UI graduate appointed to Illinois Board of Higher Education

UI graduate appointed to Illinois Board of Higher Education

SPRINGFIELD — A University of Illinois graduate has been appointed to serve on the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced on Wednesday that Jane A. Hays is one of three new appointments to the board, along with DePaul University assistant Professor Jocelyn Smith Carter and Saint Xavier University President Christine M. Wiseman.

A current member of the board, Santos Rivera of Northeastern Illinois University, was reappointed for another term.

The board appointees still require confirmation by the state Senate, but they serve as acting members effective Wednesday.

“These four individuals will be effective policy makers for the 1 million students served by the 200 institutions of higher learning in Illinois,” Quinn said in a written release. “Their experience and dedication will be valuable assets as higher education in Illinois looks toward the future.”

Hays, of Champaign, is the managing director of The Downey Group Inc. financial group, with offices in Champaign and Chicago, where she serves as a life-insurance adviser for individuals, families, entrepreneurs and executives, as well as both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Hays has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from the UI College of Law, where she also served as an adjunct faculty member.

When Hays served in private law practice, she provided outside counsel to the State Universities Retirement System from 1990-1993, and later served on the SURS Board of Trustees.

She currently serves on the board of directors for The Carle Foundation and the board of the Illinois Humanities Council.

“The commitment these individuals already have made to Illinois higher education assures me that their expertise and experiences will contribute much to the board’s policy-making responsibilities overseeing the higher-education institutions we depend on to educate the State’s future workforce,” Illinois Board of Higher Education Chairwoman Lindsay Anderson said in a written release.

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