SIU names two additional chancellor finalists; Pinkert withdraws


Brian Munoz

SIU administrators speak to press at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Meridian Ballroom at SIUE. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Luke Nozicka

The university on Tuesday named the two additional candidates being considered for the chancellor position at the university’s largest campus.

Rodney Scott Hanley, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and Carlo Montemagno, a professor in engineering, chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, are now two of four people being considered for the spot.

Carl Pinkert, vice president for research and economic development at the University of Alabama, withdrew from consideration, the university said Tuesday.


Hanley and Montemagno will be brought to campus in the coming weeks to interview with university officials and representatives of constituency groups, SIU President Randy Dunn has said. His office is scheduling one-day campus visits for the two candidates, which the university said will include an open forum and meetings “that reflect the itineraries of the first-round finalists.” After the on-campus interviews, the four remaining candidates will interview with the SIU Board of Trustees.

During a board meeting Wednesday in Edwardsville, the trustees were expected to announce a permanent chancellor for the Carbondale campus, but instead voted to table the appointment and added Hanley and Montemagno to the list of finalists. University officials declined to name the two after the meeting.

The trustees spent more than two hours discussing the chancellor spot during a closed executive session but were unable to come to a conclusion, Chairman Randall Thomas said after the meeting. He said the board has “a lot more work to do.”

The finalists who interviewed on campus in April include Pinkert; SIUC interim Chancellor Brad Colwell; George Hynd, president of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; and Jeff Elwell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Elwell dropped out of the running in April after being offered the president position at Eastern New Mexico University.

Rodney Scott Hanley

Rodney Scott Hanley. (Fisk University)

Before starting at Fisk University, a historically black university, in 2014, Hanley worked for three years as provost and vice president at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. He was acting vice president of research, economic development and innovation for about a year there before.

At Lakehead, Hanley led a “major international recruiting effort,” according to his curriculum vitae, in which the university saw an increase of 501 students, or 268 percent, enrolled from other countries in three years. That increased the university’s gross revenue by more than $7 million.


From 2008 to 2011, Hanley worked as the dean of science at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He was the chairman of the department of earth system science and policy at the University of North Dakota for three years before. From 2004 to 2008, Hanley worked as the director of graduate studies at the same department in North Dakota.

Hanley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental biology from Eastern Illinois University in 1991 and 1993, respectively. He received his doctor of philosophy in biology in 2001 from the University of Kansas and his master of studies in sustainability leadership in 2016 from the University of Cambridge.

A native of Decatur, Hanley has “significant experience in strategic and academic planning, budget development, fundraising, union and government relations,” according to an online biography. He has experience in sustainability, social justice and diversity in higher education, among other things, according to that biography.

Hanley has also made outreach and recruitment of minorities a priority. During his time at Fisk, the “number of self-described Aboriginal or indigenous students enrolled” increased from 9 to 14 percent, according to the university.

Hanley served in the Persian Gulf War in the U.S. Army and the Illinois Army National Guard, according to his Fisk biography. He and his spouse have two adopted sons, one of whom was born in Ethiopia and the other in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Carlo Montemagno

Carlo Montemagno. (University of Alberta)

Before starting at the University of Alberta, Montemagno founded the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati, where he worked as its dean for about two years.

He served as dean of the university’s College of Applied Science for a year and from 2006 to 2010, worked as dean of its College of Engineering. He was as a professor of bioengineering from 2006 to 2012.

As dean, he wrote in his curriculum vitae, his college experienced a 30 percent reduction in funding while enrollment increased by more than 25 percent. He said he responded to the situation by “consolidating departments, streamlining the administration and closing a number of academic programs all within the context of an unionized environment while being true to the principles of shared governance.”  

Montemagno is the founder and chief technical officer of Ingenuity Lab Carbon Solutions, which aims to transform flue gas carbon into specialty chemicals. He is also the founder of the Ensovi, LLC, which focuses on producing low-cost bioenergy and high-value products from sunlight, and Applied Biomimetics, which aims to develop high efficiency water purification systems. Both processes use bionanotechnology.

For several months in 2005 and 2006, he worked as the founder and chief technical officer at Bio/Solar Energias, LLC, which developed “spray-on, biosolar electricity-generating coatings using bionanotechnology,” according to his curriculum vitae.

Funding for his commercial start-ups total $45 million.

From 2001 to 2006, Montemagno worked in various roles at the University of California. There, he founded and served as chairman of its Department of Bioengineering.

Before that, he was as an associate professor in biological and environmental engineering at Cornell University.

Montemagno earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering in 1980 from Cornell University and his master’s in petroleum and natural gas engineering in 1990 from Pennsylvania State University. He received his doctorate degree from the department of civil engineering and geological sciences from the University of Notre Dame.

Staff writer Luke Nozicka can be reached at 618-536-3325, [email protected] or on Twitter @lukenozicka.

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