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Newly appointed Interim-President Aondover Tarhule speaks on goals for ISU

Written by on March 8, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – In the wake of the surprising resignation of former ISU President Terri Goss Kinzy, the Board of Trustees approved Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Aondover Tarhule, to step into the role of interim-president effective immediately until June of 2024. 

“I was very excited and also very humbled,” said Dr. Tarhule. “I was excited because I know just what a great institution this is and all the potential and the things we can do.”

Tarhule’s path at ISU dates back to his hire in 2020. Since stepping into this role, he has been committed to continuing the projects that Dr. Kinzy started before her resignation, as well as opening new projects to improve various aspects of ISU. 

“The first goal is really building on our relationships within the university,” said Dr. Tarhule. “And that means enhanced communication, transparency, and then the community. Goal number two is executing on the many exciting transformational projects we have got going. We have the college of engineering that is coming along. We have the nursing expansion and on and on. The third is working with my administrative colleagues to identify other things in our continuing efforts to position Illinois State on an even stronger foundation.”

Dr. Tarhule has traveled across the world to receive his education from accredited universities. From his academic endeavors to Nigeria, Canada, Oklahoma, New York and now ISU stand amongst the very best he has seen.

“I think the investment of the people here in the community and this university is really special,” said Dr. Tarhule. “When you look at alums, the amount of engagement and commitment and support they continue to have with love you can really feel it.”

Equality, diversity and inclusion are three core values that ISU has implemented to create a safe and welcoming environment on campus. Dr. Tarhule stands as ISU’s second Black president, giving way to the university’s focus and dedication to improving and maintaining those values.

“I think it takes different perspectives to make the university strong,” said Dr. Tarhule. “As we accept people from different parts of the world, it’s not just the people. It’s their ideas, their cultures, their work ethics, and the things that they bring. It speaks not just to being an immigrant and black, of course, so in terms of diversity, I think this is a really good affirmation for the university, and I would very much want to be a part of continuing to uphold diversity as a value of the university.”

This change in leadership for ISU students may require time for adjustment, but Dr. Tarhule assures that he is upholding all of the universities standards and values. Additionally, he is committed to creating a safe space to maintain ISU’s core values.

“We are in a very strong position,” said Dr. Tarhule. “I understand that sometimes change brings a level of anxiety and apprehension for some people, and I say no need for that. All of our commitments remain and all of our priorities remain. We have seamlessly transitioned and I have appointed an acting Provost which is just fantastic. We are really looking forward to what Dr. Ani Yazedjian can bring.”