LAS interim dean announcement
June 16, 2020 10:01 AM

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Gene Robinson as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences designate beginning on July 1. This appointment is pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Professor Robinson’s selection comes after consultation and discussions with other executive officers, senior academic leaders and members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Executive Committee

Professor Robinson brings more than three decades of experience as a faculty member, academic leader and university administrator here at Illinois. A faculty member of the Department of Entomology, he is a Swanlund Professor and the current director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. With membership in two of our National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture, he is a world-renowned scholar and teacher. His extensive knowledge and experience at every level of this institution will serve the College well during this critical year ahead.

A national search for the permanent dean of LAS will begin this summer. In the weeks ahead, I will consult with the College’s executive committee, department heads, faculty and staff about forming the search committee and I will share that information when it is finalized. It is my intention to have a new permanent dean in place for the start of the 2021 academic year.

Professor Robinson has agreed to serve in this role for the next year, at which point he will be resuming his permanent role as director at IGB. His IGB five-year review will continue as planned this summer.

I want to thank Dean Feng Sheng Hu for his leadership of LAS and his long faculty service to his college and university. I am deeply appreciative of his efforts over these final months of his Illinois tenure to help us navigate the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Robinson as the interim dean of LAS. I am confident that he will have the full support of his colleagues and that under his leadership, LAS will continue to advance in its academic and scholarly missions with the optimism and confidence these unprecedented times demand.


Andreas C. Cangellaris
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

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