Dr. Randy J. Dunn is the eighth president of the Southern Illinois University System. Dr. Dunn served as president at two other state institutions and was the state superintendent of education, appointed to that role by the Illinois State Board of Education. His career in education includes classroom teaching, serving as principal at two school districts, serving as superintendent for two Illinois school systems, and holding the rank of professor at two universities including SIUC. Dr. Dunn has served on a number of committees, councils and task forces, and he contributes to a variety of scholarly publications.
Prior to coming to Southern Illinois, Dr. Dunn served as president at two other state institutions — Murray State University in Kentucky (2006-2013) and Youngstown State University in Ohio (2013-2014). Before that, Dunn was the state superintendent of education, appointed to that role by the Illinois State Board of Education. He is not a stranger to the SIU System, having held the rank of professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education at SIUC. Dunn started at the Carbondale campus as an associate professor in 1995 and was named department chair in 2000, before leaving to assume the state superintendency. During his term as chair, he also taught in the joint doctoral program in educational leadership at SIU Edwardsville. Dunn began his academic career as an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership at The University of Memphis for two years before taking his faculty post at Southern Illinois University.
His early career in Illinois public education included classroom teaching, service as a principal at two school districts in north central Illinois, and the post of district superintendent for two Illinois school systems.
Dunn received his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991. He graduated from Illinois State University with a master’s in administration and foundations in 1983, and the B.S. in education in 1980.
During his time in higher education, Dunn has served on a number of committees, councils, boards, and task forces, including those for the American Council on Education, American and Illinois Associations of School Administrators, North Central Association, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Learning Point Associates, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Association of School Boards, and other groups. He has done extensive consulting on K-12 education issues nationally and has served as the principal investigator or co-PI on numerous grants totaling nearly $650,000. His scholarly writing included published articles on a range of education management issues in professional journals, as well as book chapters, book reviews and monographs. Additionally, he has evaluated a number of manuscripts for publication in journals and books and grant proposals for funding agencies.
Dunn is married to Dr. Ronda Baker Dunn, originally from Benton, IL, and they reside in rural Carbondale. They enjoy travel, riding in their Jeep, the arts — and of course, Saluki and Cougar athletics. Randy and Ronda are the parents of four adult children.