Illinois State University students met with Dr. Andy Morgan Thursday afternoon to discuss his experience at Indiana State University as he applies for the open position of assistant vice president/dean of students.
Students and Morgan discussed how he hopes to address some of the issues affecting LGBTQIA+ students and how he plans to communicate and reach out to students.
Morgan, who previously served as the dean of students at Indiana State, spoke about his efforts to promote student involvement.
He explained that during his time at Indiana State, he worked to be approachable and communicate with students to better understand and address their concerns — something he hopes to continue at Illinois State.
“We don’t just invite students to the table; we ask them what they want on the menu — listening to their needs, their concerns and addressing those. Intentionally asking those historically underrepresented populations for their voice,” Morgan said.
When asked about his involvement with students at Indiana State and how he planned to address student issues, Morgan explained that he wanted to continue having an open dialogue with students.
“That’s one of the reasons I went into student affairs, being around students, helping them be successful whenever they have those challenges and those hurdles,” Morgan said.
“The further you get up in administration, the further you get from students. You have to intentionally make the effort to go to the students, go where they are — and that’s what I’ve done,” Morgan continued.
Explaining how he planned to address the recent increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ behavior on campus, Morgan emphasized the importance of listening to the affected students and working to resolve those issues.
“Putting myself out there to have those conversations, reaching out to listen — not just to talk — about what are their concerns and their challenges and then taking action to resolve that. That’s something I will need to do especially early on, but I’ll need to do continually,” Morgan said.
Student trustee Ash Ebikhumi spoke about how he felt the meeting went.
“I think the candidate today did a great job telling his story about how he’s engaged and what his philosophy and engagement in interacting with students is like. I want to make sure that we have administrators who are proactive when it comes to engaging with students,” Ebikhumi said.
Morgan also addressed his decision to leave his position at Indiana State, explaining that working at Illinois State would allow him to live closer to his family and advance his career by working at a larger institution as well as noting the financial stability of the university.
“This is home; Illinois is home. Illinois State is 2.5 times larger than Indiana State, so professionally, it’s a bigger institution. Other schools in the state have been struggling with enrollment or finances, so that’s a testament to the leadership here,” Morgan said.