The University’s 20th president will take over May 18
May 10, 2015
Timothy Killeen will serve as the next University of Illinois President, taking over for President Emeritus Robert Easter.
Killen served as the former State University of New York Vice Chancellor for Research President.
At a Champaign press conference on Nov. 19, Killeen said working at the University is a homecoming of sorts because all of his past work led him to Illinois.
The 62-year-old Wales native and U.S. citizen has over 30 years experience in higher education, serving roles in administration and as a researcher in geophysics and space sciences at the University of Michigan.
He also earned his Ph.D. from University College London at age 23 and has received three achievement awards from NASA. ss
“I am a genetic optimist, which is not a scientific term. I have one gear and that’s moving forward with optimism,” Killeen said.
The University president is the chief executive officer of the University, as well as the executive agent of the board.
“State funding is one problem — investment support, research, grant funding, there are many pieces which contribute to this problem,” Killeen said.
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Killeen will discuss his goals at a town hall meeting titled, “A Conversation About Our Common Future,” on May 18 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.ss
Easter, who has said he is excited to help Killeen transition but is also looking forward to retirement, said at the board’s May 7 meeting that he believes the University is in good hands.
“There’s almost a feeling of relief that the torch will soon be passed to an incredibly able and well-fit successor,” Easter said.