Meeting the admins: a look inside Eastern leadership


Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Often in college, administrators are seen as inaccessible people.

The Daily Eastern News set out to bridge that gap and give the campus community an inside look on who is running Eastern.

To get a better understanding of who the people behind the titles are, The News spoke with University President David Glassman, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jay Gatrell, Vice President of Student Affairs Anne Flaherty and Mona Davenport, Executive Director of the Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement.

What is something you’re interested in that people wouldn’t expect of you?

Glassman: I enjoy riding my Harley motorcycle and attending races at the Charleston Speedway.

Gatrell: I binge watch Ancient Aliens and have probably seen every episode 6 or 7 times.

Honestly, I find the premise so absurd and anti-science that it’s oddly enjoyable to watch.

And it is ironic that it is on the “”History” Channel”.

Flaherty: This is a tricky question because I don’t know what expectations people have of me.

I will share that I am an advocate for students, and I believe my role as a senior administrator is to create an environment at EIU that allows students to learn and grow. I am passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and I want all students to know they are a valued member of our campus community.

Davenport: I am a Walt Disney Lover. I try to go to Florida every (3) years to hang out with Mickey.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Glassman: Anywhere the students are!

Gatrell: Biology’s Hidden Garden & Greenhouse Area south of Doudna and west of Buzzard.

Flaherty: There are many cool places on campus.

If I had to pick one, I would probably say the Mellin steps. I love the good energy in this space.

I enjoy seeing students hanging out, and it’s also the place where RSOs and offices do tabling to help members of the community learn more about their mission and services.

Davenport: Taylor Hall – This is where I have an office to stay in touch with all students.

As an administrator, we sometimes get so busy with day-to-day meetings, we no longer have the opportunity to interact, meet students, hear about concerns and, of course, talk about everything they love about EIU!

What is a place in Charleston everyone should know?

Glassman: The hiking trails at Charleston Lake.

They’re awesome!

Gatrell: I suspect most people will say Lake Charleston and the trails—and that’s great and I love it; but I also really enjoy visiting, hiking, and running Fox Ridge and the Lincoln Log Cabin site.

Flaherty: Lake Charleston is a real gem! The trails are beautiful for walks and biking.

Davenport: Cultural Center – this small house on campus has a lot of history. Although I think we have outgrown it, as we think about an Institutional Plan of Action – I would love to build a state of the art center which we can use for our different cultural groups and activities.

This center could display cultural art and artifacts.

Why did you go into higher education?

Glassman: To share with students the wonders of the human condition as seen through the lens of anthropology and to be able to conduct original research on the biology of humans in the past.

Gatrell: I’m a first generation college graduate and intended to go to law school. I ended up changing direction in my senior year. My undergraduate experience opened up new and exciting opportunities that I wasn’t aware existed. Going to graduate school in 1994 was just the first step in that process and it wouldn’t have been possible without outstanding and supportive faculty mentors.

Flaherty: I was a Resident Assistant at the University of Iowa. I enjoyed being a leader in my residence hall and helping my fellow students adjust to college life and finding community. I believe in the power of higher education to transform lives.

Davenport: I wanted to help empower students because not everyone knows how to navigate higher education. Some students are privileged and have parents/guardians or family to let them know what should be done, and there are some that are truly the first in their families.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your current position?

Glassman: Working with fantastic faculty and staff and seeing our students succeed in reaching their goals of graduating.

Gatrell: Commencement—particularly seeing a student who I know has struggled and overcome challenges walk across the stage. Of course, it’s great to see every student walk and hear the reaction of the families. So commencement is just cool and when I know a student’s personal story it’s that much more meaningful for me when they graduate.

Flaherty: Helping remove barriers for students so they can achieve their goals and having the opportunity to engage with students!

Davenport: Graduation! I try my best to make every graduation to see the students that walk across the stage.

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