CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University’s new system president Dr. Dan Mahony officially started his first days on the job, and shared his vision for success at the University.
Since March 2, Mahony said he’s been very busy. However, when asked if everything will be okay with the university, Mahony said, “It will be okay, but there’s also a lot of hard work that needs to go into it.”
Mahony said he’s ready to roll up his sleeves, get to work, and start making the hard decisions. “We can get there but we are going to have to work hard, make some difficult choices," he said.
His priorities include student success during and post college, recruiting and retaining the best employees, and the university’s financial stability.
“We are stable right now, but I think the bigger issue is looking at what’s happening nationally to universities," he said. "General enrollment is going down across the country. Maybe not down as much as it’s gone down in Carbondale, this is not exactly unusual from what we are seeing across the country.”
His other priorities include: Making sure they have a unified system across campuses, a pledge to diversity and inclusion, and impacting the areas that surround Carbondale and the state of Illinois.
A part of Dr. Mahony’s vision also includes support from the community and help to turn the community around. “I need people to focus on the positive and not the negative,” he said. “I would love for them to give to the day of giving, I absolutely encourage it. But, if they can just share a story or positive things on social media that helps out as well. The more positive things we can get out there, the more people says this is a place I want to be.”
Dr. Mahony says he understands how critical the university is to the region. “That’s the thing, I think for people who live in this area, that they feel some connection and they feel the university has touched them even if they are never actually a student on our campus," he said.
Mahony’s main priority is the Chancellor search right now. Candidates will be on campus after Spring break, Mahony said.
Mahony will ultimately live in Springfield, IL. However, he will spend months in Carbondale and teach a class and the same for Edwardsville.