Glenn Poshard brings over forty years of public service to Southern Illinois
The fifth of five children who grew up on a family farm, Glenn Poshard is a
native of White County, Illinois. He graduated from Carmi Township High School
in 1962 and after graduation served in the United States Army in Korea, where he
received a commendation for outstanding service.
Dr. Poshard is a three-degree graduate of Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, the first such graduate to serve on its Board of Trustees. Entering
on the G.I. Bill, he earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1970,
a master’s degree in health education in 1974, and a Ph.D. in higher education
administration in 1984. During this time he worked as both a student worker and
a civil servant.
While working toward his master’s degree, Dr. Poshard taught and coached at
Galatia and Thompsonville high schools. Over the next ten years, he served as
Assistant Director of the Southern Illinois Regional Education Service Center
and Director of the Area Service Center for Educators of the Gifted.
In August 1984, Dr. Poshard was appointed to the Illinois State Senate. He
was successfully elected later that year and was re-elected in 1986. Based on
his success in the State Senate, the citizens of southern Illinois sent him to
the United States Congress in 1989 to represent the 22nd Congressional District.
He set a limit of ten years on his service in Congress and in 1998 won the
Democratic nomination for Governor of the State of Illinois but lost in the
general election. During his years in the Illinois Legislature and in the U.S.
Congress, he advocated for campaign finance reform, clean coal research, the
Shawnee National Forest, tourism, economic development, transportation, and
higher education. Dr. Poshard limited individual donations to his campaign and
refused to accept donations from political action committees.
In 1999, Dr. Poshard and his wife, Jo, founded the Poshard Foundation, which
raises money to fund care for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. The
Foundation has been a leader in efforts to prevent child abuse throughout
southern Illinois, including helping to build a new $600,000 women's shelter in
Cairo in December 2003. Presently, the Foundation is building a new shelter in
West Frankfort, Illinois.
In 1999, Dr. Poshard was appointed Vice Chancellor for Administration for the
Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University, a post he held until July
2003. Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed him to the Board of Trustees of
Southern Illinois University in January 2004. Later that year, he was elected
Chair of the Board of Trustees, a position he held until declaring his candidacy
for President of the University system.
Dr. Poshard is a past recipient of the Lindell W. Sturgis Memorial Public
Service Award (2003) and the SIU Distinguished Alumni Award (2003) and is a
member of the SIUC College of Education and Human Services Hall of Fame (1992).
The Poshard family includes two adult children, Dennis and Kristen, a
daughter-in-law, Diane, and five grandchildren, Lydia, Madeline, America,
Tucker, and Harrison. Glenn and Jo, a retired public school teacher, live in