News Local/State

Robert Jones Begins Tenure As U Of I Urbana Chancellor

New U of I Urbana Chancellor Robert Jones, joined by Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson at the Illini Union Wednesday.

New U of I Urbana Chancellor Robert Jones began his tenure on Monday. Sean Neumann//Illinois Public Media

Even before his first official day on the job Monday, the new chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana campus felt he had to send out a campus-wide e-mail on Sunday to address the fatal shooting that happened in Champaign’s Campustown area late Saturday night.

Robert Jones talked about that decision, and much more, in a wide-ranging interview with Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline Monday in his office on the Urbana campus.

"It was not what I anticipated would be my first communication," Jones said, "but it was very, very clear that unfortunately, much too frequently, these senseless acts of violence are occurring in our society."

He said that, at least for the next few months, there will not be a search for a permanent provost on the Urbana campus.  Interim Provost Edward Feser will remain in that role for the time being.

"As I’ve come in here, I need to better understand the budget situation, and I look forward to working with Ed as we think about the future," Jones said.  "So, there are no plans to do anything about a search in the short term."

Jones also discussed how his experience in launching two new colleges at SUNY Albany during his time as president will help him in the start of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, which will begin accepting students in 2018.