U of I president resigns

March 22, 2012

By City Room

(AP File/University of Connecticut)

The head of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees announced Thursday that president Michael Hogan is resigning.

The announcement came in an email sent from Board Chair Christopher Kennedy.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve as President of the University of Illinois,” Hogan said. “While the University has faced some significant organizational and budgetary challenges over the past several years, we have initiated the reforms necessary to modernize and streamline our business functions and redirect the savings to academic purposes. The underpinnings of this great institution are sound.”

Hogan will serve as president until July, and will stay on as a tenured history professor thereafter. He'll be succeeded on an interim basis by Robert Easter, a long-time faculty member, according to a university press release.

The U of I board will give preliminary approval to the resignation at a meeting Friday, according to the university.

In the email, Kennedy suggested the U of I's next leader should be "a proven administrator with a track record of collaboration and success within our University." Some professors have been calling on the board to fire Hogan for weeks. They complained he did a bad job communicating with U of I faculty.

Hogan took over at the University of Illinois in 2010, in the wake of an admissions scandal there.

Meanwhile, Professor Laura Greene said Hogan's resignation is "good for the university." She's one of the faculty members that signed on to those letters asking for Hogan's dismissal. Greene said she oppossed plans to consolidate the university's admissions system.

"For this particular university system, I think it’s important to maintain the strength of each campus," Greene said.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement he respects Hogan's decision.

"I would like to thank him for taking on the challenge of heading our state's flagship university during a difficult transition period," Quinn said.

Quinn, who is an ex officio member of U of I's Board of Trustees, also commented on the decision to appoint Bob Easter as univeristy president-designate.

"I have confidence in his (Easter's) leadership and ability to continue moving the state's largest university forward," Quinn said.