Framingham State president Timothy Flanagan to step down, take on presidency of Illinois State University
Flanagan, who is 61 years old and has served as president at Framingham State since 2006, is slated to begin his new job Aug. 15. His contract lasts for three years and will begin with a salary of $350,000, according to Illinois State officials.
At a press conference in Normal, Illinois this morning, Flanagan said he was attracted to Illinois State, which hosts a student body of over 20,000, because of the college's rigorous academic reputation, high rank among public colleges, and well-renowned faculty.
“Illinois State is recognized as a national leader for educating students who are prepared to take their place in this world,” Flanagan said in a statement. “The faculty is outstanding, not only committed to the classroom but also to research.”
Flanagan said over the phone Friday that the Illinois State job, which he was approached with in January, was the first he considered while at Framingham State.
"It's a much larger institution, so it's a much more comprehensive university," Flanagan said, adding that he hopes to foster close personal relationships with students and faculty there like he did at Framingham State. "There is a different set of challenges and opportunities."
Flanagan said he aims to focus on fundraising at Illinois State when he gets there, after he finishes wrapping up his capital investment campaign at Framingham State this summer.
"Illinois, like Massachusetts, has resource issues, so it's a challenge. We'll need real momentum going forward during these difficult budget times," he said, noting that his main goal is to keep the public university's education valuable with affordable costs. "Keeping higher education in reach of middle class kids is a challenge moving forward everywhere."
According to officials at Illinois State, Flanagan was selected from an extensive national search because of his experience as both a teacher and a leader, a track record of boosting school programs, and commitment to funding $175 million in capital projects during his tenure at Framingham State.
Framingham State's trustee board chairman, Joe Burchill, said the board would be discussing over the next few weeks who to select as interim president while it conducts a national search for a new president.
"We plan to compile a pool of exceptionally qualified and diverse candidates and are confident the next president of Framingham State University will continue to strengthen our reputation as one of the top public universities in Massachusetts," Burchill said in a statement.
Burchill also boasted Flanagan's accomplishments for the university over the past seven years. He noted that, under Flanagan's leadership, the university saw a healthy growth in enrollment and strong fiscal guidance through the economic recession. There was also a new state-of-the-art 410-bed dormitory dubbed North Hall; a new honors building; and additions and renovations to other buildings on campus, among other projects.
"President Flanagan’s legacy at Framingham State is secure," Burchill said. "We’ve expanded our undergraduate and graduate programs as well as our international education opportunities. It was also Dr. Flanagan’s leadership that led to our emergence as a leader in green energy and environmental stewardship."
Before his presidency at Framingham State, Flanagan served as provost and vice president for academic affairs of the State University of New York in Brockport for eight years. Prior to that, he served on the faculties of Marshall University, the State University of New York at Albany, and Sam Houston State University, where he was dean of the College of Criminal Justice.
Flanagan has also served the director of the Criminal Justice Research Center, a non-profit research organization in New York, and is a consultant to numerous federal and state criminal justice agencies.
He earned a bachelor's degree at Gannon University in Erie, Pa., a master's degree and PhD from the University at Albany, State University of New York, and various education programs and fellowships from Harvard University.
Flanagan will replace Illinois State's current president Al Bowman, who announced last December he would step down as president after serving the university for 35 years, the last decade as president.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com