repairs and cleaning being done on the clocktower in Pulliam Hall at SIU Carbondale.

File photo

September 22, 2022

Veteran higher ed professional to become SIU’s next vice chancellor for administration and finance

by Kim Rendfeld

Susan-Simmers.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. – Susan L. Simmers, who has extensive experience in higher education finance and administration, will become Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s next vice chancellor for administration and finance, pending approval by the SIU Board of Trustees. 

In her new role, effective in mid-November, she will lead the development of multimillion-dollar budgets, efforts to recruit and retain employees, and improve sustainability efforts. She will also oversee the offices of the Executive Director for Finance, Accounting Services, Bursar, the Center for Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities and Energy Management, Human Resources, Labor and Employee Relations, and Procurement Services. 

Simmers said she was inspired by SIU’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, which includes pillars for student success; diversity, equity and inclusion; and sustainability. 

“During the interviews, I felt an immediate connection to the welcoming and inclusive culture of the campus,” she said. “I was most impressed with SIU’s commitment to first generation students, inclusion, diversity and affordability – and SIU’s long-standing commitment to sustainability. I am excited about joining SIU to help realize the Imagine 2030 strategic plan, and I am honored to be a member of the Saluki family. Working together, I believe we can position SIU for an amazing future.” 

Simmers comes to SIU from Montana State University Billings, where she has served as vice chancellor for administration and finance and CFO since 2019. She has also held roles in university finance at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. 

SIU chose Simmers after a national search. Simmers and the other finalists interviewed with the search committee, Chancellor Austin A. Lane, the chancellor’s cabinet, the Chancellor’s Budget and Planning Committee (which is a constituency-based group) and senior staff members in the VCAF division.

Lane said the feedback he received made Simmers stand out. 

“We are excited for Ms. Simmers to join the Saluki family,” he said. “The people who interacted with her were impressed with her 29-year record with multimillion-dollar budgets, experience with human resources and unions, and sustainability efforts in construction of facilities and energy efficiency. She will play a key role as we continue to implement Imagine 2030.” 

Simmers holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Louis University and an MBA from Creighton.