CARBONDALE — Interim Southern Illinois University Chancellor Brad Colwell announced the appointment of Elizabeth Lewin as interim associate chancellor for diversity on Thursday, according to SIU University Communications.

The appointment will be effective Oct. 1.

Lewin is a Carbondale native with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SIU, as well as an education specialist degree in education from SIU Edwardsville. She also earned a doctorate degree from the University of Sarasota in Florida.

SIU says she was named as the first African-American female superintendent of the Carbondale Elementary School District in 1995. She retired in 2005. Lewin then taught in SIU’s College of Education and Human Services.

Lewin was Edwardsville’s first African-American school administrator, serving as assistant principal from 1988 to 1993, and then principal of Edwardsville High School from 1993 to 1995.

SIU is reporting Lewin has extensive experience with diversity and inclusivity. A release from the school points to her experience at the Edwardsville school district, where she resolved several race-related issues resulting from an annexation of a rural community into the district.

During her time in Carbondale, she started a program called Carbondale in Harmony that ran for two years.

“I am delighted that Dr. Lewin will be sharing her passion for education and her leadership skills at this critical time and in this key position,” Colwell said. “She has been a trailblazer throughout her career, and the university will benefit from her expertise and commitment.”

He added that the university plans a national search to fill the position on a permanent basis.

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Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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