NORMAL — Illinois State University President Larry Dietz was named Tuesday to Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker's transition committee for education.
The 35-member committee includes several legislators and representatives from K-12 and higher education as well as education advocacy groups.
“I am happy to advocate for education quality,” said Dietz. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve.”
Dietz said he had not received detailed information yet on what his responsibilities will be. He said his expertise is in higher education, but he is glad to see a mixture of people with interests that range from preschool to higher education on the committee.
Pointing to regular meetings he has with the superintendents of District 87 and Unit 5 school districts and the president of Heartland Community college, Dietz said such regular communication is important. “But I don't know that everyone does that,” he said.
The Educational Success Committee will have four co-chairs. They are:
• State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, who was a key player in reform of the state's school funding formula.
• State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Westchester, who chairs the House Higher Education Committee and serves on the appropriations committees for higher education and elementary and secondary education.
• Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools and a former high school teacher and principal.
• Kathi Griffin, president of the Illinois Education Association, the largest union in Illinois, who worked as a kindergarten through sixth-grade teacher in Schaumburg.
In addition to Dietz, other university leaders on the committee are Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, president of Chicago State University, and Michael Amiridis, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This is not the first time someone connected to ISU has served on the transition team for a governor-elect.
Former ISU president Al Bowman, who is executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, served on Bruce Rauner's transition team in 2014, a little over a year after he retired as ISU president.