Cross, Easter Seals, March of Dimes, Illinois Symphony and Marcfirst.

The following timeline encompasses President Dietz’ further accomplishments and contributions throughout his career.

October 1972

Dietz works as the assistant to the vice president for Student Affairs for almost 13 years at Iowa State University.

August 1985

Dietz begins working as an assistant, associate and vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and holds his position for almost 15 years.

April 2000

Dietz works as the vice chancellor of Student Affairs at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for 11 years.

June 2011

Dietz enters Illinois State University and begins work as the vice president of Student Affairs, serving for almost three years and as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations.

March 22, 2014

Dietz assumes the position of the 19th president of Illinois State University.

Sept. 2014

Dietz delivers his first State of the University Address as president. 

July 2015

Dietz managed ISU through the 793-day Illinois budget impasse financial crisis until August 2017.

Summer of 2016

Dietz appoints the Campus Climate Task Force to address the Campus Climate Assessment Report for ISU.


The implementation team of the Campus Climate Task Force began work.

Feb. 16, 2017

ISU alumna, now actress Jane Lynch is given an honorary degree by Dietz during the Founders Day Convocation.

April 18, 2017

Dietz attends the 24th annual Red Cross Evening of the Stars at the Marriot Hotel in Uptown Normal along with his wife Marlene Dietz and David Ross.

August 2017

The Board of Trustees renews Dietz's contract as Dietz's administration replaces chief of staff position with assistant to the president position. 

September 2017

Dietz announces formation of the Diversity Executive Council at the State of the University address.

September 2018

Dietz is selected to help Google distribute money toward nonprofit organizations throughout the state and serves on the Google’s Illinois Impact Challenge's local adviser panel. 

December 2018

Dietz is named to Gov. JB Pritzker's transition committee for education, the Educational Success Committee.

October 2019

An #AntiBlackISU protest takes place, questioning ISU's values of diversity and inclusion. The protest and social media threads spark conversation about racism issues on-campus. Dietz's administration begins meeting with students to address these issues and work on diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

February 2020

The Board of Trustees awards Dietz a performance bonus of $48,000 on top of his base salary of $375,000.

July 9

Dietz delivers an address on how ISU plans to reopen in the fall of 2020 during a news conference in ISU’s Brown Ballroom.

November 20

Dietz announces retirement plans for June of 2021 and has become the longest serving president of ISU.

“It is my hope — and I think the hope of every university president — to leave an institution stronger than when they arrived. As a community, we have done more than stay strong and stable. We have forged a new path for a bright future," Dietz said in a statement. 

June 2021

Dietz retires as the university's 19th president. 

YASMIN ODEH is a News Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter at @yasminodeh3

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