New vice chancellor chosen

A new campus administrator is coming home to the Midwest to raise money for SIU.

James Salmo was named the new vice chancellor for development and Alumni Association by Chancellor Rita Cheng on Monday. He will start his new role Nov. 28. Cheng said the position has been vacant since summer 2011, and the candidate search took more than a year.

James Salo
Provided Photo

Salmo, whose father is from Herrin, said he is familiar with the southern Illinois area. He said he has had close friends graduate from the university and has always been fond of it.

“I knew a fair amount about SIU,” he said. “I have always had a favorable opinion about SIU and have read only good things about it professionally.”

Salmo said he was offered the position around Oct. 10.

“When the opportunity came up, I jumped on the chance to be a part of the SIU community,” Salmo said.

He has served as vice president for college advancement since 2010 at Rhode Island College. Before his time in Rhode Island, though, Salmo said he was the director of donations at Southeast Missouri State University. He has also worked in similar positions at the University of Missouri in Columbia, St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Whitfield School in St. Louis.

“This will be a very positive change for me,” he said.

Salmo said since RIC is a smaller college, SIU will be a exciting challenge for him.

“My position (in Rhode Island) is a little different,” Salmo said. “SIU is on a bigger scale as far as students, faculty and alumni, so my job will be a little more complex than it is now.”

He said his goal is to promote the institution through alumni communication.

“I want to promote positive energy through SIU’s vision and goals while serving as a leader and manger of the Alumni Association here,” Salmo said.

He said he will be required to work with the chancellor and the Alumni Association to support the university through donations.

“(Salmo), given his 28-year career, will bring great ideas to take over to our division,” said Michelle Suarez, associate vice chancellor and executive director of the Alumni Association.

She said the role of the Alumni Association, a non-profit organization, is to increase alumni involvements through university volunteerism, providing events across the country for university alumni and supporting SIU clubs and chapters that work with alumni.

“We greatly look forward to what James will do in the future,” Suarez said.

Cheng said Salmo was a good candidate for the position because of his involvement in the region.

“He was clearly a great candidate through his experiences, and I am delighted that he will be a part of SIU,” she said.

Cheng said alumni support is important for all sectors of the university such as academics, athletics, scholarships and new construction project funds.

The new vice chancellor’s salary will be at $185,000, Salmo said.

“SIU salaries, while not the highest, are competitive with other universities,” Cheng said.

She said SIU compared similar positions’ salaries when considering Salmo’s salary amount.

While Salmo has accepted the position, Cheng said there are steps to take before his position is finalized.

“His acceptance will have to go through the Board of Trustees,” Cheng said.

Salmo said he has a lot of work to do between now and the approval of his new job.

“The move will not be easy, but it is worth it,” he said. “It feels like I am finally coming home.”

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