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 Trustees formally approve U of I president, UIC chancellor
Timothy L. Killeen, Michael D. Amiridis take leadership helms

 January 15, 2015

CHICAGO, Ill. — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of Timothy L. Killeen as the University’s 20th president during its regular meeting Thursday on the Chicago campus.

Trustees also unanimously approved Michael D. Amiridis as chancellor and vice president of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

The two new top administrators were named last year, pending formal approval by the board, and introduced to the University community after nationwide searches that were led by campus-based advisory committees.

Killeen, 62, is currently vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Foundation at the State University of New York (SUNY) and has more than 30 years of experience in public higher education and with national scientific research agencies.

He will succeed Robert Easter, who will retire June 30 after three years as president and more than four decades as a faculty member and senior administrator on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Killeen said his presidency will be dedicated to students, providing educational experiences that transform their lives and prepare them to help lead the way to progress for the state and the nation.

“This is an incredible institution, with a long legacy of service to society through its world-class academic and research programs,” said Killeen, a native of Wales and a U.S citizen. “I will devote my full energies to taking it to the next level and continuing its rise as one of the world’s premier universities.”

As president of SUNY’s Research Foundation, Killeen leads the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the nation. Before joining SUNY in 2012, he served for four years as assistant director for geosciences at the National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency that provides research funding for U.S. colleges and universities.

Killeen, a leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences, also spent more than 20 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Michigan. He received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from University College London, earning his Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics at the age of 23. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, which honors the world’s most accomplished engineers.

He will serve as president-designate until his term begins July 1. As president, Killeen will lead a university that is the state’s largest educator with more than 78,000 students on its three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, along with satellite medical campuses in Peoria and Rockford.

Amiridis, 52, is currently executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina’s flagship campus in Columbia, where he has been a professor, researcher and senior administrator for more than two decades.

He will succeed Paula Allen-Meares, who will return to the faculty after her six-year term as chancellor ends Thursday. Amiridis will take office March 16, and trustees appointed Eric A. “Rick” Gislason as interim chancellor until his arrival. Gislason is also currently serving as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost.

“UIC is the model of an urban research university, and is well positioned to build on its rich history of success in high quality education, in the creation and application of new knowledge, and its unique strengths in the health sciences and in community engagement, access and inclusion,” Amiridis said.

Amiridis, a native of Greece and a U.S. citizen, joined the South Carolina faculty in 1994 as a professor of chemical engineering. He served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 2002 to 2006, and as dean of the College of Engineering and Computing from 2006 to 2009, when he was named provost.

As provost, he oversees all academic functions and shares responsibility for budgeting and capital planning on the more than 32,000-student campus, the state’s most comprehensive educational institution with more than 320 degree programs in its 15 colleges and schools.

At UIC, he will head Chicago’s largest university, with more than 28,000 students, research funding that exceeds $350 million and 15 academic colleges that include the nation’s largest medical school.

Amiridis, a researcher whose work has applications in pollutants and auto emission control, earned the National Science Foundation’s award for early-career researchers in 1999 and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012. He earned his undergraduate degree from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 78,000 students, more than 23,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.