William Colwell appointed interim chancellor


By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

William Bradley Colwell was appointed interim chancellor of the campus Thursday during an SIU Board of Trustees meeting.

Colwell, who was nominated to the board by SIU President Randy Dunn, begins his two-year interim term Oct. 1 and will earn $295,000 annually with no special benefits.

Colwell began as a professor at SIUC in 1996 and became associate dean of academic and student affairs in the College of Education and Human Development in 2008. He left the same year and became the dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 2010.


While serving as dean at Bowling Green, freshman enrollment for the College of Education and Human Development increased by 14 percent for fall 2015 and freshman retention rose to 85 percent.  

“Dr. Colwell is highly respected at SIU, in the Illinois education community and nationally in his field,” Dunn said in a press release. 

The campus has been without a chancellor since the November death of interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela.

Dunn said Colwell did not apply during the national search earlier this year, rather he reached out to him personally within the past two weeks. He said the campus was divided on the leading candidates, making him find an alternative.

A native of Bluford, Colwell was an attorney in Monticello before joining the SIU faculty in 1996.

“I have great respect for the SIU faculty and staff because I have seen their commitment to the university and its students first-hand,” Colwell said in the news release. “While there are challenges ahead, I believe we have the internal will to overcome them and be an even better university as a result.”

Some of those problems include the ongoing stalemate with the Illinois budget. The 3.9 percent decrease in enrollment for the fall semester has created a $5 million loss in funding. Dunn said a $9 million cut in spending for the Carbondale campus will need to take place.


“The next two to three years are going to be pivotal for the Carbondale campus,” Dunn said. 

Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AMiller_DE.