Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Ilesanmi 'Ade' Adesida, the dean of the College of Engineering, has accepted the position of vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost of the Urbana campus, pending approval of the board of trustees at its May 31 meeting in Chicago. He will assume his new role on Aug. 16.

Dr. Adesida has served in various roles since joining our faculty in 1987. He was named dean in 2006, and he also has been a co-director of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology since 2001. He will be assuming the post held by Richard Wheeler on an interim basis since January 2010.

Dr. Adesida's global experience, expertise in innovation, and leadership in public and private partnerships have given him a solid foundation on which to build as he helps guide our campus forward. He has an outstanding record of scholarship, a proven commitment to excellence, and an ability to successfully collaborate with colleagues at Illinois.

Dr. Adesida and the other internal finalist for the position, Ruth Watkins, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, share vast experience and established connections, and we are fortunate to have such breadth of leadership on our campus.

Dr. Adesida will play a critical role in developing and executing the next steps in the Visioning Future Excellence initiative, which has challenged staff and faculty members to submit ideas that will be used to plot the campus's course far into the future.

I want to thank the search committee and Paula Kaufman, the University Librarian and the dean of Libraries, who led the committee, and, of course, Dick Wheeler, who helped lead the campus through some of the most challenging budgetary times the university has faced and for doing so with transparency, sensitivity, and in consultation with colleagues across campus.

Dr. Adesida will be a critical asset for our campus as we seek to more aggressively advance our mission. I look forward to working with him as provost.

Please join me in congratulating Ade as he begins this new leadership role.


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


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