Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce that Peter E. Schiffer, the associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives at Pennsylvania State University, will become the vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, pending approval of the board of trustees at its May 31 meeting in Chicago.

Dr. Schiffer, a professor of physics at Penn State, will join our campus Aug. 16 and will fill a key role on our leadership team. He is an accomplished scientist with the administrative experience that will allow him to lead our efforts to increase our broad research and discovery mission, and to enhance funding from the federal government, foundations and corporations. I know his guidance will benefit faculty members across campus, as well as the many students who work with faculty members on their scholarship.

Dr. Schiffer earned his doctorate in physics from Stanford University in 1993 and his Bachelor of Science (with distinction) from Yale University in 1988. He has been a professor of physics at Penn State since July 2003. He was named the university's associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives in April 2007.

He has led numerous committees and task forces and has achieved numerous honors, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1997) and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1998). He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society (2004) and won the Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences at Penn State (2006). He also won the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Teaching Excellence at Penn State (2008).

Dr. Schiffer's wife, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, will be coming to the U. of I. as a faculty member, in the department of chemistry. She is the Eberly Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State. She earned her doctorate in chemistry at Stanford University in 1993.

As we welcome the Schiffers to our campus community, I would like to thank Dr. Ravi Iyer, President-Designate Bob Easter and Graduate College Dean Debasish Dutta for serving at various times in the VCR position on an interim basis.

I also extend my gratitude to the search committee and to Tanya Gallagher, the dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences, who led the committee.


Phyllis M. Wise
Vice President, University of Illinois
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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