University News

Abraham Named Acting WIU President

July 2, 2019

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University's new Provost and Academic Vice President Martin Abraham has been appointed Western's acting president until the Board of Trustees appoints a long-term interim president. In addition, Interim Provost and College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Billy Clow has agreed to remain as acting provost throughout this transition. While Abraham has been in Macomb for the past week, he officially began in his new capacity on July 1.

The WIU Board of Trustees approved Abraham's acting presidential appointment at the June 14 meeting. According to Board Chair Polly Radosh, the Board will discuss next steps at next week's Board retreat to appoint a longer-term interim president.

"Dr. Abraham has a distinguished academic career and outstanding administrative credentials," said Radosh. "We are confident he will provide solid leadership to the University during this time of transition."

Upon assuming the role of acting president, Abraham noted he is "ready to do great things together with our University community and those communities which we serve."

"I have already had the opportunity to meet many people within the community, all of whom expressed their optimism and strong support for the future of WIU," he said. "Nancy and I look forward to being active members of our new hometown."

Abraham added that Western is poised for outstanding progress through such initiatives as diversity and inclusion efforts, enhanced academic programs to better serve students, a new Science Building and the Center for Performing Arts.

"Our students, faculty and staff, and this University as a whole, achieve incredible successes, including prestigious Goldwater and Fulbright scholarships, national awards in such programs as broadcasting, theatre, agriculture and biology, along with national recognition for student service-related programs like residence life, competitive research grants and the list goes on," he said. "This is an exciting time to begin the next chapter in Western Illinois University's history."

In the coming weeks, Abraham will be meeting with University and community members, as well as city and state leaders, to begin setting the direction for Western. Recruitment, enrollment, retention and building relationships are key initiatives, along with ensuring access to the academic programs offered at WIU, he added.

"Regardless of whatever role the Board determines I should have in service to WIU, we will work tirelessly to serve our students and the people of western Illinois, the state and beyond," Abraham said. "Together, we will re-affirm our University's commitment to social justice, equity and diversity, and my expectations are that each one of us play a vital role in ensuring a climate that is respectful, civil and supportive for all students, faculty, staff and guests. I especially look forward to working with University and community members as we turn the page together to build this great institution."

Before joining WIU, Abraham served as a professor of civil/environmental and chemical engineering at Youngstown State University since 2007. Previously, he was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Youngstown from 2015-2018. Abraham has also served as the interim provost (2014-2015) and founding dean, College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (2007-2014), at Youngstown.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations