December 10, 2018

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Dear Saluki Friends:  

Happy New Year! Today, I began my appointment as your interim chancellor.  Special thanks to President Dorsey, the Board of Trustees and you for welcoming me back to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

I accepted the invitation to serve as your chancellor recognizing that our university has a very rich legacy but today is facing many challenges. Chancellor Montemagno was working tirelessly to address many of these concerns when his life was taken much too soon.  Fortunately, the thinking and plans conceived by Dr. Montemagno are underway, and Interim Provost Meera Komarraju is doing an excellent job of working with our shared governance partners to implement the plan related to our academic structure. We will continue to listen and consider modifications based on input and collaboration as we move forward.

Please be assured that I will do my very best to represent you and the university.  This means meeting with and being engaged with constituent groups, actively participating in university functions and doing my part to remind us all that “at SIU, it’s personal.”  This means reaching out to one another and providing support and encouragement as we move forward. “It’s personal” also means that some of our challenges with enrollment can be addressed by making a personal commitment to take ownership of student retention and graduation rates.  

Many students at SIU and elsewhere are seeking affirmation that they can be successful with encouragement and support.  This might also entail some necessary reminders “early” about studying and daily habits that lead to success.

My commitment to “it’s personal” is to ensure that you will see me out and about on campus.  You will also have access to my direct email:  jmdunn@siu.edu.  While I may not have the answer to all of your needs or questions, I will do my best to respond or transmit your email to the appropriate office.

The bottom line is that SIU’s future is highly dependent on recalling our mission. We are an institution that has wide doors, one that has always prided itself on taking talent -- sometimes raw -- and adding value, and a place that appreciates the value of all humanity.  After all, our university was one of the first to recognize the importance of the global community and its people, which includes our region, state, nation and world.

I am proud to be a Saluki and I look forward to serving you.  As you see me out and about on campus, please do not hesitate to say hello. After all, “at SIU, it’s personal.”

Sincerely,

John Dunn
Interim Chancellor