The first of three finalists for SIUC Chancellor met virtually with campus and community members Friday.
Susan Stapleton is currently at Western Michigan University, where she is a professor in chemistry, biochemistry and biological sciences. She has served as dean of two different colleges at Western Michigan, as well as interim provost. She's currently a special assistant to the provost.
Stapleton pointed out she was a first-generation college student. She says access should remain a key priority if she's selected as SIUC's campus CEO.
"I have promoted access to higher education through pre-college programs, collaborated with community colleges on pathways to the baccalaureate, secured scholarships to reduce the cost of attendance for individuals to attend the institution."
When it comes to Southern's recruitment and retention challenges, Stapleton pointed to using tools available through new technologies to reach potential and current students, and use the information to better engage students who may be struggling in their first year on campus.
Stapleton says as a faculty member and administrator, she's worked through tough issues at Western Michigan University before. She says the key to success is recognizing the role each entity plays in achieving the goal.
"It's really about the role of shared governance, the importance of shared governance, and how we come together with those shared responsibilities to enhance our institution."
Stapleton is the first of three candidates to interview for the position. Two more will make their virtual presentations next week. Campus leaders hope to have a permanent chancellor in place this summer.
VIEW STAPLETON'S VIRTUAL INTERVIEW HERE: