December 7, 2020
This year has been one of significant change that has caused many to reflect on the future. I have also been part of this introspection and, during my deliberations, I began to realize that succession planning is vital and that there is a time when leadership should change. I think we are at such a time.
The pandemic will end. We have had a significant renovation of our campus. The university is fiscally strong with an excellent faculty. 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. I introduced the idea of my succession to Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Galvin and Governance and Vice Chair Tom Lanctot. After discussions with Mike and Tom, they came to agree with me that this is the right time to plan for a leadership change. As such, I have decided that I will retire as president, effective May 31, 2021.
After a leave of absence, I will join my Illinois Tech faculty colleagues in Armour College of Engineering as a professor of mechanical, materials, and aerospace engineering. For me, it is a return to teaching and scholarship and a life that I have missed. Of course, I will do all I can to help the university prepare for this transition.
The university is in a good place. We have a board that cares for and supports the university. Our chairman is focused on student success, board engagement, and growth of the university. We also have an excellent leadership team, led by Provost Peter Kilpatrick, a supportive alumni body, and a faculty and staff dedicated to the success of the university. We have a truly inspiring student body. I am sure that this is the right time and the right decision for myself and the university. I thank Chairman Galvin for his leadership and willingness to support this transition.
Alan W. Cramb
President, Illinois Institute of Technology