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King Li named dean of new College of Medicine
Urbana-Champaign medical school scheduled to open in 2018

September 8, 2016 

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday approved King Li as the inaugural dean and chief academic officer of a new engineering-based College of Medicine scheduled to open at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018.

Li, a renowned medical researcher, educator, inventor and clinician in molecular imaging and radiology, is currently senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Wake Forest School of Medicine and deputy director of the university’s comprehensive cancer center.      

He will begin his duties Oct. 1 as dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, created in partnership with Urbana-based Carle Health System to promote breakthroughs in treatment and equipment by integrating technology, data science and systems-based approaches into medical training and research. The intersection of engineering and medicine is described by many as a new frontier of scientific advancement.

“Dr. Li’s broad-based experience as an educator, administrator and innovator are an ideal fit to make Urbana-Champaign a global leader in an emerging field with a profound impact on health-care delivery in the U.S.,” said Tim Killeen, president of the U of I System.

Li also has served in research, clinical, educational and entrepreneurial roles at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Stanford University and Houston Methodist Hospital. He earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from San Jose State University.        

Planning has been underway for more than two years to launch Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the first new college in Urbana-Champaign since 1957. Preliminary plans call for enrolling the first 32 students in 2018, and increasing admissions gradually to 64 a year by 2023-24. The college would educate a projected total enrollment of more than 256 students annually by 2026-27.

Administrators at the university say a financial plan shows that the college could operate without any request for new state general revenue funds. It would be financed with $100 million over 10 years from the Carle Foundation, $135 million in gifts from donors and through other revenue sources such as tuition and research funding.

The innovation-focused medical school in Urbana will complement the existing College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which is the nation’s largest and a leader in clinical training. The UIC medical school enrolls about 1,350 students every year, producing about 300 graduates annually.

Other appointments

Edward Seidel, director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Urbana-Champaign since 2013, was approved as interim vice president for research for the University of Illinois System. He has served in a designate capacity since Sept. 1.

Seidel, a leading researcher in high-performance computing and relativity and astrophysics, succeeds Lawrence B. Schook, who stepped down after five years to return to his research and faculty work at the System’s universities in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago.

In his new role, Seidel will lead an office that works with the System’s three universities to help manage their nearly $1 billion per year sponsored-research portfolio and oversee technology commercialization and economic development activities.

He will serve during a national search for a permanent vice president. Killeen said the current vice president for research position will be restructured to sharpen the System’s focus on promoting research discovery to help drive the state’s economy, and will be titled “vice president for economic development and innovation” to reflect the System’s mission to facilitate progress and economic growth.

Seidel will retain the title of NCSA director, and will be assisted by William Gropp, who was approved by the board as acting director of NCSA. Gropp, who joined the Urbana-Champaign faculty in 2007, holds the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science and is director of the Parallel Computing Institute in the Coordinated Science Laboratory.

The board also approved the appointment of longtime U of I administrator Marilyn M.M. Marshall as interim vice president for academic affairs. She has served in a designate capacity since Aug. 22.

Marshall, who joined the office as assistant vice president for academic affairs in 2012, succeeds Christophe Pierre, who resigned Aug. 21 to accept a position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in Hoboken, N.J.

She will oversee daily operations during an internal search for a new executive vice president and vice president of academic affairs. Killeen hopes to conclude the search early in the fall semester, filling a new position that will retain current duties as the System’s senior academic officer, while also creating a new second-in-command position and adding responsibilities as senior operating officer, which will include coordinating planning and budgeting across the System.

Trustees also approved the appointment of Kimberlee Kidwell as dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) in Urbana-Champaign, effective Nov. 1.

Kidwell, who also will hold the college’s inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair, is currently acting dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. A nationally regarded scholar in plant breeding and genetics, she earlier served for 15 years as associate dean and executive associate dean of academic programs.

She is a graduate of ACES, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in both genetics development and agriculture science before receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kidwell will succeed Robert Hauser, who is returning to the faculty after serving as dean since 2009.

Trustees also approved the appointment of longtime faculty member and administrator James Anderson as interim dean of the College of Education in Urbana-Champaign. He has served in a designate capacity since Aug. 16.

He joined the faculty in 1974, and currently serves as head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, and as executive associate dean for the college. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the history of African American education and school achievement in the U.S.

Anderson, who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Urbana-Champaign, will serve during a national search for a permanent dean. He succeeds Mary Kalantzis, who is returning to the faculty after serving as dean since 2006.

The board also approved the appointment of Lucia Vazquez as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), effective Sept. 16.

Vazquez, a professor of biology who joined the UIS faculty in 2001, has served as acting dean since June 1, when Dean James Ermatinger was appointed as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost.

She also has been associate dean of the college since 2013, and will serve during a national search for a permanent provost.

Trustees also approved the appointment of Hanfu Mi as interim dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at UIS. He has served in a designate capacity since Aug. 16.

Mi, who joined UIS in 2013, also will continue to serve as dean of the College of Education and as a professor of teacher education. He will serve during a national search for a permanent dean and succeeds Ermatinger, who was interim dean before assuming his new duties as interim provost.

Incentive-based compensation

The board also authorized pay-for performance compensation for Killeen and UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis, under a program developed in 2013 to move away from retention initiatives that are often paid to senior administrators in higher education and tend to make longevity a premium rather than results.

 Killeen will receive $100,000 for his work during the fiscal year that ended June 30, while Amiridis will receive $75,000. The pay-for-performance compensation represents 100 percent of the total for which they were eligible, and follows a board review of their progress toward specific goals that advance the University System and its missions of education, research, public service and economic development.

Combined with his base salary, the incentive-based award increases Killeen’s total compensation for fiscal year 2016 to $700,000, which ranks in the bottom third among compensation packages for presidents of the 14 Big Ten universities. Amiridis’ compensation for the last fiscal year totaled $475,000, including base salary and incentive-based pay.

Interim chancellor resolution

The board approved a resolution honoring Barbara J. Wilson for her service as interim chancellor in Urbana-Champaign over the last year.

Wilson, who assumed the role when Phyllis Wise returned to the faculty in August 2015, will return to her position as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences when Robert J. Jones takes office as chancellor on Sept. 26.

“You have been a profile in courage on many fronts, successfully engaging with and resolving issues above and beyond the usual command of the interim, something for which we are forever grateful,” the board said in its resolution. “You have led Urbana-Champaign through a host of challenges with poise, wisdom and integrity.” 


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 80,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.


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