Prairie State College Names Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs [09/24/2020]
Prairie State College (PSC) recently appointed former dean of liberal arts and social sciences, Elighie Wilson III, as the interim vice president of Academic Affairs.
Wilson, who officially began his new position on June 1, 2020, is charged with the strategic planning, coordination, and implementation of all academic programs offered at PSC. During his 20 year tenure at the College, Wilson has served as a faculty member, coordinator of the PSC communication program, faculty development coordinator, department chair, forensic coach, dean, and now vice president.
His predecessor Marie Hansel Ph.D., who retired from the College in August, says Wilson brings stability and institutional knowledge to this important administrative role.
“Those of us who have had the privilege of working with Elighie can attest to his dedication and commitment to the College. He is a true champion for the students and faculty, and I am confident he will excel in his role as vice president,” said Dr. Hansel.
As VP of Academic Affairs, Wilson says one of his goals is to keep teaching and learning at the forefront of the College. He plans to work collaboratively with Student Affairs and other departments on campus to strengthen the efforts of the institution. Having been a faculty member from 2000 to 2015, then moving into administration as a dean, Wilson says the experience has helped him better relate to the faculty and students’ concerns and see the world from both perspectives.
Appointed mid-summer, when the College was contending with the pandemic and adapting to the virtual environment, Wilson was, and remains, an essential member of the leadership team at PSC. He says the situation surrounding the pandemic, while challenging, has allowed the College to look inward and improve.
“We have been provided a rare opportunity to better ourselves as an institution,” said Wilson. “This is our chance to refine our processes, examine the needs of the community, and offer more programs that students want.”
Prior to his time at PSC, Wilson worked as a communication instructor, served as director of the nationally ranked speech team at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, and spent five years at Millikin University in Decatur, IL where he taught communication courses. He holds a bachelor of science degree in communication and education from Ball State University and a master of science degree in communication from Illinois State University.
Wilson remains active in state, regional, and national organizations. He was notably recognized as a recipient of the 2019 Connie Link Outstanding Mentor from the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association (ICTA). The award is presented annually to a current or former teacher in Illinois who has taught speech, theatre, or English for more than ten years. Honorees are recognized for their service to the ICTA, and “outstanding achievement in the profession, especially in the mentorship of teachers and speech/theatre coaches and directors.”
After 20 years of service to the College, Wilson says he is proud to be a part of a close-knit community that works together for the best outcomes for the students.
“PSC is my home, and always will be,” said Wilson.