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University administrators react to president White’s resignation

Since University President B. Joseph White formally announced his resignation Sept. 23, University officials have voiced their opinions on his successes as an administrator as well as his continued involvement as a professor and fundraiser for the University.

“President B. Joseph White is a distinguished scholar and thought leader of world renown,” said Larry DeBrock, dean of the College of Business in a prepared statement. “We are fortunate to have Dr. White continue as the James F. Towey Professor of Business and Leadership in the College of Business.”

Don Kojich, associate vice president for marketing and communication at the University of Illinois Foundation, said the group is currently in the middle of a $2.25 billion Brilliant Futures fundraising program. The foundation has raised $1.7 billion to date for all three of the campuses included in the University of Illinois system.

“He has developed a lot of relationships with alumni and University supporters,” Kojich said. “We want to continue to take advantage and cultivate those relationships.”

Kojich said White has been “instrumental in leading these campaigns,” although his involvement after his resignation is still yet to be specifically determined.

The Brilliant Futures Campaign, which White and Chancellor Richard Herman as well as campaign chair James Benson have led, was established in June of 2007. The campaign is currently almost 80 percent of the way to reaching its goal of raising $2.25 billion.

The funds raised would go towards undergraduate scholarships, graduate student fellowships, endowed chairs and professorships, program support and research, and campus environment, according to the Brilliant Futures Campaign Web site.

“The president is very far removed from the faculty and the colleges,” said Robert Graves, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. “But he certainly set an overall direction for all three campuses with fundraising, and to that degree he will be missed.”

Despite White’s resignation, Graves said he felt that the University was in good hands.

“The University is really run by the faculty, deans and provost,” Graves said. “Despite certain situations, we’re moving forward with good leadership, there’s no doubt about that.”

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