U. of Washington’s Phyllis Wise Named UI Vice-President, UIUC Chancellor

August 03, 2011

A University of Washington administrator and researcher is in line to be the next chancellor at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus.

Phyllis Wise is currently the provost and executive vice president at Washington. A selection committee picked her after a nine-month search.

Wise said she almost disregarded her chance to take the job. When she first heard about the U of I vacancy, she said she was Washington's interim president, and she was preoccupied with that role.

"Later on when the search was still ongoing and we had selected a president here, I thought for heaven sakes I should at least look into this," Wise said. "And the more and more I learned, the more interested I got, and I think the rest is history."

If U of I trustees approve at their next meeting Sept. 9, Wise will take over Oct. 1 for interim Chancellor Robert Easter. Easter had taken the post after former Chancellor Richard Herman resigned following an admissions scandal in 2009.

University President Michael Hogan praised Wise's experience and academic record.

"We're not hiring her as a researcher and a teacher, but if you're going to lead a major campus like our Urbana campus, having research and teaching credentials like she has gives her a high degree of credibility with one of her most important constituencies, and that's the faculty, including the deans," Hogan said.

Illinois' last permanent chancellor, Richard Herman, was paid $400,000 a year when he resigned in 2009.

Hogan confirmed that Wise will earn $500,000 per year and $100,000 per year deferred if she stays in the position for five years. Hogan said the base salary is close to what Herman would have earned at this point had he stayed on as chancellor, and is "a little up from the middle of the pack from chancellors in the Big Ten."

Wise has been at Washington for the last six years. She specializes in women's health and gender-based physiology. If approved, all three U of I chancellors will be women for the first time.

(Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

Story source: WILL