May 27, 2020

SIU Board to consider appointment of Austin A. Lane as chancellor of SIU Carbondale

Dr.-Lane-sm.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees will meet Friday, May 29, to consider the appointment of Austin A. Lane as the next chancellor of SIU Carbondale. 

The appointment is recommended by System President Dan Mahony and will be effective no later than July 6 pending the board’s approval.  

Lane was president of Texas Southern University, based in Houston and enrolling 10,237 students, from 2016 to February 2020. Texas Southern is a doctoral-level institution designated as “high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions in Higher Education. A 25-year higher education administrator and faculty member, Lane led the development of the university’s strategic plan that focused on five top priorities: student success and completion, academic program quality and research, culture, partnerships and finances. 

Media Advisory

Dr. Lane will be available to meet with media representatives virtually after Friday’s board meeting pending approval of his appointment. Media representatives should contact Rae Goldsmith at or 618/303-9997 for more information.

While at Texas Southern, Lane developed a strategic enrollment management plan that increased student enrollment by 28 percent over a three-year period. The university also posted the highest student persistence, progression and graduation rate increases in school history; saw year-to-year increases in the general operating budget; exceeded fundraising goals; enhanced sponsored research awards and expenditures; and completed a university-wide equity compensation study that led to increases in faculty and staff salaries that were historically below market value. 

Mahony said Lane’s leadership experience and collaborative approach will be an asset in his new role. 

“Dr. Lane is a visionary leader and strategic thinker who knows how to engage people around important issues such as enrollment and budget,” Mahony said. “He is also a strong communicator who will build partnerships that will benefit the university. 

“Dr. Lane is also very student-focused, and he is highly respected by his former faculty, staff and students,” Mahony added. “I am a strong believer in getting feedback from a lot of people who have worked closely with candidates for senior-level positions. We talked with many people from Dr. Lane’s previous institutions and took great care to do our due diligence as we vetted his candidacy. Based upon our review and the feedback we received from the SIU community, I am confident that he is an individual of strong character who will be an outstanding chancellor.” 

Lane said he was impressed by the dedication of the university’s faculty, staff and students he met during his two-day interview, which was conducted virtually. 

“I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the search committee and all the dedicated SIU Carbondale employees who participated in the search process amid these unprecedented times,” he said. “During my virtual interview and conversations with various constituency groups, I was immediately convinced that SIU is a stunning first-class institution of higher learning with amazing students and a family of highly regarded faculty, staff, alums and community members who believe in the spirit of Saluki pride. 

“I was also impressed with the leadership and energy of President Mahony and his ideas for the future of the system as well as the support he is receiving from the Board of Trustees,” he added. 

Prior to his presidency at Texas Southern, Lane was executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the 90,000-student Lone Star College System in Texas in 2015 and 2016.  He served as president of Lone Star College-Montgomery from 2009 to 2015 and executive vice president for student affairs for Tyler Junior College in Texas from 2005 to 2009. He worked at the University of Texas at Arlington from 1995 to 2005 as a counselor, assistant dean of students and director of judicial affairs and dean of students.  

Lane holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Langston University in Oklahoma, a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctor of education degree in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.  

His recommendation as chancellor follows a national search overseen by a screening committee that included representatives of multiple campus groups as well as community members. The committee vetted 26 nominees and applicants for the position, interviewing 9 individuals before identifying finalists for virtual interviews.  

The new chancellor will replace John M. Dunn, who has served as interim chancellor since January 2019 following the death of previous chancellor Carlo Montemagno.  

“I am deeply grateful that Dr. Dunn returned to lead SIU Carbondale when the university needed him most,” Mahony said. “He has provided calm, exceptional leadership during some of the university’s most challenging times.”