Trustees approve new vice chancellor of research, dean of graduate college

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees, complete with three new student members, approved key administrators for research and approved the transfer of state surveys to the Urbana campus during their Thursday meeting.

Ravishankar K. Iyer was approved as the vice chancellor for research, replacing Charles “Chip” Zukoski who had served in the position since 2002. Zukowski plans to return to fill-time faculty status.

Iyer is charged with advancing campus research institutions, working with deans, department heads, faculty and graduate students. Iyer has worked as a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department.

Debashish Dutta was approved as the dean of the graduate college and associate provost at the University beginning Jan. 16, 2009.

Trustees also approved the establishment of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, made up of four newly transferred state scientific surveys: Natural History, Water, Geological and Sustainable Technology. A University geology professor and the division chief of the State Geological Survey, William W. Shilts, was installed as the executive director of the entire institute.

Paul Schmitt of the Urbana campus, James Winters of the Chicago campus and D. Craig McFarland of the Springfield campus were approved as student trustees for the 2008-2009 term. Gov. Rod Blagojevich designates which of the three students will become a voting member of the board, but he had yet to announce a decision. The other two students act as advisory members.