SIUE Chancellor Search Update

June 16, 2021

Dear SIUE Campus Community: 

I want to take a moment to share a brief campus-wide update on the progress of the Chancellor Search Committee. As you may remember, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Jessica Harris agreed to serve as search chair. In my last message to everyone, I outlined the composition for the committee to ensure we have a diversity of membership from across the University’s constituency groups. Since that last correspondence, Dr. Harris, Dr. Gireesh Gupchup, who is the SIU System liaison to the search committee, and I have been working with constituency heads to get their recommendations for search committee members. In addition, we added a few individuals to make sure that everyone will be fully represented and all voices will be heard.  

I’m pleased to share with you today the individuals who will be serving: 


Jessica Harris 
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

Committee Members 

Denyse Anderson 
Office Manager, School of Pharmacy 

Jamie Ball (ex-officio/non-voting) 
Director for Equal Opportunity, Access & Title IX Coordination 

 Kathryn Bentley 
Associate Professor, Theater & Dance  

Domonique Crosby 
Assistant Director, Housing  

Connie Frey-Spurlock 
Associate Professor, Sociology  

Hiroshi Fujinoki 
Professor, Computer Science 

Mesha Garner 
Director, Financial Aid 

Gireesh Gupchup (ex-officio/non-voting) 
Vice President for Academic Innovation, Planning and Partnerships  

Michael Hair 
Assistant Professor, Management & Marketing 

Joe Hinton 
Researcher, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute  

Bruce Holland 
Founder & CEO, Holland Construction  

Doug James 
Analyst, Human Resources 

Steve Kerber 
Professor, Lovejoy Library 

Marcelo Nieto 
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences 

 Saeed Onsorynezhad 
Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering  

Valerie Patton 
Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer & President, Greater St. Louis Foundation 

Mahoggani Pickett 
Senior Student 

Charlie Reifsteck 
Sales Director, Global Business-Industry Solutions 

Laurie Rice 
Professor, Political Science 

Nicole Robinson 
Project Specialist, Head Start 

Melodie Rowbotham 
Associate Professor, School of Nursing 

Nicola Schmidt 
Instructor, English Language & Literature 

J.T. Snipes 
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership 

Timothy T. Staples 
Executive Director, East St. Louis Campus Programs 

Cinnamon VanPutte 
Assistant Professor, School of Dental Medicine 

Lindy Wagner 
Director, Center​ for Student Diversity and Inclusion 

Jerry Weinberg 
Dean, Graduate School & Associate Provost of Research 

This committee will review applications, conduct initial interviews and assist in bringing finalists to campus during the fall semester, so all who wish can be involved and meet the prospective candidates. 

As I shared in my previous message, our next steps include engaging with a search firm, WittKieffer, to begin moving forward with a national search. During the summer months, various groups and the search committee will provide initial input for our search consultants as they begin creating a position profile. This will allow WittKieffer to spend the typical eight weeks to build a pool of candidates over the summer, so they are ready to present this group to the search committee in the fall semester.  

Once the fall semester begins and everyone returns to campus full time, we will hold a series of listening sessions to gather additional feedback from the SIUE community on what qualities they believe the next chancellor should possess. This will help the search committee as they begin reviewing resumes and conducting initial interviews of potential candidates, and selecting finalists to bring to campus later in the semester. 

As we’re seeing more university leaders than normal announce their decision to leave their current position, I believe the preliminary steps we are taking now will position us ahead of many others in attracting the best candidates in the field.  

I look forward to continuing to work with both the search committee and everyone at SIUE as we find the best person to lead this University. Thank you for your commitment to this process.  


Dan Mahony 
SIU System President