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March 15, 2018

U of I board approves interim deans
Trustees also set student health insurance premiums for 2018-19

URBANA — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees appointed interim deans at its universities in Chicago and Springfield on Wednesday, and approved student health insurance premiums for the 2018-19 academic year.

Charles Ray was approved as interim dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), effective March 16. He will serve during a national search for a permanent dean to succeed Dimitri Azar, who is returning to the faculty of the medical school, which is one of the nation’s largest.

Ray has been acting dean since July, when Azar took a leave of absence to serve as senior director of Ophthalmologic Innovation at Verily Life Sciences. Ray has been head of the Department of Radiology at UIC since 2013, and earlier served as an administrator, professor and researcher at the University of Colorado Denver and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

A leader in translational research on oncologic interventions and pain management, Ray earned his medical and master’s degrees from Rush University, a doctorate from the University of Colorado Denver and a bachelor’s from Lawrence University.

The board also approved the appointment of James Ermatinger as interim dean of the College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), effective March 16. He has served in a designate capacity since Feb. 1, and will continue to head the college during a national search to succeed Ronald McNeil, who retired in December after serving as dean since 2002.

Ermatinger, who joined UIS in 2009, also will continue to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and as a professor of history. Earlier, he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Bloomsburg University and in faculty and administrative positions at Southeast Missouri State University, Lourdes College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and a master’s degree and doctorate in history from Indiana University.

The board also set student health insurance premiums for the 2018-19 academic year. Students can opt out of coverage if they prove they have comparable coverage from other sources.

Premiums will increase about 15 percent for students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, based on increased claims over the last year. Undergraduate premiums will increase $58 to $455 per semester, while rates for graduate students will go up $74 to $582 per semester.

At UIC, premiums will remain unchanged at $570 per semester for all students. Rates will increase 3 percent for all UIS students, rising $14 to $530 per semester.

BDS movement

President Tim Killeen also presented a statement expressing the U of I System’s strong opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement that is being debated on campuses across the country. The system’s opposition aligns with the American Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and other higher education organizations that have spoken out against the movement and its call for a boycott of Israel.

Killeen said the U of I System firmly supports debate and the rights of faculty and students to express their own views, but he said the system believes that “actions such as those espoused by BDS would damage academic freedom and may have an intended or unintended anti-Semitic effect which we utterly condemn.”

“We will continue to strenuously oppose actions that go beyond protected speech and that seek to harass, delegitimize, alienate and spread fear within our student communities on the basis of religion – whether our Jewish and Muslim student bodies or any other religious student community,” Killeen said.

“Our commitment to social justice and to excellence in free, open and engaged scholarship drives us to study, understand and help build solutions for even the most complex challenges we face globally and domestically,” he said. “To that end, we welcome and embrace all of our students.”


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, and the largest educational institution in the state with more than 83,000 students, nearly 25,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 22,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.