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Millikin President to retire in 2025

Dr. Jim Reynolds
Millikin University
Dr. Jim Reynolds

Dr. Jim Reynolds will step down on June 30, 2025, the school announced Monday.

Reynolds was elected the 16th president of Millikin in July 2020. He took over in the midst of the pandemic which meant overseeing the shift to remote learning.

“After spending time reflecting on my career in higher education and with input from my wife Sue, I realize that the next chapter of my life needs to shift towards more focus on our family,” President Reynolds said. “Millikin is a special place and will always hold a special place in our hearts. But there is a season for everything, and it’s time for me to be with my family as Sue and I celebrate the joy of being grandparents. I am proud to have been a small part of the history of this institution and to come back to my hometown and for that, I will be forever grateful.”   

According to a news release from the school, "The pandemic changed the face of higher learning for every institution in the United States, and Millikin has been able to navigate those uncertain waters while some other Midwestern universities have faced closure. Through the implementation of the Millikin Tuition Promise, which provides a reduced tuition rate of $26,000 for full-time undergraduate students, and the Big Blue Pledge: Illinois Free Tuition Program, which is an investment in Illinois students who may lack the financial options necessary to pursue a private college education, Millikin is positioned to continue its pledge to deliver on the promise of excellence into the future."

Millikin has also entered into a new articulation agreement with Richland Community College, which will improve the transfer process for students who have earned an Associate’s degree with a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

“As Millikin is quickly approaching its 125th anniversary, under President Reynolds’ leadership, the university has made significant strides since COVID to improve our financial health and prepare us for many more years to come,” said Millikin Board of Trustees Chairman Ronald Branch ’81. “We appreciate the difficulties that President Reynolds has faced in his tenure, and we are thankful for the leadership he has shown in guiding Millikin through those challenges. President Reynolds has been a phenomenal leader and I look forward to him completing his time with us in the same standard of excellence exhibited thus far.”

Reynolds oversaw the opening of the $29 million new Center for Theatre & Dance, the construction of the new $3.2 million Health Sciences Center, and the groundbreaking of the forthcoming $12.3 million Rathje Athletic Center, which is expected to be completed fall 2025.

The Millikin Board of Trustees is considering the next steps and will communicate those in the coming weeks, the university said.

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