View from the top: SIUE chancellor has a bird's-eye view of campus

News-DemocratDecember 8, 2013 

Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe need only get up from her desk and walk a few feet to check the pulse of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Her corner office on the third floor of the Rendleman Building has two walls of windows, giving her a panoramic view of campus.

"It's just fun to take a break from the computer and see what's going on down there," she said.

That may include grilling outside Morris University Center, breakdancing in University Plaza or skateboarding on the Stratton Quadrangle.

"The geese provide comic relief," Furst-Bowe said. "There was actually one on the patio that was nesting. There are a lot of deer on campus, too, but I've not seen them from here."

Furst-Bowe became SIUE chancellor in 2012, moving into her 30-by-30-foot office with a fireplace and private bathroom.

She picked out three colorful paintings of Cuban architecture by the late Emilio Sanchez to hang on the wall. University Museum has the largest collection of his artwork in the country.

Furst-Bowe came to SIUE from University of Wisconsin-Stout, where she served as provost and vice chancellor. Her UW office was downtown, overlooking stores and the city's post office.

"It wasn't quite as big," she said. "It didn't have a fireplace. But it was similar in that it was on the third floor of the administration building."

One of Furst-Bowe's favorite things about SIUE is its green space, including hundreds of trees.

"It's beautiful when it snows, even though it only happens a couple of times a year," she said. "In Wisconsin, it snowed all the time for four or five months. Here, it's an event."

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