The director of SIU’s respected Paul Simon Public Policy Institute will step down later this year.
David Yepsen, who has led the organization as director since 2009, announced this week that he will retire at the end of October.
“It was a hard decision,” Yepsen said in an announcement published online. “These past seven years have a been a wonderful time in my life. 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.”
Yepsen became director of the institute, which was established by former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon in 1997, after a 34-year career as a political writer, editor and columnist for the Des Moines Register. The institute provides initiatives and research related to public policy, ethical conduct in government and the promotion of responsible citizenship.
Interim Provost Susan Ford said she plans to consult with other university officials and the institute’s external board of counselors prior to launching a national search for Yepsen’s replacement. She hailed Yepsen’s time at the helm.
“David has brought significant visibility to the institute through guest speakers, public policy polls and his role as a political commentator for national media,” Ford said.