Illinois State University President Al Bowman speaks to Kiwanis Club members on Monday, flanked by his wife Linda (left) and ISU's Jill Hutchison (right).
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois State University President Al Bowman said Monday he thinks the institution will easily maintain its momentum after he retires.
Bowman spoke at the Bloomington Kiwanis Club's meeting Monday afternoon.
"We got it right in part because we invested in academic programs, in faculty resources, and we figured out what we needed to do to our facilities so we could separate ourselves from the competition," he said.
Bowman discussed ISU's financial future after his retirement, which he said includes the challenge of decreasing state funding and a looming pension cost shift.
However, Bowman also joked with the crowd about how unlikely it was that he could go from being chairperson of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology to president in 2004.
"This wasn't supposed to work," he joked. "The university hired a gentleman who managed a small department who had twenty employees and I jumped from there to the presidency and that doesn't happen very often."
Bowman was given a pen and Kiwanis Club membership application by Bloomington Kiwanis President Will Davis at the end of the meeting.
"I'm going to give you time to work on the application but I'm going to stop by your office before you retire," he said, to much applause.
Bowman announced his retirement in December.
"I plan to be a very public retiree. I enjoy being out in the community and being a part of Bloomington-Normal life. That's part of what I look forward to and that's one of the reasons we're not leaving. Our good friends are here and the quality of life is fantastic," Bowman said.
The ISU Board of Trustees hopes to have finalists for the job on campus by the spring.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.