One of Texas A&M's longtime professors and administrators is taking on a presidential post.
Vice Provost William Perry has been named the new president of Eastern Illinois University. He was one of three finalists for the post.
A math professor at A&M since the 1970s, Perry took on the additional administrative role in 2003. He will begin at EIU on July 1.
In a statement to the university, Interim President Eddie Davis said Perry's contributions and friendship will long be remembered at Texas A&M.
The following is the statement by President Davis concerning Perry:
"It is with great personal pride that I announce Vice Provost William L. Perry, who has so ably and affably served Texas A&M as an outstanding educator and administrator for more than 35 years, has been named president of Eastern Illinois University, effective July 1.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Perry, a well-respected and highly skilled consensus builder, to utilize his outstanding leadership qualities at an excellent institution such as Eastern Illinois University. Still, the news is definitely bittersweet, particularly for those of us who have known and respected him for a long time-and will sorely miss him, both professionally and personally.
"I've had the privilege of working with Bill Perry for almost three decades and I know firsthand of the countless lives he has touched in a positive way - students, faculty and staff. I also believe that Bill truly exemplifies all of the Aggie core values-leadership, excellence, integrity, loyalty, selfless service and respect. As such, I also understand that an extraordinary opportunity to lead a fine university is one that Dr. Perry or anyone with his remarkable leadership skills and exceptional academic credentials, would find difficult to decline.
"Throughout his career at Texas A&M, Dr. Perry has taught mathematics, maintained office hours and hosted Saturday morning help sessions. As dean of faculties, he will be remembered for initiating development opportunities for faculty as well as for initiating programs to assist in the recruitment and retention of women and minorities. He also secured endowments for the University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence and the Center for Teaching Excellence-Montague Scholars.
"As executive associate provost and vice provost he handled many highly important and sensitive issues with great aplomb, including chairing the Council on the Built Environment, leading strategic planning processes, serving on the Campus Master Plan Committee, appointing the committee to advise the university on the preservation of the Bonfire artifacts, and establishing advisory committees to create exhibits documenting the roles of African Americans and Hispanics at Texas A&M.
"Bill's many contributions to Texas A&M and his friendship will long be remembered.
"Linda Perry, who will be an extraordinary First Lady, will also be deeply missed. She is recognized as one of our most popular and effective teachers as well as a full partner in the Perry's long and deep community involvement.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for Dr. Perry and I hope you join me in thanking him for his distinguished record of service and commitment to Texas A&M and wishing him well in his new position."