CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The newly retired president of the Southern Illinois University system says he's bittersweet about stepping down from the post.
Glenn Poshard, a former congressman and Illinois gubernatorial candidate, retired Wednesday but will stay on through June as a consultant to his successor, Randy Dunn.
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"This university has been a large part of the fabric of my life," he said.
With three degrees from SIU, Poshard has been affiliated with the school for nearly 50 years. He served as the Carbondale campus' vice chancellor for administration for four years until 2003 and was a trustee before becoming the system's president in 2006.
"This is my alma mater and it has given me everything professionally," Poshard told the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan. "It is hard to leave but there comes a time when you need new ideas, new blood, and that time has come."
Poshard said that he's proud the university maintains the lowest tuition and fees of any public university in Illinois -- an accomplishment, he submits, considering that state funding was reduced from a high of $248 million in 2002 to $205 million this year.
"We have maintained affordability in a way that has helped thousands of young people be able to go to this university, and that's something of which I am very proud," he said.
During his watch as president, the Carbondale campus has added a new Student Services Building and Student Health Center while other sites including the Morris Library were renovated. Other capital projects took place at SIU's Edwardsville campus.
"I'm thankful for what we accomplished, but I will be very sad for a good while not get up in the morning and go to work for this great university," he said. "I've been blessed."