2nd VPBA candidate visits Eastern

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Eastern hosted Sean Reeder, assistant vice president for capital programs & utility services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as the second candidate for the Vice President of Business Affairs.

In his current position, Reeder provides management of the built environment and manages utility services and operation of Prairieland Energy, Inc., at the University of Illinois.

Reeder said he was interested in the VPBA position at Eastern because of the small-town atmosphere surrounding the campus.

“I grew up in a farm community, I love the rural environment and so the size and scale of Eastern really speaks to me,” Reeder said.

Reeder added that the on-campus community described by his friends who work at Eastern was also appealing to him.

“I have a couple of friends who work (at Eastern) and they’ve shared the sense of community and connectiveness across all faculty and staff here that I think is missing in large part at Urbana,” Reeder said.

Reeder said his focus is on the students at the university.

“I’ve always brought a mentality of ‘students are the center of what we do.’ All of us working in higher education … we’re all here for students,” Reeder said. “I’m really passionate about that.”

Reeder added that serving students at the university is important, and he likes Eastern’s new “All In” campaign.

“Our function is to serve students as best we can, and if you have that culture in your organization then it’s a lot easier to resolve conflict, whatever the conflict might be,” Reeder said.

He said he believes the “All In” mentality applies to all aspects of the university functions.

“That ‘all in’ is a commitment recognizing ‘I am willing to put whatever the strategic priority of the university is first and support that in any way that I can and try to help ensure that it will be successful,” Reeder said. “I think as an institution the leadership also needs to realize that you can’t take that lightly, you don’t have enough margin in your funding stream to miss on those.”

Reeder said that while he is not directly involved in fundraising for the University of Illinois, he has been the president of a booster club for the high school in the community he lives in and enjoyed taking part in the fundraising for the club.

“I’d love the opportunity to get to do that at bigger scale, it’s just fun,” Reeder said.

Reeder also spoke on the morale on campus following the budget impasse and how he could help build it.

“You have to understand the underlying concerns and frustrations and burdens that people are feeling,” Reeder said.

The next candidate will be Ed Ashley, Associate Vice President at California State University at San Marcos who will visit Eastern on Thursday.

Ashley will have an open session at 3:00 p.m. Thursday in the Arcola/Tuscola room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and a session Friday at 9 a.m. in the Roberson Auditorium in Lumpkin Hall.

Corryn Brock can be reached 581-2812 or at [email protected].