September 23, 2016

Dear colleagues:

I am delighted to welcome Robert Jones as the new permanent chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and to welcome former Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson to a newly restructured leadership role with the U of I System.

Both are as eager to get started as we are to have them.

Robert is joining us a week earlier than expected when his appointment was announced in July, after wrapping up his work at the University of Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), where he served for three years as president of one of the SUNY system’s leading research universities. After passing the baton to Robert, Barb is moving immediately into her new System-wide position as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs.

Robert is new to Illinois, but certainly not to the bedrock missions that have made the U of I a world leader since its land-grant founding nearly 150 years ago. He brings a deep passion for students and innovation, and a long record of achievement as an educator, researcher and top administrator in public higher education, including more than three decades at the University of Minnesota, a fellow Big Ten land-grant institution.

Barb has been a familiar face in Urbana-Champaign since 2000, serving as a faculty member, executive vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For the last 13 months, she served as interim chancellor, where her commitment and leadership were invaluable in steering the university through a year of difficult challenges. Barb will now bring those same skills to help guide the System forward in her new role as senior operating officer, senior academic officer and second-in-command to the president.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Robert and Barb, and thanking Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn M.M. Marshall for stepping up to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs for the last month.




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