College of LAS « Illinois

Dr. Constantine "Deno" Curris

Ablest Administrator

Constantine Curris Photo

A leader among academic administrators, Dr. Constantine "Deno" Curris (A.M. '65, political science) has made his own mark in higher education. He has served as president of Clemson University, the University of Northern Iowa, and Murray State University in his home state of Kentucky. Former UI president Stanley O. Ikenberry describes Curris's personal style and substance as "thoughtful, analytical, and value driven--one who exemplifies in his actions, decisions, and philosophies the positive qualities derived from a sound liberal arts and sciences education."

Currently serving as president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Curris has reached the highest level of achievement in his profession, earning the respect and admiration of college and university presidents nationwide. In his present post, Curris advocates for over 15 million students and three-quarter million staff and faculty in the more than 400 state colleges and universities his association represents in Washington, D.C.

As David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says of Curris: "He brings a broad and sophisticated grasp of the issues, and a highly refined judgment about the national political environment. When the policy matters before us are most difficult, Deno can be counted on to deploy his unique brand of wit and wisdom. Consistently he cuts to the quick of the debate and often offers a politically adroit path for [us] to follow." Typically not the first to speak in a discussion, Curris prefers to listen patiently to all points of view before formulating a well-thought-out response that regularly carries the day.

Fair-minded, insightful, reliable, and personable are just some of the adjectives colleagues consistently use to describe him. These qualities, along with a great sense of humor, an innate love for people, and a genuine joy in just being involved, make this deliberate, creative, and resourceful individual one of the top administrators in American higher education.

Fall 2001