August 17, 2009

Fleege is new director of mortuary science program

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Anthony Fleege is the new director of the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Fleege, a faculty member in the program for a decade, assumed his new position this month. The MSFS program is part of the School of Allied Health in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

“The school and program look forward to Mr. Fleege’s leadership for continued excellence in the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale,” said Thomas Shaw, associate professor and acting director of the School of Allied Health.

Fleege, of Carterville, is a three-degree graduate of SIUC. He earned his MBA in 1999, his Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management in 1997 and his associate degree in applied sciences in 1995 at the University.

He’s been chief deputy coroner for Williamson County since 2002 and an associate professor in the MSFS program at SIUC since 2006. He was previously an assistant professor and a lecturer at the University. In addition, Fleege was a licensed funeral director and embalmer at the Riggin-Pillatsch Funeral Home in Carterville 1995-1999 and served as an intelligence analyst in Korea with the U.S. Army 1989-1992.

Fleege is particularly interested in the origin of American embalming from the Civil War era to today and alternative forms of disposition in funeral service.

Fleege and Shaw commended the program’s former director, Cydney Griffith, for her efforts the past 15 years.

“Her actions and efforts have contributed significantly to the success of the program today,” Shaw said. Griffith resigned as director effective Aug. 5 but will continue as a faculty member with the MSFS program.

The bachelor’s degree program typically has an enrollment of 60-75 students, according to Fleege. Initially an associate degree program, MSFS transitioned to a bachelor’s degree program in 1996.

Fleege said one of his goals is to increase the program’s enrollment, hopefully allowing the hiring of a fourth full-time faculty member.

“I look forward to the challenges of being program director for the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program. I appreciate the confidence my co-workers and college administration have entrusted in me by allowing me to take over as program director. I hope to carry on the rich tradition that has been established over the last 40-plus years here at SIUC.”