November 17, 2009
Poshard selects Cheng as next SIUC chancellor
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Rita Hartung Cheng, current provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard’s choice to lead the Carbondale campus.
“Dr. Cheng’s impressive academic qualifications, her extensive scholarship and her record of commitment to community and higher education service demonstrated to me an individual ready to lead this University with great passion and skill,” Poshard said.
Cheng, a licensed certified public accountant, holds a doctorate in management from Temple University and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. She has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since May 2005. UWM is a doctoral research university with 29,000 students. In her capacity as provost, Cheng is charged with overall responsibility for an operating budget of $400 million, including 850 faculty and 3,000 professional, support and administrative staff and more than 158 degree programs.
“My family and I look forward to being a part of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale community. We are excited and committed to the future progress of SIUC. I certainly am honored by the confidence President Poshard has shown in my abilities and I look forward to the challenges and successes that lie ahead for all of us,” Cheng said.
Poshard’s decision followed a nearly year-long selection process for a new chancellor, which included the appointment in May of a 19-member search committee co-chaired by Peggy Stockdale, professor of psychology and program director of Applied Psychology, and Tom Britton, associate professor of law and director of Graduate Legal Studies.
“Dr. Cheng distinguished herself among a very strong pool of candidates. Her outstanding educational background, administrative experience and the success she's had at UWM in re-organizing administrative functions to achieve growth in enrollment, diversity, academic programming, and student achievements make her a particularly good fit for SIUC,” Stockdale stated. “Dr. Cheng is ‘quietly competent.’ She asks deep questions and listens intently. She impressed everyone at SIUC who met with her with her frankness, openness and tremendous interest in the issues facing SIUC.”
Britton praised the work of the search committee.
“I am particularly proud of the work the committee has done,” Britton said. “It was a unique and innovative approach that resulted in securing a highly qualified candidate. I am also most appreciative of the administration’s willingness to move in a responsible, yet expeditious fashion to secure the services of Dr. Cheng.”
Roger Tedrick, chair of the SIU Board of Trustees, also took special notice of the process used to select the new chancellor.
“The search committee did an outstanding job of establishing a selection process that recognized the role of shared governance in determining our new campus leader,” Tedrick said. “I also commend President Poshard for his well-reasoned decision to choose Dr. Rita Cheng to lead the Carbondale campus. Dr. Cheng’s life and work experiences as well as her hopes and aspirations for this campus are highly valued by our entire university community. Dr. Cheng’s willingness to meet our challenges directly and to work within a team approach to solve difficult problems holds great promise for SIUC’s future.”
Poshard will present his chancellor recommendation to the SIU Board of Trustees at its Dec. 10 meeting. More detailed information on Cheng’s credentials, including her CV can be found here: http://www.siuc.edu/chancellorsearch/rc.html