Former SIU chancellor named sole finalist for West Texas A&M presidential spot

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Anna Spoerre

Former SIU Chancellor Walter V. Wendler on Friday was named the sole finalist for the presidential position at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp announced the selection from a pool of more than 70 applicants by the university’s Board of Regents, according to a Texas A&M press release.

Walter V. Wendler (Texas A&M University photo)

Walter V. Wendler (Texas A&M University photo)

Wendler has a long and complicated history with SIU since being dismissed from his position as chancellor of the Carbondale campus eight months before the end of his contract.


During his time as chancellor from 2001 to 2006, Wendler was accused of plagiarism by a group called Alumni and Faculty Against corruption at SIU. The group claimed that parts of Wendler’s “Southern at 150” vision for SIU in 2019, its 150th anniversary, were pulled from a similar Texas A&M plan he was involved in, according to an October 2006 Daily Egyptian article.

Then-SIU President Glenn Poshard at the time said Wendler’s termination was not related to the plagiarism accusations, but rather communication shortcomings between Wendler and other administrators, according to reporting by the Chicago Tribune.

After leaving the chancellor seat, Wendler taught architecture courses, eventually retiring from SIU in December 2015 after holding the position of director of the School of Architecture since 2008.

Wendler’s time at Texas A&M, his alma mater, is seemingly less controversial.

There, he has held administrative positions including vice chancellor for Planning and System Integration, executive assistant to the president and dean of the College of Architecture, eventually receiving a Distinguished Teaching Award by the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University.

“Dr. Wendler is an inspired selection for the WTAMU presidency,” West Texas A&M interim President James Hallmark said in the press release. “His proven record of leadership in Illinois, his experience as an academic leader at two major universities, and his nationally recognized track record in strategic planning cause me to be even more optimistic about WTAMU’s future.”

Wendler has also obtained degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Berkeley and the State University of New York at Farmingdale.

His two sons are Texas A&M graduates.

Staff writer Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @annaspoerre

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