The Illinois Institute of Technology has a new president, starting in August.
The research university chose Raj Echambadi to lead the Bronzeville-based institution.
“For me, this foundational vision of providing affordable and accessible education to all is what drew me to Illinois Tech,” said Echambadi, who comes to Chicago from Northeastern University in Boston.
The move comes as Chicago strives to strengthen its local tech industry as it emerges from the pandemic and grapples with issues of equity and community engagement.
“Illinois Tech is the only technology-oriented institution in Chicago, so it has a very vital role to play with advanced technologies, changing the way we work, live, learn,” Echambadi said. “Advancing technology for all, so that we have a fair world, is going to be a very important mission for Illinois Tech going forward. ”
The Illinois Institute of Technology has long been located in Bronzeville, a predominantly black neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.
Echambadi says the school can always do more to engage with its surrounding community and develop a “win-win” relationship for both parties.
“While there have been exciting collaboration opportunities, we need to do more. And it’s about engaging with the Bronzeville community and listening to their needs, and offering what Illinois Tech can do, ”he said.
Echambadi says he plans to meet with neighborhood leaders to find out how the school can work more closely with them.
He takes the helm of Illinois Tech on August 16.