Huang stepping down as WIU president

Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang has announced his departure from the University, effective March 31. CREDIT WIU

Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang has announced his departure from the University on Friday, March 1, effective March 31.

Pending the approval of the WIU Board of Trustees, Vice President of Quad Cities Campus Operations Kristi Mindrup will serve as interim president, effective Monday, April 1.

Kristi Mindrup

“I am incredibly grateful for the honor of serving as the 12th president of WIU. While we have faced many challenges, we have also overcome many. I appreciate the opportunity I was given to lead this great institution, and I know that the future is full of possibilities for WIU. It is time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life and be closer to my family, but I will always be a Leatherneck at heart,” Mr. Huang said in a news release Friday, March 1.

The WIU Board of Trustees appointed Mr. Huang as WIU’s 12th president on Dec. 18, 2020.

During his tenure, he presided over an internationalization of the campus that saw a record number of international students enrolling at WIU and presided over the successful transfer of WIU’s 17 Division I Athletics programs to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). 

Among his accomplishments, Mr. Huang created the Office of JIDE (Justice, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity) and established the Anti-Racism Taskforce, a body made up of faculty, staff, students and community members. The task force was launched by Huang to make recommendations and take meaningful actions to dismantle racism. In addition, Huang oversaw salary increases for both the faculty and staff.

Carin Stutz, the chair of the WIU Board of Trustees, thanked Mr. Huang for his service and wished him well.

“Dr. Huang brought professionalism and integrity to WIU, a leader who was an advocate for all students from all walks of life. During his time at WIU, he championed the Performing Arts Center, drove enrollment and re-engaged many of our alumni.  The trustees thank him for his dedicated and tireless service to our university,” Ms. Stutz said.

Ms. Mindrup, the longest-serving vice-president on the current leadership team, brings a 27-year connection with WIU and a wealth of experience to ensure the continuity of operations.

“I have full confidence in Dr. Mindrup’s new role as interim president. During my time spent working closely with her as a member of the cabinet, she has demonstrated thoughtful leadership,” Mr. Huang said in the release. “She is full of knowledge of both campuses, and I am comforted to know this will be a smooth transition for the University.” 

As interim president, Ms. Mindrup is looking to the future.

“I am grateful to President Huang for his steady and thoughtful leadership and his many accomplishments. I look forward to working with the university community and our partners to align Western Illinois University’s present and future with a shared vision that positions this great institution to become increasingly responsive to opportunities to serve our students, our region and beyond in an ever-changing world,” Ms. Mindrup said.

The Board will vote on Ms. Huang’s Separation Agreement at its regularly scheduled meeting March 22. Information regarding a presidential search will be determined by the board at a later date.

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