Director of SIU's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute to retire
David Yepsen, director of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute since 2009, recently revealed his decision to retire effective Oct. 31.
Yepsen said the decisions was not made easily, but that it was a change whose time had come.
“These past seven years have been a wonderful time in my life,” Yepsen said. “It’s been rewarding to work with students and my colleagues here at the institute and on campus. We’ve done a lot of good things, and I think Paul would approve. I’ve also made a lot of friends here in Illinois.”
Yepsen said that although he has reached retirement age, he still has a full plate of projects on his “bucket list" and said he made the announcement now to ensure a smooth transition when he leaves. Acknowledging “difficult times” at SIU and in Illinois, Yepsen said, “…part of me feels like I’m leaving a ship I’m supposed to captain.”
Yepsen spent 34 years as a writer, editor and columnist for the Des Moines Register prior to assuming leadership of the institute, founded in 1997 by late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon to research public policy, ethical government and responsible citizenship.
“David has brought significant visibility to the institute through guest speakers, public-policy polls and his role as a political commentator for national media,” Susan Ford, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. “The institute and university have benefitted from his expertise and leadership.”
“And there’s also never a dull moment in Illinois politics," Yepsen said.