UI Trustees Accept Hogan’s Resignation, Appoint Easter

March 23, 2012

The executive committee of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees has accepted president Michael Hogan's resignation.

Trustees accepted Hogan's resignation during a meeting Friday in Chicago. The committee also officially named longtime university administrator Robert Easter as Hogan's replacement. Hogan announced his resignation Thursday amid increasing tensions with faculty over his leadership.

Hogan, who currently earns $651,000 annually as president, will be paid $285,100 for a year after he steps down on July 1. He will stay at the U of I as a tenured history professor, but will first take a year's sabbatical. Board Chair Chris Kennedy said Hogan is a highly regarded expert in his field.

"I think the University of Illinois will consider itself lucky to have a scholar of his reputation be part of our faculty," Kennedy said.

The revised employment agreement also states that his stepping down 'in no way constitutes an admission that any basis exists for the Board of Trustees to terminate Hogan as President for any reason with or without cause.'

Kennedy today said former administrator Robert Easter won't have the word 'interim' on his title. Kennedy said the trustees' decision regarding Easter gives them more time to prepare for finding his successor in 2014.

"The search process will be 15 or 16 months away, and we'll have plenty of time to work with the faculty and others to evaluate the search process, and develop one that works for the entire institution," Kennedy said. "I'd say though, that the university by then will have a great bench."

Easter has promised to work for two years. He will earn $62,000 as president-designate for the next few months, and then will be paid $450,000 annually.

Easter expects he will face the same issues Hogan has dealt with: state finances and streamlining operations on the school's three campuses. He said he plans to spend a lot of time talking with faculty on each campus.

"I view the university governance as a partnership where faculty have a very significant interest. It's their careers," Easter said. "The success of the university really has great impact on their opportunity to have good career. Ultimately, someone have to make decisions. But I think those have to be very well informed by faculty conversation."

The 64-year-old Easter earned his doctorate at Illinois in the early 1970's before taking a faculty position. He recently served as interim chancellor and provost on the Urbana campus

(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)

Story source: WILL