Phyllis Wise greets campus as chancellor designate

With more administration appointments looming on the horizon, Phyllis Wise, executive vice president and provost of the University of Washington, visited the University on Tuesday for the first time in her role as the designated Chancellor and Vice President for the University.

Wise, whose appointment takes effect Oct. 1, 2011 pending Board of Trustee approval, spoke in the South Lounge of the Illini Union with other University officials Tuesday at an event that bid farewell to outgoing Interim Chancellor Robert Easter, who will retire as an emeritus faculty member of the College of ACES.

Hogan said Wise is taking on her role during a difficult time for the University and that her appointment will be followed by more soon.

“We’ve been filling up leadership positions left and right this summer and more is to come in the weeks ahead,” Hogan said while acknowledging the work of the search committee that selected Wise and other finalists.

Currently, the position of Athletic Director, or AD, is filled by Terry Cole, who took over after Ron Guenther retired June 1, but the interim appointment expires Aug. 15. Despite her appointment not being official until October, Wise said she will also be working on a permanent replacement for Guenther in the coming weeks.

“There will be a new AD coming up, and I will be involved in that process,” Wise said. “Athletics is so key to success of a university, because … it’s how people get introduced to the university, and advocates and fans and spectators oftentimes become really good friends of the entire university.”

Board confirmation Board chairman Chris Kennedy pledged support for designate.

“The entire Board of Trustees looks forward to supporting (Wise) and (her) efforts to bring great leadership to every college, every institute, and every program at the University,” Kennedy said. “(Wise has) our support, and we will never let (her) down.”

Easter, who did not seek the permanent version of the role he took over in Oct. 2009 after the resignation of Richard Herman, called Tuesday a day of “personal celebration.”

In her brief remarks during the ceremony, Wise, who last year served as the interim president of the University of Washington, praised her Illinois predecessor for his work despite his appointment being temporary.

“What you have done, Bob (Easter), in the last couple of years, is just short of a miracle, because I know what it means to have the word ‘Interim’ attached to your title,” she said.