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WIU gets entirely new board of trustees

Thursday, Mar 28, 2019

* Press release…

Gov. Pritzker Appoints All-New Board of Trustees to Revitalize Western Illinois University

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced his appointments to the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees.

The new board will focus its efforts on revitalizing WIU’s student recruitment and outreach efforts, focusing investments on core programs, burnishing the university’s reputation and brand throughout the state, and strengthening relationships with its surrounding communities.

Greg Aguilar will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Aguilar currently serves as of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan at the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce where he collaborates with community leaders, educators, businesses, nonprofits and grassroots organizations to build up the reputation of the Quad-Cities. He previously served as the director of talent attraction and retention for the Quad Cities Chamber where he led the Young Professionals of the Quad Cities as well as diversity initiatives for the Chamber. Prior to working at the Chamber, he served as the Northwest Regional Manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity where he covered 10 counties working with community stakeholders on workforce solutions, business retention, attraction and growth. Aguilar is a founding board member of the Greater Quad-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. His regional work in economic development, higher education, as well as diversity and inclusion has received various national recognitions including by the National Hispanic Institute and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2011 Mr. Aguilar’s work in diversity outreach at Ascentra Credit Union earned the credit union a Diamond Award from Credit Union National Association. The East Moline resident received his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Iowa.

Erik Dolieslager will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Dolieslager brings a 19-year background in business, operations, regional marketing, public affairs and communications to the board. Since 2000, Dolieslager as served multiple regional management, sales and leadership roles within the Central States Coca-Cola Bottling Division, including district sales manager, business development manager and account manager. The former redshirt freshman Leatherneck linebacker began his career at WIU playing for the eventual all-time winningest Head Coach Randy Ball. As a WIU student athlete his focus on academics was paramount earning top tier semester GPA’s and All Conference Football Academic Honor Roll. Dolieslager brings experiences from both public and private university settings. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Medicine from North Park University in Chicago where he was voted two-year football team captain and earned All College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Honors while becoming a small school NFL prospect. The Quincy resident an active supporter in the multiple communities in which he serves including the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation, Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, Business Exchange Club and Community Business Association.

Kisha Lang will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Since 2014, Lang has been the principal of Bridgescape Learning Academy’s Humboldt Park campus, which has increased reading and math test scores, attendance rate and graduation rate under her leadership. She previously served as assistant principal at Proviso East High School from 2011 to 2014. Lang also taught and served as dean of students, director of operations and turnaround administrator at three Chicago Public Schools — Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Harper High School and Orr Academy High School — for the prior 17 years. The Maywood resident is completing her doctorate in educational leadership and management from Capella University in May 2019 and received her Master of Arts from Concordia University and her Bachelor of Science from Western Illinois University.

Nick Padgett will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Padgett is the managing director of Frontaura Capital, which he co-founded to invest in stocks in frontier countries such as Vietnam, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka that are not yet classified as emerging markets. Previously, he served as the chief financial officer with Inforte Corp, a global technology consulting firm that he helped grow from its inception through its NASDAQ IPO in 2000. Before this, he was a sell-side technology research analyst with investment bank William Blair & Co. in the mid-1990s, after beginning his career with technology consultancy Accenture. Padgett received WIU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2014 and the College of Business and Technology’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. He has served on Western’s Presidential Advisory Board since 2014 and its College of Business and Technology Dean’s Advisory Board since 2008. The Macomb native who now lives in Chicago received his Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and his Bachelor of Science in computer science from Western Illinois University.

Polly Radosh will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Dr. Radosh retired from Western Illinois University in 2008 after 24 years on the faculty, where she was a professor of sociology and the founding chair of the Department of Women’s Studies. Dr. Radosh was the recipient of multiple awards and honors at WIU, including four faculty excellence awards, three College of Arts and Sciences awards for excellence, the Provost’s award for excellence in multicultural teaching, and she was named the 2007 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. After retiring from WIU, Dr. Radosh was the Dean of the College at the State University of New York at Geneseo from 2008 to 2011. In that position, she oversaw significant campus changes to address fiscal and enrollment challenges and established review procedures for program cuts and staff reductions. The Good Hope, Ill., resident received her Ph.D. and Master of Arts in sociology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Douglas Shaw will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* Shaw spent 22 years as an IT professional for Caterpillar, beginning his career as a program analyst in 1997 and rising up the ranks to a global support team lead. Since 1999, Shaw has also taught management information systems as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois at Springfield-Peoria Center. He also currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Education for Peoria Public Schools and has previously served on the boards of Leaders Change Illinois, Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing, the Illinois Central College Scholarship Selection Committee, and the Planning Committee for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership School. A veteran of the United States Army, the Peoria resident received his Master of Arts in management information system from the University of Illinois at Springfield and his Bachelor of Science in computer science from Western Illinois University.

Jackie Thompson will serve on the Western Illinois Board of Trustees.* With 41 years of broad experience at Western Illinois University, Thompson began her career at WIU in 1970 in a clerical role and held several positions with increasing responsibilities throughout her career. Thompson was named Vice President for Administrative Services in 1997 and served in that role until her retirement in June 2011. She served as president of the WIU Alumni Council from 1999 to 2001 and is currently serving as president of the WIU Foundation Board. She received the WIU Community Service Award, Alumni Achievement Award and the Affirmative Action Director’s Award. She and her husband, Dave, established two scholarships for their respective high schools, sponsor the Fallen Soldiers 5K walk/run, provided funding for the WIU Wellness Program, funded the Ray “Rock” Hanson statue and provide support to the WIU Alumni Association, Athletics, Performing Arts Society and many others. The Macomb resident received her associate of science from Robert Morris College and her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in education leadership from Western Illinois University.

*Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

The board, which had just three members before today, is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning at 8.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    How could he pass up Mike Stieren? Leatherneck football star and staffer extraordinare!!!


  2. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    At the top of the agenda of the first meeting of the new board: invite WIU President Jack Thomas to resign.


  3. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    There are some good people here. Jackie Thompson is an inspired choice. I am guardedly optimistic.


  4. - Leatherneck2 - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    I’m most disappointed in Jackie Thompson. I can’t see her chucking her old fellow VP.


  5. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    They couldn’t find an actual WIU-QC graduate or WIU-QC campus retiree living in the Quad Cities to sit on the board?


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    RIJ - how do you know which ones are or are not associated with the QC campus?


  7. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    From their degrees - Ed Leadership is the only one that has been offered on the QC campus, and Ms. Thompson would have earned that on the main campus in Macomb.


  8. - Doing Human Things - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    Leatherneck2 - from everything I heard when they were both VP-level administrators, Jackie Thompson has no love for Jack Thompson. They did not get along AT ALL when they were in meetings together.

    I think she’d be first in line to accept his resignation.


  9. - Leatherneck2 - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    I am confident Polly Radosh will be open to dismissing, too. After all, Jack eliminated her old department (which she created) a few years ago.


  10. - LXB - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:35 pm:

    Relatedly, the SIU board has decided to “slow” is president search because it lacks clarity (or perhaps consensus would be the better way to put it) on the search’s goals or the system’s mission. Probably pushes the arrival of a new president at least to January 2020, which pushes the arrival of a new SIUC chancellor to at least January 2021.


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    RIJ - so as students, but you don’t have much to go on as far as their other experiences in other roles. And the “QC campus” is a much different animal now then it was 10 years ago. I have 3 degrees from Macomb, but I took at least 3 classes in the QC for one of them.


  12. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    Let’s hope this new Board will do a better job of holding the current WIU administration accountable for its demonstrated shortcomings than its predecessor. I further hope that the revamped Board will be more transparent in its activities than the group it is replacing. WIU clearly needs competent and effective leadership as well enlightened oversight at this this critical point in its history.


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 5:00 pm:

    The meeting is tomorrow at 8am and they appoint today? Way to be on top of it.


  14. - RIJ - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 5:21 pm:

    Anonymous, I’m not sure what you’re attempting to express in your first sentence. Of course the entire resume of someone appointed to the board must be considered. But a firm and personal tie to WIU-QC should be an important part of the equation.

    I’m also not sure why you placed scare quotes around QC campus. It is factually a campus of multiple buildings in the Quad Cities.

    No, it is not the same place as ten years ago. Your point?


  15. - Doing Human Things - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 5:40 pm:

    Anon @ 5:00 pm “The meeting is tomorrow at 8am and they appoint today? Way to be on top of it.”

    They’ve known for a couple of weeks (at least, probably longer), but there were some delays caused by complaints by some of the local Republican politicians.


  16. - bean counter - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 5:54 pm:

    RIJ — There are barely over 400 FTE students at the Moline campus. That’s less than any of the four colleges. Not sure why having someone from Moline is so important.


  17. - John Burns - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 6:29 pm:

    Polly is a brilliant individual who cares deeply about WIU. Great to see her on the board.


  18. - Jane’s Heir - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 7:08 pm:

    Jackie Thompson represents the WIU ancien regime—a revanchist. It will be interesting to see if she understands what previous BOT members from the Leatherneck Nation failed to grasp, the university exists to benefit the common good. It’s not a business. The students are not customers seeking a private good—though they will accrue fiscal benefits from their education. The students are inheriting our state and country and are being educated to leave it better off than they found it. Or so one fondly thinks.


  19. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Mar 28, 19 @ 8:41 pm:

    Let’s hope this new BOT is able to address the immediate leadership crisis at WIU while systematically developing a plan to refocus the university for long-term viability. There are good people on this Board. I wish them the best.


  20. - Lee - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 2:58 am:

    The diversity of the new board looks promising with a good variety of background expertise. I hope they can turn around the past errors made by the previous board and current administration.


  21. - Not a Billionaire - Friday, Mar 29, 19 @ 8:15 am:

    Projected decline of over 5 % in high school grads by early next decade.


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