Chan­cel­lor at SIU-Car­bon­dale cre­ated ‘roadmap’ to fu­ture

Chicago Sun-Times - - OBITUARIES -

CAR­BON­DALE — South­ern Illi­nois Univer­sity-Car­bon­dale Chan­cel­lor Carlo Montemagno died Thurs­day at age 62, the univer­sity’s in­terim pres­i­dent an­nounced.

The school didn’t re­veal the cause of death. In June, Mr. Montemagno re­vealed in his blog that he was suf­fer­ing from can­cer.

“This was un­ex­pected. Even though he car­ried a di­ag­no­sis for which he was be­ing treated, this was sud­den and un­pre­dicted,” SIU trustee Dr. Mar­sha Ryan said.

De­spite un­der­go­ing an “ar­du­ous and drain­ing” reg­i­men of chemo­ther­apy, Montemagno con­tin­ued to per­form his du­ties, Ryan said. “He worked ev­ery day that he was not in ac­tive treat­ment.”

Be­fore join­ing the SIU staff, Mr. Montemagno was a cel­e­brated nan­otech­nol­ogy and bio­med­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing re­searcher at the Univer­sity of Al­berta in Ed­mon­ton, Canada, where he headed the In­ge­nu­ity Lab.

Mr. Montemagno be­came chan­cel­lor of SIU-Car­bon­dale in Au­gust 2017. Three months later, he an­nounced a plan to elim­i­nate aca­demic de­part­ments and de­part­ment heads amid plum­met­ing en­roll­ment and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing fi­nances. He said his plan aimed to save money and was an op­por­tu­nity to make the univer­sity’s aca­demic of­fer­ings more at­trac­tive to prospec­tive stu­dents.

SIU has seen its en­roll­ment plunge over 20 years, to­tal­ing 12,817 stu­dents this fall. That is about half of what en­roll­ment was in 1991.

“He cre­ated a roadmap to se­cure the univer­sity’s fu­ture; earned the re­spect and com­mit­ment of fac­ulty, staff, stu­dents, alumni and com­mu­nity mem­bers; and was an un­wa­ver­ing pro­po­nent of the univer­sity’s mis­sion,” In­terim Pres­i­dent J. Kevin Dorsey said.

Mr. Montemagno is sur­vived by his wife, Pamela, two chil­dren and five grand­chil­dren.

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