President Timothy L. Killeen
Timothy L. Killeen was named as the 20th president of the University of
Illinois in November 2014 following a national search. He assumed office
on May 18, 2015.
Beginning in 2012, he served as vice chancellor for
research and president of the Research Foundation at the State
University of New York, one of the nation’s largest higher education
systems with 64 campuses, 465,000 students, 88,000 faculty, and more than
7,600 degree and certificate programs.
As president of SUNY’s Research Foundation, Killeen was head of the
nation’s largest, most comprehensive university-connected research
foundation, administering about $900 million annually across SUNY’s 29
state-supported research campuses. In his dual role as vice chancellor
for research, he was at the center of SUNY’s strategy for research growth
and works with campus leaders to increase basic, clinical and
Before joining SUNY, he served for four years as assistant director
for the geosciences at the National Science Foundation. He also has
served as Lyall Research Professor at the University of Colorado, as
director and senior scientist for the National Center for Atmospheric
Research, and spent more than 20 years as a faculty member and
researcher at the University of Michigan, where he also served as
associate vice president for research.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2007. Killeen is a member and past president of the American Geophysical Union
and a member of the American Meteorological Society, the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and the New York Academy of
A leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences, Killeen
received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at University College London,
where he earned his doctoral degree in atomic and molecular physics at
the age of 23. He is a U.S. citizen and a native of Wales.
His research has earned three achievement awards from the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, and he has received awards for
teaching and research excellence from the University of Michigan College
of Engineering. He has authored more than 150 publications in
peer-reviewed journals, along with more than 300 other publications and
Killeen’s wife, Roberta M. Johnson, was executive director of the
National Earth Science Teachers Association and a clinical professor in
the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the State
University of New York at Albany. They have three children.