Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn Monday named Randall G. Pembrook as the ninth chancellor in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s history.
The selection is pending formal SIU Board of Trustees approval, and Pembrook will officially assume his duties in early August. An official introduction and reception will be scheduled for the beginning of the academic year.
“I am excited about the selection of Dr. Pembrook to serve as the next chancellor for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and am looking forward to a long working relationship with him,” Dunn said. “Randy is an SIUE alumnus with extensive background and experience in higher education and has family ties to southwestern Illinois. He is an outstanding fit for SIUE, who possesses the necessary skills to lead the university toward even greater successes in the years ahead.”
Chancellor Search Advisory Committee Chair Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy, led the 21-person committee through the nine-month national search that began with 65 candidates. The committee was made up of faculty, staff, students and alumni. Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer assisted the search committee in representing the president in the search.
“On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all of the SIUE stakeholder groups for their assistance and support during the search process,” Gupchup said. “The search committee should be complimented for its dedication to the task of selecting a chancellor who fits SIUE’s mission, vision and values. The talented candidate pool was fully vetted. We are extremely pleased that Dr. Pembrook has agreed to lead SIUE as we continue our success.”
Pembrook has served as the vice president for academic affairs at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, since January 2011. He has been the chief academic officer at Washburn working with faculty, staff, students and administrators from the College of Arts and Sciences, Schools of Applied Studies, Business, Law, and Nursing; the Washburn Institute of Technology, Mabee Library/Student Success Center and Academic Outreach.
Pembrook has worked closely with the directors of Washburn’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement, Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning, Honors Program, Leadership Institute, Mulvane Art Museum, Office of International Programs, the KTWU Public Television Station, and the Washburn Transformational Experience Program. In the last five years, Washburn University has implemented more than 15 new programs such as the doctor of nursing practice, master’s programs in accounting, addiction counseling, communication and leadership, health sciences, and law, as well as bachelor’s programs in entrepreneurship and innovation, environmental biology and forensics.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be selected as the next chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville,” Pembrook said. “For me, it truly feels like coming home. I’m returning to my alma mater, which has grown significantly in national stature as well as student enrollment.
“Because of SIUE’s people and its location, there are many amazing opportunities ahead. There are also challenges, particularly at this moment with budgets, but with the help of outstanding individuals at the institution and in the community, I know we will continue to achieve great things as a university.”
Before coming to Washburn, Pembrook served at Baker University for four years in several capacities, including executive vice president and provost, interim vice president for enrollment management, acting dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, and special assistant to the president. He also has served as chief academic officer for Baker’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing, and School of Professional and Graduate Studies.
Before joining Baker in 2007, Pembrook was dean at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also served as associate dean of the Conservatory, chair of the Music Education/Music Therapy Division, and Conservatory faculty chair as well as chair of a four-campus faculty committee reporting to the University of Missouri system president.
Pembrook earned an associate’s degree from Lewis and Clark Community College before achieving both a bachelor’s and master’s in music education and piano performance from SIUE in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He earned a doctorate in music education from Florida State University in 1984.
A Metro East native, Pembrook and his wife, Mary Jo, have two daughters, Sarah and Rachel.
“I will be within an hour of my hometown and family in Greenfield and look forward to working diligently for the citizens of southwest Illinois, the state in general and the region to continue SIUE’s standing as a valued higher education partner,” Pembrook said.
“I must extend my deep gratitude to the members of the search committee and its chair Gireesh Gupchup, who have worked tirelessly over the past nine months to bring us this outstanding candidate,” Dunn said. “My thanks go as well to Dr. Stephen Hansen for his dedicated service to SIUE as interim chancellor this past year.”
Pembrook succeeds Julie Furst-Bowe, who resigned after a three-year tenure to become vice president of instruction at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Wisconsin.