With Wise out, what's in store?

With Wise out, what's in store?

1. The replacements

Expect an interim chancellor to be named by Wednesday, when Wise's resignation takes effect, Killeen said last week. An "immediate" search for a full-time replacement will follow, he said, but those often take months.

In the meantime, the absence of a permanent, all-powerful person in charge won't be too evident when classes start on Aug. 24, former UI President Joe White says. It's that other part of the job — the one that had Wise spending weeks at a time in New York, California and everywhere in between, trying to drum up donor support — that requires attention.

"The core activities of the university will go on without missing a beat," White said Sunday. "Strategic priorities like the new College of Medicine and private fundraising will need to be championed so they don't lose momentum."

2. Turmoil, turnover

Awaiting Wise's replacement: the findings of a second investigation into athletics, three high-profile lawsuits and a campus under censure by the AAUP.

Whoever gets the job full-time will become Urbana's 11th chancellor since 1977. Around the Big Ten, Purdue and Indiana have each had five campus leaders during that span. Iowa is searching for its seventh.

Part of the reason for all the turnover, says former UI Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Eppley, is the job itself, one in which the provost — not the chancellor — runs the campus budget and all of the deans.

"People brought in from outside to be chancellor — (like) Nancy Cantor and Phyllis — often struggle with what their role is," Eppley said, and "it doesn't help that the President's house is in Urbana."

3. Phyllis fans

Friday's revelation that Wise used her personal email to skirt open records rules didn't cause her backers to jump ship.

"She's about as good a leader as I've seen here in 20 years," sandwich king Jimmy John Liautaud said. "... Imperfection is bliss, and we all err. It's unfortunate that correctness has gotten in the way of success."

Asked whether Wise's exit will affect how he views the UI, Champaign businessman Habeeb Habeeb said: "Many people I know are in a contemplative and reflective mood given all the recent events."

"Many of us are disappointed and disheartened," he added. "We quietly worked with Phyllis and found that she genuinely loved the university, the students, the faculty and the whole community — a rare thing indeed to care for everyone."

4. Easter's out

Bad news for those behind a bring-back-Bob-Easter mini-movement on social media: Reached Sunday night in eastern India, the recently retired president and one-time interim chancellor wrote: "I have not spoken to Dr. Killeen since coming out here and if he were to ask I would respectfully decline."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 10, 2015 at 9:08 am
Profile Picture

I think Phyllis Wise would be a good candidate to succeed Phyllis Wise.

The private email thing is troubling, but having conducted FOIA searches myself, I often tell people to not use their @illinois.edu addresses.

In her second term, she could consider hiring Steven Salaita.

nateo wrote on August 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

And you wanted to become mayor of Urbana!?!?

 

Glad we dodged that bullet.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 11, 2015 at 8:08 am
Profile Picture

A lot of people use their university email for personal reasons, or any reason. Thus, a lot of medical, family, sexual & emotional topics turn up in posts produced by key word searches.

The posts are almost certainly irrelevant to the searches, but the FOIA office has to read through that stuff nonetheless.

So not only does in waste time, and taxpayer money, but those staffers also know who's using Viagra, and who's grandson is seeing a psychiatrist for major emotional problems. Some of that stuff can be hard to forget.

 

Now, did you have anything idea-oriented to add, or are you just trolling in hopes of making more personal attacks?

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 10, 2015 at 9:08 am
Profile Picture

I think Phyllis Wise would be a good candidate to succeed Phyllis Wise.

The private email thing is troubling, but having conducted FOIA searches myself, I often tell people to not use their @illinois.edu addresses.

In her second term, she could consider hiring Steven Salaita.

Bulldogmojo wrote on August 10, 2015 at 9:08 am

 

I would suggest Donna McNeely, Executive Director of the ethics office to be the Chancellor. Seems like the only obvious choice for this University. She at least understands ethics unlike White Herman Hogan Troyer and Wise.

We also need dedicated administrators instead of tenured Professors only serving as administrators because they know if they screw up they can fall back on a teaching gig.

jlc wrote on August 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

Interesting that Jimmy John thinks following state ethics guidelines and laws is merely "correctness" that "[gets] in the way of success." Wonder if that's how he runs his business?

IlliniwekMerica wrote on August 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

If you've ever tried to do or run business in Illinois you'll know that there are some laws that very much get in the way of success. Not all laws, not most laws, but there are some real business unfriendly headscratchers in this State.

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Darm those pesky ethics regulations ;-)

bluesky wrote on August 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

As the Joker says in the Batman movie, "This town needs a better class of criminals."

Not holding my breath as this newest hiring process moves forward.

Faculty Member wrote on August 10, 2015 at 10:08 am

Point #3 -- titled "Phyllis Fans" -- is laughable and lays the News-Gazette's own biased cards on the table. Since when do a "sandwich king" and local prominent Republican represent a decent sampling of opinion?   Why couldn't the N-G ask someone who actually works for UIUC to comment?  Even faculty and staff who were previous supporters of Wise are reconsidering, given what the emails reveal about her (and her inner circle's) view that they are somehow above the ethical and legal standards that the rest of us have to abide by.   Remember that more than a dozen departments at UIUC voted "no confidence" in Chancellor Wise several months ago.  The truth about Chancellor Wise's blatant disregard for ethical standards was already visible, long before these emails confirmed it.

 

 

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

I'm waiting for the News Gazette to do a thorough review of the emails related to the U of I College of Medicine.  There are some real doozies in there, including instructions on how to cook the books so it looks like the College of Medicine is making money.  Example:

"We need to NEVER show a budget with red for every year.  Solution?  Have Carle and the University pledge ongoing operating mony--Carle at $2.5 million and University at $1 million.  Or whatever!  We just need to have money in the budget to make the numbers turn from red to black."

Other doozies include evidence that approval of the College of Medicine by the Board of Trustees, and possibly by Carle administrators, was contingent on the U of I "unhiring" Salaita.

There are enough smoking guns in those emails alone to sink the College of Medicine project, and considering the way the University and Carle went about it, deservedly so.

IlliniwekMerica wrote on August 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Why would anyone want the COM project to sink? There is zero upside to the deal failing, and the upside for the COM proceeding is high paying jobs, construction projects, housing market boosts; the whole local economy benefits!

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Because the ends don't justify the means?  If they can do it right going forward, *maybe* I'd support it, but if you read the emails, the whole thing reeks of corruption and cronyism.

 

andrewscheinman wrote on August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

If those last quotes about the COM are true, they confirm *exactly* what I've been saying since I started writing on Salaita, that the decision had EVERYTHING to do with getting the COM through.

Of course given the behind-the-scenes people involved are Laura Frerichs and Peter Fox -- both of whom likely have far more power than poor Wise -- it remains to be seen whether any news outlet (which the Gazette represents itself as being) will have the guts to go after them?

Maybe a FOIA filing on all of Laura Frerichs emails sent from her personal accounts that concerned UIUC business?  I bet there are more than a few of those ...

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

Andrew-- Read those emails for yourself.  Don't take my word for it.  AND, get cracking on that FOIA request for those Frerichs emails!

andrewscheinman wrote on August 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

At the present UIUC FOIA is promising to deliver the results of my most recent FOIAs NEXT OCTOBER, that is, Oct 2016.  They are theoretically able to do this because I'm a recurrent requester; the more succinct explanation is that the Illinois Attorney General's office has secret conversations with them (I have emails from two of those conversations) in which they enable the malfeasance that UIUC-FOIA is so good at.

So I could file the FOIAs, but it would take forever to get the results.  Someone else is going to have to help me out here.

Andrew Scheinman

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on August 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm
Profile Picture

Please copy & paste the exact explanation.

In my FOIA experience, I've always received the obligatory 

I am writing to invoke an extension of the deadline for responding to the request under the following section(s) of the Act, which allow for additional time when:

 140/3(e)(vii) there is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.

 I am taking the additional five days allowed by law to review information. The revised deadline will now be May 9, 2014.

But I've never been put off for a year.

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

The Chicago Tribune would only be too happy to tread where the News Gazette refuses to go.  And the Trib would leave the NG in the dust.

andrewscheinman wrote on August 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

True.  I sent various bits and pieces of these stories to the Gazette numerous times in the past and they ignored everything I sent.  I got a call from the Chicago Tribune on Friday and commented for them; I'm waiting for them to call back but, frankly, I've tried for over a year to go after the COM/Frerichs/Fox connection and they haven't seemed eager.  Maybe Fox's political connections in Chicago or something like that ... ?

dickharvey wrote on August 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

Re: "help not that the Preaident's Home is in Urbana" - nor equally does it help that the home of The News-Gazette is in Champaign.

td5775 wrote on August 10, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Andrew    If UIUC is such a terrible, evil and unethical place to be, why do you stay?

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Email Rauner to get his opinion on who should be the next chancellor, or bring back Hogan.  Let Hogan earn his payoff.  I am sure that he has learned his lesson by now.  Buburles, or Tolliver could do it given the chance.  Maybe, the current Provost?

Whatever happens, the "flagship" is going to hoist the "Jolly Roger" again, and again, and...... based on the comments of Wise supporters in academia.

"And the winner is..."  The Dean of Engineering! 

EqDoc wrote on August 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Please NOT the current Provost.  He needs to go as well.  He is just as complicit as the rest of them.

Phil S wrote on August 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

I agree, but I think he was just being facetious ;-)

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Thank you, Phil S.  :-)

andrewscheinman wrote on August 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

I guess the person who thinks I call UIUC a "terrible evil place" hasn't read anything I've written.  Calling for transparency isn't the same as denigrating UIUC; in fact I've said (in writing) over and over (and over) how wonderful a place I think UIUC is.  But that wonderfulness is clearly absent here ... and I'm obviously not the only person who feels that way.

If you aren't for transparency, central Illinois wisdom would suggest a different place for you, my friend.

That place is called ... "Chicago."

wayward wrote on August 10, 2015 at 2:08 pm

What about Jim Edgar as interim chancellor?  He seems sensible and moderate, and his name recognition might help with donors.

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm

You must have forgotten Jim Edgar's video taped testimony on the favored donor contract doing state maintenance.  Edgar broke down in tears during his testimony.  It was decided that his aides were responsible, not Edgar.  You can check on the facts if you want.  Jim Edgar was given a job at the U of I teaching politics for the Institute of Failed Republican Politicians ( Institute of Political Policy ) which is just another dressed up propaganda center.

The last thing the U of I needs is an ex- governor of Illinois.

wayward wrote on August 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm

You may be right. I'm from the Springfield area, and there was a lot more patronage in state government than at the universities. Back when Edgar was in office, the tolerance would have been higher and the scrutiny lower -- there *was* no FOIA. At one point, it was not unusual for management to expect some state employees to buy tickets to political fundraisers. So by the standards of Springfield in the 80s and 90s, Edgar was pretty clean for a politician. How would he have fared if all his communications had been FOIA'd? I'm truly not sure.

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 11, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Nothing much has changed from the past.  Edgar was less of a crook than "Big Jim" Thompson, George Ryan, Blago, and Quinn; but he was still corrupt.  All of them had to pay someone to call their dog for them. 

I worked 40 plus years for them.  When a new governor came into office, we had to take down the previous governor's picture.  I always kept them, and forged their signature to read "All my best to my best employee, Sid".  My mother was impressed until she recognized my handwriting.  My wife thought it was hilarious.

andrewscheinman wrote on August 10, 2015 at 3:08 pm

News-Gazette, 12/16/14, Wise publicly on the Carle-Urbana dispute:

[Urbana mayor Laurel] Prussing met Friday [12/12/14] with Chancellor Phyllis Wise and invited the UI to co-host a community forum on Carle, which is embroiled in a battle with the city over tax exemptions. The chancellor declined.
“We appreciate Urbana’s situation, but this discussion should be led by Urbana, not the university,” Wise said Monday through a spokeswoman.


***

Secret email from Wise to Jim Leonard, CEO of Carle, 12/16/14:

I think the momentum is really building. Prussing and a few ofthe faculty (and UIC) are just distractions.


***

Yes, I think Urbana has good cause to raise some concerns about how UIUC has dealt with it.  Apparently Urbana is "just a distraction."

AOS
 

IlliniwekMerica wrote on August 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

To be fair, Prussing was nothing more than a distraction.  It was wrong of her to try and involve the U of I in her squabble with Carle. Nothing is changing with the Carle property tax situation until the law changes in Springfield, no matter how much Laurel tries to drag them through the mud or U of I gets invovled.  

There's nothing suspect in saying momentum is building. They were competing with Chicago; telling the CEO of Carle that momentum is building is just a positive status update. 

Lostinspace wrote on August 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

It seems to me that people should back off a little and let the president do his job: this is his moment to show who is in charge and how he will put his stamp on the place.  We have only a terse message from him so far.

Another revolving-door president or a leader with a vision?

And of course, I agree: the N-G should stop pussy-footing and printing hand-outs.  Let's see some real investigative journalism at UI (and Carle).

wayward wrote on August 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Oh, I'm pretty sure Killeen isn't going to look to a bunch of anonymous N-G commenters for advice on how to run UI. But it's fun to suggest and speculate.

nateo wrote on August 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

-

mgd wrote on August 12, 2015 at 6:08 am

 

This is exhausting.

Mary Gates DeRosier

 

mgd wrote on August 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

 

Brick by brick a grand old and wonderful institution, as well as others in the state, are being diminished and not supported. Petty and self-serving non-visionaries are allowing our institutions to be in peril.

How many of the administrators and board members, past and recent and current went to U of I?

Why should they care? And how can they understand what should be in the heart of each of them?

Mary Gates DeRosier

mgd wrote on August 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

 

Brick by brick a grand old and wonderful institution, as well as others in the state, are being diminished and not supported. Petty and self-serving non-visionaries are allowing our institutions to be in peril.

How many of the administrators and board members, past and recent and current went to U of I?

Why should they care? And how can they understand what should be in the heart of each of them?

Mary Gates DeRosier

-