Michael Godard concludes student interview for new president


Rob Le Cates

Michael Godard, introduces himself to students during his presidential interview for Eastern Illinois University’s next presidential in the Arcola/Tuscola room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Monday afternoon. Godard is a first generation student and said he wants to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Michael Godard concluded the student interviews for the presidential candidates on Monday in the Arcola/Tuscola Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union from 3 p.m. until 3:50 p.m.

He has sat in multiple positions such as interim and vice provost, department chairperson, associate director, and president at different colleges such as University of Central Missouri, Western Illinois University Honors College, and Central States American College of Sports Medicine.

At the interview, he discussed diversifying different campuses and how important that is to him.

Godard said one of the things that has been involved with relating to the topic. He currently works at Southeast Missouri State University and is a part of a plan called Strategic Action Planning process. In this process, Godard co-chaired the initiative for the faculty and staff to go out and learn and understand the future of the company for the next three years.

Godard said that with this search, there was a large focus on diversity, equity, belonging, and making sure that those attributes were considered on a daily basis.

“It’s a process to make sure that there is enough input from faculty, staff, and students,” Godard said. “But developing unit level diversity equity and inclusion plans that transcend from recruiting more historically underrepresented students, retaining our students at our institution, [and] making sure that they graduate.”

Godard talked in depth about what plans he had, including some things that he asks of students.

“We’re asking our students to engage in and making sure that those assessments and assignments are reflective of an equity minded approach to how we deliver our curriculum,” Godard said.

He explained how he found out about the position and what made him want to apply.

He said he was nominated by a few individuals for the position and had known about the opportunity early.

“[It] truly right away felt like this would be a great fit for me to serve in this leadership role and work with the faculty, staff, students, board members [and] to be able to continue to advance the mission of the institution,” Godard said.

With the international student population rising, Godard explained how he plans on meeting their needs if elected president.

With his experience at two other institutions with international student growth increasing steadily, he said that meeting the needs of these students is something that needs to be considered as well as not segregating them to only intermingle with other international students.

Transportation specifically could be a problem with international students and Godard talked about things that can be done.

“Things that I’ve done at prior institutions is working with the city to make sure that there is a level of transportation that’s set up, even if there’s not a busing system in the city,” Godard said.

He said that informing students about other transportation is important because being in a different experience can be challenging for students to navigate through it.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]