Burton chosen to lead chancellor search committee


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URBANA — A history professor who has headed up a major humanities institute on campus will chair the search committee for a new Urbana chancellor at the University of Illinois.

President Tim Killeen announced the selection of Professor Antoinette Burton to chair the 15-member committee that will advise him in the search for a replacement to former Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who resigned in August.

Barbara Wilson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been serving as interim chancellor since then.

Burton has more than 15 years of experience as a teacher, researcher and administrator on the Urbana campus. A University Scholar in 2001-2004 and John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship winner in 2010, she is a noted historian of 19th and 20th century Britain and its empire and former head of the Department of History.

She also serves as interim director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, which promotes interdisciplinary study in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

Killeen said he is grateful to Burton and other members of the search committee, which includes eight other faculty, three students, one academic director, one academic professional employee and one staff member.

"I look forward to working with the advisory committee and having our next chancellor on board in time for the fall 2016 semester," Killeen said in the announcement.

The campus Academic Senate had nominated Burton and University Archivist William Maher as candidates for chair of the committee. Maher will serve as one of the eight other faculty members on the committee. Other professors are James Anderson and Rebecca Ginsburg from the College of Education; Sara Benson from the College of Law; Steve Michael from the College of Business; Faranak Miraftab from the College of Fine & Applied Arts; Mark Rood from the College of Engineering; and Jay Rosenstein from the College of Media.

Other employees include Arthur Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute; Darcy Sementi, assistant dean for MBA programs; and Leta Summers of Facilities & Services.

Students include Kaylee Barron, graduate student in education; Samuel LeRoy, sophomore in business; and law student Paul Schmitt.

Killeen expressed confidence that the committee will find an "exceptional leader."

"This campus is truly one of the world's best, with a nearly 150-year legacy of achievement and the potential to redefine higher education for the 21st century," he said in the release.

The UI plans to create a website soon with more information on the search and allow opportunities for input from the campus community, Killeen said.


Julie Wurth is a reporter covering the University of Illinois at The News-Gazette. Her email is jwurth@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@jawurth).

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