October 8, 2015

Dear colleagues,

I write to share the bittersweet news that Susan Kies has decided to retire as Secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University effective next July 1. She is ending a 22-year run with her alma mater that will be remembered for her verve, professionalism, kindness and good humor. It is a loss for those of us here who rely on Susan, but it will be sweet for Susan and her family.

Since becoming University Secretary in 2011, Susan has been a loyal and respected colleague of three University presidents and the Board of Trustees, as well as campus and faculty leadership across our three campuses.

The office of the Secretary is a central cog in the governance and administration of the University. During her tenure, Susan and her staff have fulfilled their critical roles while also adapting new technology that has made the office more efficient, effective and transparent.

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree at the Urbana-Champaign campus and returned to the U of I after receiving master’s and doctoral degrees at Oklahoma State University. She joined the U of I College of Medicine regional campus at Urbana-Champaign in 1993 and served in faculty and administrative roles, becoming associate dean for academic affairs/curriculum development. Her work in the College introduced her to colleagues and issues at medical campuses in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford as well, making her well acquainted with the scale and diversity of the U of I system.

It will be a challenging task to find a replacement for Susan, and I will announce plans for a search to fill the position at a later date. We hope to identify Susan’s successor in time to allow some overlap with Susan to facilitate a smooth transition.

I know you join me in wishing Susan and her husband, Roy Wilcox, her children and grandchildren a joyful time when she begins her retirement next summer. In the meantime, we look forward to working with her and I hope you will use those opportunities to thank her for her loyal service to this great university.