Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb Announces Retirement

Cramb Helmed the Launch of a New Era of Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at Chicago’s Only Tech-Focused University


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Chicago—December 7, 2020—Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) President Alan W. Cramb today announced that he has decided to retire as president at the end of May 2021. Cramb announced his retirement and succession plan as the university continues its momentum on a $500 million campaign to advance Illinois Tech’s founding purpose to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all.  

“We are about to begin the public phase of our $500 million campaign, after raising $300 million in the quiet phase. Our strategic plan is well developed and ready for implementation. However, our campaign and the strategic plan will take at least five more years to complete due to the effects of the pandemic and other external factors. As I reflected on this reality, I realized that the university needs a leader who can commit to this time frame,” said Cramb. “I am sure that this is the right time and the right decision for myself and the university.”

Cramb, who was inaugurated as president in 2015, stewarded the launch of a new era of innovation and tech entrepreneurship at Illinois Tech through the development of the first new academic building on campus in 40 years—the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship—as well as the creation of a new College of Computing, and a full renovation of a Mies van der Rohe-designed residence hall named in honor of George J. Kacek (EE ’54, M.S. ’55). Under his leadership, Illinois Tech secured the largest combined gift in the history of the university with last year’s $150 million donation.

To advance this vision, the university recently announced its new comprehensive fundraising campaign, Power the Difference: Our Campaign for Illinois Tech, to help advance Illinois Tech’s founding purpose to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. In keeping with the university’s continued mission to provide first-generation college students with a seat at the table of innovation, campaign funds are already being utilized to further establish Illinois Tech as one of the nation’s foremost and “best value” tech universities in the nation through new and unique learning models, such as required computational literacy in every degree, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on entrepreneurial skills, and hands-on training and mentorship at the core of its curriculum.

Cramb will return to the classroom as a professor of mechanical, materials, and aerospace engineering within Illinois Tech’s Armour College of Engineering. The Board of Trustees will begin a national search for the next president immediately with Cramb’s assistance throughout the transition process.

“President Cramb’s leadership has helped usher in a new chapter for Illinois Tech as Chicago’s premier tech-focused university and a key driver to the city’s continued tech rise,” said Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78), chair of the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees. “We are grateful to him for his vision and accomplishments and thank him for guiding our students, faculty, and staff through this pandemic to leave Illinois Tech in a much stronger position despite these global challenges.”
Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, is a private, technology-focused research university. Illinois Tech is the only university of its kind in Chicago, and its Chicago location offers students access to the world-class resources of a great global metropolis. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. One of 22 institutions that comprise the Association of Independent Technological Universities, Illinois Tech provides an exceptional education centered on active learning, and its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Illinois Tech uniquely prepares students to succeed in professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Visit