Office for University Relations

NEWS RELEASE, January 24, 2013


 Chris Kennedy re-elected U of I Board chairman

New, reappointed trustees seated; Executive Committee, Board officers re-elected

CHICAGO — Christopher G. Kennedy was re-elected to a fifth term as chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees today during its annual organizational meeting on the University’s Chicago campus.

The board also installed new trustee Patrick Fitzgerald, a former federal prosecutor who was appointed to a six-year term last week by Gov. Pat Quinn; seated two incumbent trustees who were reappointed by Quinn; and re-elected Board officers and members of the Board’s Executive Committee.

Kennedy, a Chicago businessman, has served as chairman since he was first appointed to the Board in 2009. He heads a 12-member board that governs the U of I and its campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, with more than 77,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and a more than $5 billion annual budget.

He is former president of Merchandise Mart Properties, a commercial property management firm based in Chicago. Last year, he founded Top Box Foods, a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost food staples to families in need.

Kennedy, of Kenilworth, is a member of several business and economic development organizations, including the Economic Club of Chicago, Commercial Club of Chicago and is past chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. He also is a board member of the Catholic Theological Union and the Chicago Community Trust, and is co-chair of the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council. He received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his MBA from Northwestern University.

Trustees also welcomed a new member and two returning members who recently were appointed to six-year terms.

Fitzgerald, who served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2012, was seated for his first term on the Board. Fitzgerald, of Chicago, led numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including the corruption cases against former Illinois governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.

He graduated from Amherst College and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School, and is now a partner in the Chicago office of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. Fitzgerald replaces Lawrence Oliver II of Orland Park, who is chief counsel for investigations with The Boeing Company in Chicago and had served on the board since 2009.

Timothy N. Koritz and James D. Montgomery were seated for new terms on the 12-member board.

Koritz, who has served as a trustee since 2009, is staff anesthesiologist at Rockford Memorial Hospital. Koritz, of Roscoe, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University’s Urbana-Champaign campus. Montgomery, of Chicago, has been a trustee since 2007. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the U of I, and is a partner at the law firm of Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith and Montgomery in Chicago.

Trustees also re-elected Thomas R. Bearrows as University legal counsel, Susan M. Kies as secretary of the University and Walter K. Knorr as comptroller. All will serve one-year terms. Lester McKeever Jr. was re-elected to a two-year term as treasurer.

The board also re-elected its three-member Executive Committee, which meets as needed to complete urgent University business that cannot be postponed to a regular, quarterly meeting. Members of the committee are Kennedy, and trustees Edward L. McMillan, of Greenville, and Pamela B. Strobel, of Winnetka.

Other U of I trustees are Ricardo Estrada, of Chicago; Karen Hasara, of Springfield; and Patricia Brown Holmes, of Chicago. Student trustees are David Pileski from the Urbana-Champaign campus, Kenneth M. Thomas from UIC, and John W. Tienken from the Springfield campus.

Complete board and committee membership and other information are available at the Board of Trustees’ website.

New residence hall
The board named a new residence hall that will open next fall on the Urbana-Champaign campus in honor of Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield, the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Illinois.

After graduating with honors in 1906, Bousfield taught mathematics at high schools in Baltimore, East St. Louis and Chicago, and became the first African-American principal in Chicago’s public schools in 1928. She retired in 1950, and died in 1971.

The six-story, air-conditioned residence hall will house 485 students, and the University is seeking LEED certification for sustainable building practices.

Other business
The board also approved all items on its agenda for its first meeting of 2013. All of the board items are listed on the Board of Trustees’ website.