ICCTA Meritorious Service Award

2002 Recipient


Dr. Keith Sanders
Retired executive director
Illinois Board of Higher Education

Keith Sanders' June 1 retirement is only the latest chapter in a higher education career spanning more than four decades.

While at the helm of the IBHE, Dr. Sanders presided over an aggressive agenda highlighted by the creation of "The Illinois Commitment," an ambitious strategic plan for the state's colleges and universities to meet the needs and challenges of a new century.

His 4-½ year tenure also saw the development of such technology initiatives as the Illinois Century Network, the Illinois Virtual Campus and the Illinois Virtual High School.

Dr. Keith Sanders of the the Illinois Board of Higher Education accepts his ICCTA Certificate of Merit.

Sanders also shephereded the creation of the University Center of Lake County; a rapid build-up of programs and enrollments to address the critical worker shortage in high-tech fields; and efforts to forge partnerships and progress in better preparing high school graduates for work and college.

Most notably, Illinois was ranked as the top state inMeasuring Up 2000, a "report card" compiled by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. "I take no credit but a lot of pride in that outcome," says Sanders.

A native of Benton, Sanders was the first in his family to go to college. Named one of the top college debaters in the nation, he taught for 22 years at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he later served as dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. Not surprisingly, his academic specialty is the role of communication in politics, and he has authored five books and more than 50 articles on the topic.