New FAA dean comes back to UI from England

CHAMPAIGN — A former University of Illinois department head who is now teaching at a business school in England will be the new dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

The campus announced the appointment Friday of Edward Feser, who was head of the UI Department of Urban and Regional Planning for two years and is now the Eddie Davies Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at the business school at the University of Manchester.

Pending approval by the UI Board of Trustees, Feser will succeed Robert Graves, who is retiring Nov. 1. He will earn $225,000 annually.

Feser was chosen after a national search with assistance from the Isaacson, Miller consulting firm.

"Illinois is eager to have Ed Feser back on campus full-time in this critically important position," interim Provost Richard Wheeler said in a release.

The college includes the School of Art and Design, School of Architecture, School of Music, and the departments of dance, theater, and landscape architecture. It also houses Krannert Art Museum, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Japan House, Visual Resources Center and Sinfonia de Camera.

Feser is familiar with the breadth and scope of the college's disciplines and is "committed to building on our tradition of excellence," Wheeler said.

Feser was hired by the UI as a professor of urban and regional planning in January 2004 and was department head from August 2009 until May 2011. He became head of the Division of Innovation, Management and Policy at the business school in Manchester in October 2011. He also has been a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the UI since October 2008.

"I feel privileged to be returning to Illinois in this role," Feser said in the release. "The College of Fine and Applied Arts is made up of outstanding disciplines and arts venues, and the creative work of its faculty and students links to important lines of innovation in other top fields in the university. It's an exciting, diverse college on a terrific campus."

Feser earned a doctorate in regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997, a master's in regional planning at UNC in 1995, and a bachelor of arts in government at the University of San Francisco in 1989.

He has worked as a city and regional planning professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a visiting research fellow in the Bureau of Labor Statistics; an assistant secretary in the North Carolina Department of Commerce; and a planner for the Community Services Planning Council in Sacramento, Calif.

Feser also has been a research professor in the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the UI since 2004. He was named a University Scholar in 2007.

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