- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - The president of Illinois State University gave an upbeat assessment of the school’s future, saying Thursday the school has the capacity for moderate growth that can be achieved with increased diversity.

Larry Dietz listed the university’s enrollment increases, national rankings and fundraising productivity as good news before an audience made up mostly of faculty and staff.

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports Dietz also outlined plans to build on student diversity through both statewide recruitment efforts and international partnerships to bring more foreign students to the university. He also said attention will be paid to increasing diversity among faculty and staff.

Without mentioning the circumstances of his elevation to the presidency, Dietz said many people had “experienced confusion, if not contention” in the past year.

“We emerged strong - and today the state of Illinois State University remains vibrant, resilient, powerful and eager to address the challenges of the future,” Dietz said.

Dietz became Illinois State’s 19th president earlier this year after Timothy Flanagan abruptly resigned. His departure came days before being charged with a misdemeanor for an altercation with a former grounds crew worker. Flanagan’s lawyer says the disorderly conduct charge is unfounded.

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