After 16 Years as Provost, Blair Lord Plans Retirement

Chrissy Miller, Administration Reporter


After almost 16 years of service, Provost Blair Lord prepares for his retirement at the end of the Spring 2017 semester.

Lord said his favorite part of being provost was working with knowledgeable administrators to help provide Eastern’s students with an excellent education.

“The value and blessing of having great colleagues with whom you can truly work as a team is invaluable,” Lord said. “I have been blessed by having many such folks with whom I have had the pleasure to work in my years here at Eastern.”

Lord said during his retirement, he plans to relax and participate in various volunteer activities. He said he would also like to get a part-time job doing something he enjoys. Lord said he will spend time engaging in his hobbies as well.

“I sail, ski, woodwork, upholster, garden and read, to name but a few (of my hobbies),” Lord said. “I hope to have more time for all of these and hope to discover new interests as well.”

Reflecting on his time as provost, Lord said he is proud to have seen developments in Eastern’s graduate programs and a growth in enrollment in these programs in the last year.

“Eastern was an excellent institution when I arrived, but we have been acclaimed as the best regional comprehensive institution in Illinois for many years, and I am pleased by this,” Lord said. “I’m not sure how much credit is really mine, but it happened on my watch, so to speak.”

Lord said he plans to remain in the community and continue living in the historical Lord House on Seventh Street, named after Eastern’s first president, Livingston Lord.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this job,” Lord said. “The challenges of the last two years with the difficult fiscal situation have made them less fun than the previous 14 years.”

Lord said his decision to stay in the community was influenced in part by his wife, Jeanne Lord, who is an associate dean of the Lumpkin College of Business of Applied Science. Lord said while he will continue to attend activities sponsored by Eastern, he feels his direct professional relationship with Eastern is nearing its end.

“As an academic leader, I think I have provided steady and thoughtful leadership to the institution,” Lord said. “I also have sought to, both personally and in the demeanor of my unit, be seen as approachable and supportive of colleagues and students.”

Lord said his advice for the new provost, Jay Gatrell, works as reminder for anyone new to a position.

“Look, listen, learn,” Lord said. “There are many terrific colleagues here who can be enormously helpful in this.”

Eastern President David Glassman said he appreciates Lord leading Eastern’s academic affairs division to distinction and excellence through his many years of service.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Lord,” Glassman said. “I have benefited from his knowledge and long experience.”

Glassman said Lord has been a strong advocate for student success and curriculum development.

“Dr. Lord has been a strong collaborator on the Vitalization Project, which I am confident will have a very positive impact on our university’s success,” Glassman said. “He has supported the development of many new programs since I have been at EIU, and I am confident that they will help to increase our undergraduate and graduate enrollments.”

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].