Dean Kim Kidwell to serve as Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives
August 19, 2021 2:02 PM

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

I am pleased to announce that College of ACES Dean Kim Kidwell will join my leadership team as the inaugural Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives effective Sept. 16, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Until Board approval has been received, her title will be Interim Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives. She will remain a tenured faculty member in her home department, Crop Sciences. Provost Cangellaris will be consulting with the ACES Executive Committee, as well as members of the college leadership team and members of the faculty, to choose an interim dean and to outline a process and timeline for a search to recruit the next permanent dean.

In her new role, Dean Kidwell will be working with my leadership team, as well as in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation in the development of high-priority, high-impact, multi-stakeholder initiatives for the university. Her initial emphasis will be focused on leveraging the Next 150 strategic plan and campus investments, as well as the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN) and Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) framework to develop initiatives and partnerships that will position the University to lead the scientific discoveries, innovations and public-private partnerships that will inspire and empower tomorrow’s sustainable food and agricultural systems. Dean Kidwell will also be the Illinois lead on the IIN Governing Council and be engaged with their strategic planning efforts this fall. Additional priorities in her new role will include developing new public-private partnerships to catalyze new initiatives in data-driven agriculture and personalized nutrition and to establish a more robust state support network for rural health and nutrition. Significantly, this investment of an Associate Chancellor for Strategic Partnership to implement key initiatives in the Next 150 strategic plan will deepen partnerships with state and federal agencies, elected leaders and new bridges between university scholarship and public policy to accelerate agricultural innovation and development for new discoveries, new jobs and a more competitive state.

Dean Kidwell’s tenure at ACES has been marked by new initiatives and programs that have positioned the college to meet the needs of our 21st century society. Programs like the new Metropolitan Food and Environment Systems major have reinvigorated undergraduate interest and enrollment. There has been a significant expansion of the research capital infrastructure and portfolio that includes several major new federally funded centers in digital agriculture and artificial intelligence, as well as the completion of the long-anticipated Feed Technology Center. And the college’s capacity to offer world-class experiences and programs has been further fueled by impressive growth in corporate and private philanthropic support. That success culminated with this summer’s announcement of a new $45 million donation from Doris K. Christopher – the largest gift in the college’s history.

These accomplishments, along with her development of new external partnerships and the reimaging and realignment of Extension, make Dean Kidwell the clear choice to lead this critical new effort for our university.

Please join me in congratulating Dean Kidwell in her new role here at Illinois.


Robert J. Jones


This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Academic Professionals, Civil Service, Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Incoming Graduate Students & Incoming Undergraduate Students
Massmail Archive   •   Powered by Webtools