U Of I Names Interim Provost For Urbana Campus
The acting chancellor of the University of Illinois' Urbana campus Thursday named Edward Feser as interim provost. Barbara Wilson said in a statement that Feser has the skills and experience needed to help address what she called "the many issues" facing the campus.
Feser said he’s focused on navigating the U of I through a rough period with Illinois’ budget troubles, but also the momentum of plans like the U of I’s new College of Medicine.
“And we address those challenges in a straight-up way," he said. "And we do it by collaborating with each other, and a lot of dialogue. And those are the kinds of things that’ll emphasize. I’ve always believed that reassurance comes from recognizing both opportunities and your challenges are, and you address both.”
Those issues include Steven Salaita, the professor who’s suing the U of I after the withdrawal a job offer over comments about made on Twitter. Feser said he’ll work closely with Wilson to resolve the issue ‘as quickly as we can, and in 'a very direct way.’
The appointment fills the last of two top vacancies in Urbana after the recent controversy over administrators using personal emails to avoid public scrutiny. Former Provost Ilesanmi Adesida and Chancellor Phyllis Wise stepped down last month.
He's currently Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and plans to serve as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs through the academic year.
The Board of Trustees will vote on Feser's appointment at its meeting in Urbana next week.