SIU Carbondale's new chancellor officially began his tenure Monday, and he says he's building the list of things he wants to accomplish.
Coming to town amid a global pandemic adds to the challenge of the new job. But Austin Lane says he's equal to the task. He says getting students back on campus is his main focus right now, balancing the financial needs of the university with making sure everyone is safe.
"Yes, we're a business. We're in the business of teaching and learning. But we also want to be safe in how we do this, and make sure we get feedback, and that people are really, when they return, feeling as though it's a safe place to return to."
University leaders announced last month that classes this fall would be taught online, face-to-face, or in a hybrid of the two. More details on each class are expected later this month.
In addition, Lane says he's collecting ideas for a strategic plan that would guide the university over the next ten years. He says that plan will include themes of diversity and innovation - along with others.