News Local/State

Report: Former U Of I Urbana Chancellor Leaving For Job In Colorado

Former U of I Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise, in an interview on campus.

Former U of I Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise, in an interview on campus. Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

Former University of Illinois Urbana campus chancellor Phyllis Wise is reportedly leaving campus to take a position with a Colorado-based biotechnology research project. Wise, who abruptly resigned her leadership post in August 2015, has been a professor in the U of I’s Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in the past year.

Wise is now listed as part of the leadership team at the website for the Colorado Longitudinal Study. The study is a project of the GoldLab Foundation, launched by biotech researcher and entrepreneur Dr. Larry Gold, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Gold is listed as a member of the External Advisory Board of the U of I's Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.

The Colorado Longintudinal Study aims to create a "bio-bank" of blood and urine samples of more than a million Colorado residents, to be used in research to find ways to improve medical care.

The News-Gazette confirmed the news with Stephen Sligar, director of the U of I School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, which includes Wise' department. Sligar said a scientific writing course that Wise was scheduled to teach in the spring has now been cancelled.

Sligar told the newspaper that U of I officials avoided giving Wise larger class loads, since they were unsure of her long-term plans.

Sligar and Wise did not return calls Thursday from Illinois Public Media seeking comment.

Wise stepped down as the University of Illinois' Urbana chancellor last year, claiming ‘external issues’ led to her resignation.

A day later, the U of I released more than 1-thousand pages of e-mails, showing she and other campus administrators used personal accounts in an attempt to avoid state freedom of information act laws.