Taking a look back at administration throughout the semester


Daily Illini File Photo

President-elect Timothy L. Killeen listens intently during the board of trustees meeting at the Illini Union on March 12, 2015. He announced a plan to provide more financial aid to middle class students.

By Megan Jones and Angelica LaVito

First dean of College of Medicine announced — Aug. 30

Dr. King Li was appointed to serve as the inaugural dean for the College of Medicine and began on Oct. 1. His main goals included starting to hire faculty for the college, ensuring accreditation applications were submitted and finishing curriculum plans.

Li will earn $650,000 a year and lead the first college created by the University in 60 years. The college hopes to revolutionize the medical field by combining bioengineering with medicine.

Li is currently a senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Wake Forest School of Medicine as well as deputy director of the university’s comprehensive cancer center.

He has over 16 patents, with another six pending and is a Wells Fargo Faculty Scholar at Wake Forest. He has also held clinical, educational and inventor roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Stanford University.

Barbara Wilson promoted to second-in-command — Sept. 13

President Timothy Killeen promoted Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson to executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for the UI system.

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She replaced former Vice President for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre, who left in August to serve as a provost for Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. The role was newly restructured, making Wilson chief operating officer and chief academic officer.

Wilson will earn $450,000 a year, according to UI spokesman Tom Hardy. Before assuming the role of interim chancellor, she served as dean of LAS, the University’s largest college.  

Martin Camargo was appointed the interim dean of LAS and Interim Provost Ed Feser said an internal search is underway for a permanent dean.

Chancellor Robert Jones starts — Sept. 27

Robert Jones took over as chancellor. On his first day, he identified the state budget as the biggest problem facing the University.

He commended the work former Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson and Interim Provost Ed Feser have done to overcome financial uncertainty and bring transparency to the issue. Jones did not promise any new strategies, but planned to “continue to build on and keep us moving down the path where we already are.”

To understand the problems facing the University, Jones announced a “listening and learning tour.” He vowed to meet with his students, employees and alumni in his 150 days as chancellor.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs announces May retirement — Oct. 17

Vice Chancellor Renee Romano will retire after May’s commencement ceremony. Romano has served as vice chancellor since 2006 and her retirement brings an end to her 38-year career in higher education.

Romano plans to move to Colorado to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.

“It’s a good time for me,” she said. “My daughter is expecting a baby, so I’ll be a grandma for the first time.”

Jones calls for review of UIUC diversity programs — Nov. 3

Chancellor Robert Jones called for a self-study to ensure the campus is getting a return on investment and creating an inclusive climate on campus through its diversity-based programs.

Jones, who began as chancellor in late September, is the University’s first African-American chancellor. On his first day in office, he said he believes the campus has wonderful efforts, but he was not convinced they were aligned to create synergy.

Programs on campus include the Office of Diversity, Equity and Access, all the cultural houses on campus, faculty hiring initiatives and scholarships such as the Presidential Award Program and Illinois Promise. Associate Chancellor for Diversity Assata Zerai said she hopes they can add additional resources to areas where they find gaps.

Killeen introduces state funding bill — Nov. 10

President Timothy Killeen announced a bill that would guarantee the University state funding in exchange for meeting target metrics. Killeen worked with the state legislature’s U of I caucus to draft the bill, known as the University of Illinois Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment, IPAC.

The legislation aims to provide the University with reliable and predictable state funding for the next five years. The current system allows the state to adjust funding with each budget negotiation, which has put the University in the middle of a budget impasse that has paralyzed Springfield for the past two years.

If the bill passes the state will be required to appropriate $662.1 million in fiscal year 2018 and at least that amount plus inflation in each of the remaining four years of the agreement. This would be true only if the University meets its targets, all of which the University is already meeting.

The Board of Trustees endorsed IPAC at its meeting the same day Killeen announced it. The Illinois Student Senate, Senate Executive Committee and Academic Senate have endorsed it since.

Board of Trustees approves College of Medicine — Nov. 10

The Board of Trustees voted to establish a doctor of medicine degree and curriculum for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, clearing the final step before the new college can apply for accreditation.

The University had been developing the engineering-infused curriculum since the Board voted to create the college in February 2015. Senate Executive Committee Chair Gay Miller said accreditation applications for the Liaison Committee of Medical Education were submitted on time in December.

Notification is expected to come in late fall of 2017. If its application is successful then the College of Medicine can recruit its first class for fall 2018 with 32 students.

President Killeen announces UI cannot declare campuses sanctuaries — Dec. 6

President Timothy Killeen said the University cannot declare itself as a sanctuary for undocumented students because as a public institution, it must uphold state and federal laws.

He said declaring the campus as a sanctuary is “not well specified and may actually jeopardize” the University, such as losing public function or having other sanctions leveled.

Killeen said he will protect undocumented students within the law, including to protect student and employee privacy information.

This comes after a petition was delivered to Chancellor Robert Jones at an Academic Senate meeting with over 2,300 signatures.

The petition asked for the University to guarantee maintaining students’ privacy, assure an inclusive campus environment and guarantee in-state tuition to students covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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