August 3, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Today, I’m delighted to inform you that Phyllis M. Wise, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president at the University of Washington, has been selected to serve as the next Vice President of the University of Illinois and Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Dr. Wise will join UIUC effective October 1, pending Board of Trustees approval.

Dr. Wise has a proven record of scientific accomplishment and administrative leadership at the University of Washington, the University of California Davis, and the University of Kentucky, among other institutions.  She’s a stellar advocate for public research universities, with an appreciation for our multi-faceted mission, which encompasses teaching, research, public service, and economic development. 

Prior to her appointment as provost and executive vice president at the University of Washington, Dr. Wise was the university’s interim president from 2010-2011 (stepping away temporarily from her post as provost, which she held since 2005).  From 2002-2005, she served as Dean of the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis.  She comes to us with over three decades of experience in research and higher education, earning her B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Wise is a member of the National Academies of Science (Internal Medicine) and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She has a remarkable record of scientific accomplishment that includes more than 200 scientific publications and an impressive record of over 30 years of continuous funding for her research.  Additional information about Dr. Wise and this announcement can be found at:

Dr. Wise will be introduced to our community on Tuesday, August 9, at 3 p.m. in the South Lounge of the Illini Union.

Following her introduction, a welcome reception will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the President’s House (711 W. Florida Av., Urbana).  I hope you will join me at both the introduction and the reception to welcome Dr. Wise and celebrate her appointment with me.

Let me take this opportunity to thank our search advisory committee, led by Professor Doug Beck.  The committee recruited an outstanding pool of candidates and I’m grateful for their work. 

Also, let me note the tremendous gratitude we have for Interim Vice President and Chancellor Bob Easter who has led the campus during the last 1-1/2 years.  Bob has been a friend and colleague to us all, and most important, an outstanding and compassionate leader.  He will remain with us as interim vice president and chancellor until Dr. Wise’s appointment begins on October 1, after which time, he plans to retire.  I know that he’ll always remain an engaged advocate for our great University.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Phyllis Wise to our Urbana-Champaign campus.


Michael J. Hogan