Greenwood / Asher & Associates Recruits 12th President for Western Illinois University 

December 18, 2020 – Miramar Beach, FL-based executive recruitment firm Greenwood /Asher & Associates has placed the new president of Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb, IL. Guiyou Huang, president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, will begin his new role on Jan. 1. Betty Asher, partner and vice president, and Alex Matthews, senior executive search consultant, led the assignment.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Huang serve as the 12th president of this outstanding institution,” said Polly Radosh, co-chair of the presidential search committee and chair of the WIU board of trustees. “He is ready to continue moving Western Illinois University forward and to keep WIU on the forefront.”

“We extend our appreciation to our search firm, Greenwood/Asher, for bringing forward a remarkable line-up of finalists for the presidency of Western Illinois University,” said Ms. Radosh and Christopher Pynes, co-chair of the search committee and faculty senate chair.

Broad Participation

Nearly 900 surveys were submitted with ratings and feedback for the search committee and trustees. “The participation and communication was invaluable and provided important information for the board to consider when selecting WIU’s 12th president,” said the co-chairs.

Dr. Huang has served as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania since July of last year. Under his leadership, the institution launched and implemented the 2019-2024 University Strategic Plan; developed and executed financial sustainability plans; increased freshman inquiries by 24.07 percent, applications by nearly eight percent and admits by 17 percent; improved freshmen student retention; developed a comprehensive fundraising campaign plan; and reduced the budget deficit. In his role as president of Edinboro, Dr. Huang led the university through the COVID-19 crisis and transitioned from in-person to online modality in the spring. He also established reopening plans that allowed for a safe opening of the fall 2020 semester.

“I appreciate the board’s and search committee’s confidence in my abilities to lead this great institution, as well as the faculty, staff, students, alumni and many others who took part in the interview process,” Dr. Huang said. “I am excited to meet everyone in person, to work with the board, the university and regional communities, and to lead Western Illinois University forward.”

Previous Experience

Previously, Dr. Huang served as chancellor of Louisiana State University of Alexandria from 2017 to 2019. In this role, he was in charge of the full scope of university operations, budgeting, strategic planning, auxiliary services, among other areas, and oversaw seven divisions. He has also served as the senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, acting chief international officer and professor of English at Norwich University in Northfield, VT. Dr. Huang was founding dean of the Biscayne College of Liberal Arts, dean of undergraduate studies and programs, and professor of English at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, FL.

He has also served in a variety of academic roles at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI), Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), Texas A&M University at College Station, Beijing University and Qufu Normal University (Shandong, China).

Dr. Huang has published 13 books and over 60 scholarly articles and has keynoted and presented at numerous national and international conferences. He earned his doctorate in English from Texas A&M University at College Station; completed graduate studies in English from Beijing University and his bachelor’s degree from Qufu Normal University. He is also a 2009 graduate of the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, among other Harvard institutes.

Related: Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts

Western Illinois University is a regional, comprehensive university that serves about 8,000 students at its residential, four-year campus in Macomb and at its non-residential branch campus in Moline. The university offers 65 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s/specialist degree programs, two doctoral programs, five pre-professional programs and 15 post-baccalaureate certificate programs.

A Women-Owned Search Firm

Greenwood / Asher & Associates is a women-owned executive search firm with a diverse consulting team and extensive experience in executive search, consulting and training for education markets including elementary, secondary, higher education, university systems, campuses and non-profit organizations including associations, service and cultural institutions. The firm is led by president Jan Greenwood and Ms. Asher.

Greenwood /Asher & Associates Tapped by State Universities Retirement System of Illinois to Recruit Chief Diversity Officer
Greenwood /Asher & Associates has been selected by the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois to find its first chief diversity officer. The assignment is being led by Marion Frenche, team leader and managing consultant, practice leader for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Julie Holley, senior executive search consultant.

Ms. Asher was one of the first women to serve as president of a flagship institution. She brings to executive search, consulting and training a unique background of leadership service at all levels of higher education institutions and systems, in academics and student affairs and in public and private institutions. She has been a leader in executive search, consulting and training for the past two decades. She has helmed more than 500 searches, most at the president/CEO level. Her search work and career gives her an extensive network across education, health care, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations.

Ms. Matthews works in collaboration with clients and candidates to provide a fluid and transparent search process. Having previously served as an administrative assistant and researcher for Greenwood / Asher & Associates, she brings broad knowledge of higher education and exceptional research skills to her work. Part of Ms. Matthews’ responsibilities includes outreach to prospects, presenting candidates to search committees, managing the interview process and referencing finalists.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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