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Provost Newsletter

News and Highlights for Faculty & Staff on the Urbana-Champaign Campus  |  Summer 2015


Dear Colleagues,

As this newsletter arrives, we are just a couple of weeks from welcoming our new and returning students for the fall semester. And while much of the campus community is taking advantage of these final summer weeks to squeeze in last minute vacations or celebrations - the excitement and energy of the new academic year are already building. We are ready for new beginnings.

As you all know, the State of Illinois has not passed a new budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. In the short term we will be able to meet our financial obligations. Unlike many agencies that are almost solely reliant on state funding, careful stewardship of other revenue sources gives us the flexibility to manage immediate cash flow challenges and continue normal operations.

Additionally, in an effort to better align our long-term budgetary strategies with our ambitious goals and aspirations, we have convened a new Campus Budget Advisory Task Force (CBATF). Comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives recommended by deans, the Academic Senate, and senior administrators, the CBATF will act as an advisory body together with the Council of Deans and through shared governance with the Senate to address our fiscal position.

Illinois is strengthened by a world-class faculty, top students from around the world, a strong, loyal and global alumni base and a hard-working and dedicated staff. Together we are responsible for carrying on the Illinois legacies of "firsts and bests." Our campus is continuing its efforts to honor our commitment to an Illinois education that is affordable and accessible. We are also making great progress on improving and enriching the undergraduate experience by introducing curricular innovations, increasing the number of students provided with undergraduate research experiences, and expanding the resources and facilities for students to learn and innovate.  

We are unwavering in our support of our faculty - expanding our diversity, increasing the number of interdisciplinary research initiatives; supporting collaboration, and enhancing infrastructure and support for new funding and scholarship.

As a university, our service makes an impact throughout the state and across the country. From NSCA - one of the original NSF Supercomputer Centers - to our six renowned international and area studies centers to the Humanities Without Walls consortium to our statewide Extension network, Illinois is home to people and programs that change the world around us every single day.

Our collective focus must now remain firmly where it has been for nearly 150 years: pushing the edges of exploration and discovery, and educating the next generation of innovative and productive citizens of our state, nation and world.

I wish you a happy and restful remainder of summer.

With gratitude,

Ilesanmi Adesida, Provost

College of Medicine Update

Since the March vote by the Board of Trustees to approve establishing a new, independently accredited college of medicine under the governance of the Urbana campus, there have been several significant milestones. The Academic Senate Executive Committee, after soliciting the advice of Senate members, endorsed the inaugural naming of the institution as the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

Together with Carle, we have crafted the formal, legal affiliation agreement that defines our partnership for the College of Medicine, and Chancellor Wise and I presented overviews of the draft agreement to separate Board committees. The agreement received final Board of Trustees approval at its July 23 meeting. An executive summary of the agreement is posted on the Carle Illinois College of Medicine website (

A $10 million gift to launch the Jump Simulation Center in Urbana marked the first private investment in the college. The new center will allow medical and engineering students to be immersed in technology-driven clinical environments.

Read more here.

Illinois hires new deans in Business, Law and Graduate Colleges

Jeffrey R. Brown, the William G. Karnes Professor of Finance and the director of the Center for Business and Public Policy at the University of Illinois, has been named dean of the Illinois College of Business. Read the full story here.

Vikram Amar, the senior associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of law at the University of California at Davis School of Law, has been named dean of the Illinois College of Law. Read the full story here.

Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko, the head of the kinesiology and community health department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2005 and past president of the American Kinesiology Association, has been named the new dean of the Illinois Graduate College. Read the fully story here.

 Pat Brown, Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences, will lead sorghum field trials at the University of Illinois.
Illinois awarded $3.1 million to develop rovers for high-throughput field phenotyping

The University of Illinois announced that is has been awarded a 2-year, $3.1 million grant from the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The U. of I. will be the lead institution on the Mobile Energy-crop Phenotyping Platform (MEPP), working in partnership with researchers from Cornell University and Signetron Inc.

Read the full story here.

Sixteen students and recent alumni offered Fulbright grants

Sixteen Illinois students and recent alumni are among the 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-16 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. This is the largest number of Illinois scholars to ever take part in the program.

Illinois has consistently been among the top producers of Fulbright recipients in the U.S. The 16 applicants offered Fulbright grants include recently graduated seniors, master’s candidates, doctoral students and recent alumni from the colleges of Social Work; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering; and Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Read the full story here.

Other Resources

Campus Strategic Plan • Campus Academic Calendar • Campus News

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