URBANA – University of Illinois President James Stukel has selected a provost to serve as interim chancellor after current Chancellor Nancy Cantor leaves her post this summer.
Cantor will be departing in July to become president and chancellor of Syracuse University.
Stukel announced Saturday that he intends to recommend Provost Richard H. Herman to serve as interim chancellor.
Herman, 62, of Champaign, has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the UI since October 1998.
Stukel said that Herman is familiar to many people around the Urbana-Champaign campus in his role as the campus' chief budget and academic officer.
"The University of Illinois is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Herman's stature and experience to call upon at such a time, making the transition to new campus leadership the smoothest possible," Stukel said.
Herman said Saturday he was thrilled to be selected to replace Cantor.
"This is one of the great public land grant universities in the country, and I'm honored to have been asked to serve as interim chancellor," Herman said.
Tom Hardy, executive director of university relations, said that either the UI Board of Trustees or its executive committee will vote on Stukel's recommendation.
While the board isn't scheduled to meet until June 17, Hardy said the board or executive committee could hold a special meeting before that time to take up Herman's appointment.
Herman said he intends to be a candidate to become permanent chancellor.
"This is one of the truly great institutions in the country, and I would be delighted to serve on a permanent basis."
Herman said his top goals as chancellor would be to stress the UI's public land grant image, its connections with the state and enhancing the university's national and international presence."
"One of the things we want to feel proud of is our ability to bring excellent faculty and students to our doors and our ability to serve the state and people of Illinois in many ways," he said. "The University of Illinois has created some wonderful graduates over the years."
Herman said he intends for the UI to continue to play a leadership role in economic development.
"While that means bringing companies to the research park, it also means working with the community to create an environment to make this a great place to live," he said.
A widely published scientist and mathematician, Herman came to the UI in 1998 following eight years as dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland.
Prior to that time, Herman served as chairman of the Mathematics Department at Penn State University for four years.
Herman and his wife, Susan, have three children.
Stukel said that one of the things that makes Herman an attractive choice as interim chancellor has been his work to preserve the UI's reputation around the world for academic excellence during a period of financial crisis.
"Richard has overseen programs to raise the quality of our faculty and students, played a major role in tuition and student fee policy and strategically allocated resources to strengthen the core missions of the university," Stukel said.
While Stukel intends to retire as president Feb. 1, Herman said he hasn't decided whether to become a candidate for that post.
Hardy said the Board of Trustees will most likely pursue the search for a new president before taking on the job of permanent chancellor.
While a search has already begun for president, according to Hardy, the chancellor position hasn't yet been officially posted by the university.
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