NORMAL -- Illinois State University
faces "a dramatic time of change in the history of this institution," and Joanne Glasser
is the person to lead it.
"I would be a very proactive, very aggressive, very entrepreneurial advocate for this institution," promised Glasser
, the second of three presidential finalists to visit the campus.
Glasser, president of Eastern Kentucky University
since 2001, spoke at an open forum Tuesday
in the Prairie Room of ISU's
Bone Student Center. ISU
is "not in disarray or disrepair," she
said, but it needs dynamic leadership to raise the money it needs to keep moving forward.Like private universities, ISU
needs to market itself aggressively and raise a great deal of private money if it is to continue to distinguish itself, she
"The good old days of state support are gone," she
receives less than 30 percent of its budget from state appropriations, so it's not even accurate to call it a state-supported school, she
"Maybe state-assisted," she
said. Glasser, the 10th president of Eastern Kentucky, is the first woman to lead the Richmond, Ky., school.An attorney by profession, Glasser, 52, has spent the past three decades working as an executive in higher education, government and legal affairs. She
has learned presidents of public universities today have to act like their counterparts at private schools.
"Where is the revenue base and the revenue stream?It's in private funds, foundations and grant opportunities," she
said.The role of the 21st century public university president is to pursue those.
"I've done that at two institutions," she
said. Before taking the Eastern Kentucky position, Glasser was executive vice president of Towson University in Maryland.
led a $17.5 million capital campaign, the first of its kind at Towson
.She also led a universitywide marketing initiative, which included changing the school's name from Towson State University. She
worked to create an institutional corporate identity, which gained the school national recognition. She
also said she's
committed to diversity, noting she
established the Kentucky school's first campuswide diversity committee and created the school's first diversity officer position. Glasser
took some time off from her
professional career to care for two young children and a husband, who had suffered a stroke.Before that, she spent time as Baltimore County labor commissioner from 1980 to 1986; and she was assistant county attorney from 1978 to 1980. She
legal background taught her
it's easier to find common values and shared beliefs than differences.She
also said it taught her
good listening skills and how to handle conflict resolution.
didn't follow the traditional path of a college president, Glasser
said the law degree she
earned from the University of Maryland School of Law gives her
academic credentials as strong as any other professor's.
"I have taught at both the universities.I enjoy that.But it's not the best use of my time," she
said."As a president I need to be externally focused, working with legislators and private donors," to impress upon them higher education is an investment in the state's future, she