Tuesday, October 20, 2009

UIUC chancellor Herman resigns

By Bethany Jaeger
Fallout from the University of Illinois’ clout-heavy admissions process has reached another administrator. Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Richard Herman today announced his resignation, effective October 26.

His resignation comes about a month after the Faculty/Student Senate voted 98-55 to urge the board to replace Herman and President B. Joseph White. White already submitted his resignation, which takes effect December 31.

According to a university news release, Herman will serve as special assistant to the interim president of the university until June 30, 2010. He will remain on faculty as a mathematics professor and continue to work with the campus’ Illinois Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative, which he created to increase the number of math, science, technology and engineering teachers and bolster student recruitment in those subjects.

After one year of sabbatical leave to prepare for teaching again, he’ll move to the College of Education and hold an appointment as a visiting professor at the Chicago campus.

He’s worked in higher education for 40 years. Before joining the University of Illinois, he was dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland and chair of the Mathematics Department at Pennsylvania State University. Upon arriving in Urbana in 1998, he became provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. He was named interim chancellor in June 2004 and chancellor in May 2005.

In a letter to the university’s board of trustees, he wrote, “I have enjoyed every minute, in fact, every nanosecond.”

An interim chancellor will not be named because the board of trustees continues to search for a university president to replace White. Former university President Stanley Ikenberry was selected by the revamped board of trustees to serve as interim president until a search committee finds a permanent replacement. Ikenberry already is working with the university to help ease the transition.

White will remain a professor of business administration at the Urbana campus.

The Chicago Tribune in June exposed the board of trustees’ meddling in the university’s admissions process, favoring about 800 clout-heavy students — known as “Category I” — sponsored by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, lawmakers, university donors and trustees.

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