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Northeastern Illinois University’s new president may have grown up downstate, but Gloria J. Gibson is at home here. For Gibson, home is not about location as much as it is the people and the students the institution serves.
“I am truly honored to be president of Northeastern Illinois University, a place I have developed a strong and heartfelt appreciation for since setting foot on campus,” said Gibson, who took the helm on June 1, 2018. “Among the things I found most impressive about Northeastern are its resiliency during the past 150 years and its diverse community. I am so honored to be a part of Northeastern’s history and to be following the footsteps of strong leaders who preceded me.”
A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Gibson has two adult sons, Antonio and Kristopher, and close relatives living in the Metro-East Illinois area. She came to Northeastern from Morgan State University in Baltimore, where she served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.
Gibson’s academic career began with both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in music education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She then earned a Ph.D. in Folklore with a concentration in ethnomusicology from Indiana University at Bloomington. She then made stops at Arkansas State University and the University of Northern Iowa before moving to Morgan State, one of the largest federally designated Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the largest HBCU in Maryland.
“As an administrator, I believe in visionary, transformative leadership utilizing an approach that is inclusive and mission-driven,” Gibson said. “Leaders should understand diverse constituencies and envision fruitful relationships that will net dynamic plans and actions for the future. I seek ways to bring faculty, staff, administrators and various communities together to strategically approach and successfully accomplish our collective mission and goals.”