As most of you know by now, President Timothy Killeen has appointed me as the interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and interim vice president of the University. I will hold this position until a national search is conducted and our next permanent leader is in place. I also will continue to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during this period.
As a member of the faculty here for the past 15 years, I am both personally and professionally invested in this university. I get to see, firsthand, every day, the amazing contributions and accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff. I am honored that President Killeen has asked me to serve in this transitional role. I also am fully aware of the difficult circumstances that led to this charge, and I understand the high expectations all of you have for anyone serving in this position.
My job now is to work with the entire campus community and with our alumni and friends to navigate this leadership transition in ways that are collaborative and collegial and that reinforce the traditions of shared governance that are Illinois hallmarks. Together, I hope we can ensure that this year is one that carries our momentum of accomplishments and innovations forward.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has never been about a single individual. Our presidents, chancellors, provosts and deans have changed over the years, but what has never wavered is the record of world-changing discoveries and educational excellence that are the hallmarks of this incredible university. We were founded with a spirit of optimism and the promise that a college education would be accessible to anyone who had the determination to learn.
Next week the energy and excitement of more than 45,000 students will launch our new academic year. Our students are among the brightest and most talented of their generation. They deserve nothing less than our very best efforts.
I look forward to working with you and I am grateful for the chance to serve as your interim chancellor this academic year.