January 11, 2016

Dear colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of longtime University of Illinois administrator Dedra “DeeDee” Williams as secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University, pending approval by the Board at its Jan. 21 meeting in Chicago.

She will assume her new role Jan. 16, providing a transition period where she will work alongside Susan Kies, who is retiring June 30 after nearly five years as secretary.

DeeDee brings a unique set of skills and experience to the job. She has been part of the University family since 1989, and served for nearly 23 years within various roles at the College of Medicine in Urbana-Champaign, culminating as associate dean of administration. In 2012, she was named assistant vice president for academic affairs, a position that has provided valuable insights on our academic priorities and given her an opportunity to work closely with our three distinctive campuses.

She also understands the needs of our students and alumni – a U of I graduate who earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from the Urbana-Champaign campus.

I am grateful to DeeDee for taking on this important new role and to the committee headed by Trustee Pat Fitzgerald that assisted in the search.

Please join me in congratulating DeeDee, and wishing Susan the best as she prepares to head into a much-deserved retirement after nearly 25 years of loyal and dedicated service to her alma mater.