ISU Board could choose new president, increase tuition at Friday meeting

By Marshanna Hester

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:37 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State University officials say there is a strong chance a new president could be named Friday.

The Board of Trustees will meet to consider four finalists to replace current president Al Bowman.

Well-wishers bid Bowman and his wife adieu during a farewell reception on campus Thursday.

Officials say his replacement has big shoes to fill, but is coming into a good situation.

"Illinois State is in a very good spot right now. We have strong enrollment. We have outstanding facilities. We have among the best retention and graduation rates in the country," said Jay Groves, Chief of Staff for the University. So we're looking for someone who will continue the vision that was started by President Bowman 10 years ago."

Bowman says state finances will be a challenge for his successor.

At its meeting on Friday, the board will also consider a 2.1 percent tuition increase for the fall.

But it will only affect new, incoming freshmen and transfer students.

"I hope as the state resolves its financial issues that we get back to level funding and maybe even eventually begin to see some small increases," said ISU President Al Bowman. "Until that happens, tuition rates, unfortunately, are going to float up."

Bowman's last day as president is May 15, but he will remain on campus next year, teaching one class a semester.