SIU’s new system president, Dan Mahony, toured campus on March 4 and 5 to meet with administration members, faculty and student government leaders.
Over his two days at SIUE, Mahony met with the vice chancellors of the university along with the Faculty Senate. Mahony said the meetings let him hear what’s most important to the faculty.
“It gave me a good insight into feelings about the university among this faculty staff,” Mahony said. “With faculty and staff, it’s different concerns about how we do budgeting, how we do planning, all those types of things.”
SIUE’s Student Body Vice President and sophomore business major Maddie Walters, of Elizabeth, Illinois, was one of the student government members who met with Mahony to discuss students’ concerns.
“He wanted to know what concerns we had with SIUE, so the student leaders there brought up some topics we’ve heard other students talk about: issues with Counseling Services and Textbook Services,” Walters said.
One of the jobs of the system president is to split the budget between both schools. Mahony said that while he doesn’t believe an equal split of funds is the right option, one of his main goals is giving both schools what they need.
“[It is] really about developing a budget model that supports what the goals are in the plan and that is flexible enough so that it’s not a static percentage,” Mahony said.
Mahony plans on making big changes as president. He has seven teams working on areas like student success and diversity and inclusion. The results of what the groups decide needs to change will be fed into a new strategic plan being developed during the Fall 2020 semester.
As part of Mahony’s introduction to the SIU system, he will be living in Carbondale until the end of the Fall 2020 semester, where he will be teaching a class on the changing world of sports. He will live and teach a class in Edwardsville for the Spring 2021 semester.
Following the Spring 2021 semester, Mahony will be moving to Springfield, a choice he said he made to not impose any kind of preference for either school.
“Having the president always on the Carbondale campus has a lot of issues with it … it almost makes the president the super chancellor of Carbondale,” Mahony said.
John Charles, director of government and public affairs for the SIU system, is one of many in the SIU community who are now working closely with Mahony.
“He is student-focused, and he is very much energized by what’s going on on the campuses, and wants to unify everybody under the SIU family,” Charles said. “[I’m] looking forward to working with him.”
Mahony’s resume includes presidencies at Kent State University and Winthrop University. He said both experiences taught him different things that will be helpful in his position in the SIU system.
“What I learned from Kent State is how you work across multiple different campuses,” Mahony said. “For Winthrop, I think a lot of what I learned was trying to deal with some of the enrollment challenges that we’re all facing right now.”
Students can find more information about Dan Mahony on the SIU system website.