Glassman to face Eastern’s challenges


Kevin Hall

Newly elected president David Glassman answers questions at a press conference in the University Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on March 2.

With David Glassman set to fill the president’s seat on June 1, many are anticipating how he will deal with two issues facing Eastern: low enrollment and decreasing state appropriations.

Glassman said he is anxious and ready to get started.

“Eastern is not unique in enrollment decline,” he said. “What I hope to do is develop a plan to move forward.”

Glassman said he thinks the proposed 31.5 percent cut to higher education in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget should be discussed among all the public institution presidents.

“I want for all presidents to come together and have a uniformed voice,” Glassman said. “I’m going to be a strong advocate and talk with our legislators, administrators and the media.”

Paul Schroeder, the vice president for enrollment management at Bradley University, has worked with Glassman for two and a half years. Glassman is currently the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bradley.

“I have seen him in the position of provost be able to work with the deans, with the faculty, work very closely with the president, worked with myself in terms of enrollment management issues,” Schroeder said. “And I believe he has a broad knowledge base on which to deal with the challenges that colleges and universities face today.”

He said Glassman has encouraged deans and faculty to support enrollment management efforts and examined academic programs to make them more “robust and attractive” to incoming students.

Schroeder said both private and public universities are having enrollment issues, especially in the Midwest with the declining number of students graduating high school, and both types are facing less state appropriations in Illinois.

“Consequently with dwindling resources, they are going to have to think a little bit more like a private institution in terms of how to attract students to the university,” Schroeder said.

Glassman said he plans on showcasing what an Eastern education looks like and talking to different areas on campus including admissions to examine ways to bring in more students.

Glassman also said social media is important when it comes to attracting students to the university.

Jason Blumenthal, the student body president at Bradley, said Glassman is a leader who wants to hear others’ opinions, and he often looks specifically at national trends for other universities.

“He really wants to have feedback when he brings something up,” he said.

Blumenthal said he has worked with Glassman on a strategic planning committee; he cited one of the issues the provost helped to resolve was getting priority class registration for ROTC students.

He said the Student Senate asked for an hour priority for those students, but Glassman went “above and beyond” to make it so advisers could guarantee their spots.

“The senate has passed a lot related to academics,” Blumenthal said. “We would even bring him six or eight things, and he would always be willing to dive in.”

He said Glassman has also worked on consolidating university resources and programs to balance the budget.

Blumenthal said he is interested to see the differences in Glassman’s approach at a public university, seeing as Bradley is private.

“It’ll be a challenge to start, but he’s smart enough to figure it out,” Blumenthal said.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].