Timothy Flanagan, president of Framingham State University in Framingham, Mass., has been appointed 18th president of Illinois State University.

The Illinois State Board of Trustees voted to hire Flanagan, who will begin his service August 15, after an extensive national search. Flanagan has served as president of Framingham State University since 2006 and also is a professor of sociology.

Flanagan said he was drawn to Illinois State because of its reputation as one of the top public universities in the country. He noted the academic strength of the student body, with retention and graduation rates at an all-time high, and a faculty that promotes high standards in teaching, scholarship and public service.

“Illinois State is recognized as a national leader for educating students who are prepared to take their place in this world,” Flanagan said. “The faculty is outstanding, not only committed to the classroom but also to research.”

Michael McCuskey, who chairs the Board of Trustees and presidential search committee, cited Flanagan’s successful history in leading universities, including serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs and a professor of criminal justice at College at Brockport, State University of New York.

“We are fortunate to have attracted a president with a legacy of leadership and scholarship in higher education, as well as an appreciation for the mission, vision and values that guide Illinois State,” McCuskey said. “Dr. Flanagan shares our aspirations and can help us build on our excellent foundation.”

Dan Holland, chair of Illinois State’s Academic Senate and a member of the search committee, believes Flanagan is well-prepared for his role.

“He has served at all levels at a university, from faculty member to chair to dean and president. He has a good understanding of the academic side of the house and from what I understand he works well with shared governance. I anticipate he will work very well with us.”

Student Trustee Aaron Von Qualen, who also was on the search committee, said the University is fortunate to have found someone who has an excellent reputation for leading a state university.

“I am excited that Dr. Flanagan is going to be our next president,” he said. “He is ready to step in and build on the great traditions of Illinois State and will continue to improve the value of the education we offer. Through shared governance and his expertise in reaching out to alumni, communities and legislators, Dr. Flanagan will be a tremendous advocate for our campus. He will be a great successor to Dr. Bowman’s legacy.”

Flanagan received a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University of Albany, State University of New York. He has done post-graduate work at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He and his wife, Nancy, who holds a Ph.D. in nursing, have two children and four grandchildren.

Flanagan’s accomplishments include creating new academic programs; securing $175 million in capital investment in the past six years; establishing record-setting levels of fundraising and private support and launching the first comprehensive campaign in Framingham State’s history.

He will replace Al Bowman, who announced last December he would step down as president after serving the university for 35 years, the last decade as president.