University News

Guiyou Huang Named 12th President of WIU

November 16, 2020

Printer friendly version

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees voted unanimously today (Nov. 16) to appoint Dr. Guiyou Huang (pronounced Gwee-you Hwong), president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as the University's 12th president, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The Board will approve Huang's salary at its December meeting.

"We extend our appreciation to our search firm, Greenwood/Asher, for bringing forward a remarkable line-up of finalists for the presidency of Western Illinois University. We commend the search committee for their tireless efforts in moving this search forward during a pandemic, and for ensuring a fair and just process. To our campus and community members and the Board, thank you for being active participants in the process," said Presidential Search Committee co-chairs WIU Board of Trustees Chair Polly Radosh and Faculty Senate Chair Christopher Pynes. "Nearly 900 surveys were submitted with ratings and feedback for the search committee and trustees. The participation and communication was invaluable and provided important information for the Board to consider when selecting WIU's 12th president.

"We are so pleased to have Dr. Huang serve as the 12th president of this outstanding institution. He is ready to continue moving Western Illinois University forward and to keep WIU on the forefront," Radosh added. "We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to Dr. Martin Abraham for stepping into the role of interim president during these challenging times. He hit the ground running and helped right the course for our University."

Huang has served as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania since July 2019. Under his leadership, the institution launched and implemented the 2019-2024 University Strategic Plan; developed and executed Financial Sustainability Plans; increased freshman inquiries by 24.07 percent, applications by nearly 8 percent and admits increased by 17 percent; improved freshmen student retention; developed a comprehensive fundraising campaign plan; and reduced the budget deficit. In his role as president of Edinboro, Huang led the University through the COVID-19 crisis and transitioned from in-person to online modality in Spring 2020 and established reopening plans that allowed for a safe opening of the Fall 2020 semester.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as the 12th president of Western Illinois University," Huang said. "I appreciate the Board's and search committee's confidence in my abilities to lead this great institution, as well as the faculty, staff, students, alumni and many others who took part in the interview process. I am excited to meet everyone in person, to work with the Board, the University and regional communities, and to lead Western Illinois University forward."

Previously, Huang served as the chancellor of Louisiana State University of Alexandria from January 2017-June 2019. In this role, he was in charge of the full scope of university operations, budgeting, strategic planning, auxiliary services, among others, and oversaw seven divisions: Academic Affairs, Finance & Administration, Student Engagement, Institutional Advancement & Alumni Relations, Enrollment Management, Marketing and Strategic Communications, and Athletics. He has also served as the senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, acting chief international officer and professor of English at Norwich University in Northfield, VT. Huang was the founding dean of the Biscayne College of Liberal Arts, dean of Undergraduate Studies and Programs and professor of English at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, FL.

He has also served in a variety of academic roles at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI), Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), Texas A&M University at College Station, Beijing University, and Qufu Normal University (Shandong, China).

Huang has published 13 books and over 60 scholarly articles and has keynoted and presented at numerous national and international conferences.

He earned his doctorate in English from Texas A&M University at College Station; completed graduate studies in English from Beijing University; and his bachelor's degree from Qufu Normal University. He is also a 2009 graduate of the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, among other Harvard institutes.

Huang and his wife, Jennifer Qian (pronounced Chian), have a daughter, Claire, who is a fifth grader, and a son, George, who is a junior studying political science at Rice University in Texas.

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing