Thursday, June 4, 2020

Former president of Clarion University named interim chancellor at UIS

Karen Whitney, president emerita of Clarion University in Pennsylvania who recently served as interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, was named interim chancellor at the University of Illinois Springfield Wednesday. 

Susan Koch announced on Feb. 7 that she would retire as UIS chancellor effective June 30. She had served as chancellor since 2011 and was the longest serving chancellor in the University of Illinois system. 

U of I System President Tim Killeen said Whitney will bring a wealth of relevant experience to UIS and its more than 4,200 students and more than 1,100 faculty and staff. 

“Karen has deep experience working with higher education boards, administrative leaders and faculty, building consensus around common goals,” Killeen said. “At Clarion, she led an institution that is very similar to UIS in size, scope and mission. She is an ideal choice to build upon Susan’s work, which strengthened UIS and put it on the road toward becoming a regional force for progress.” 

Whitney’s appointment is pending approval by the Board of Trustees. She is expected to begin at UIS June 8 allowing her to work alongside Koch before assuming the interim chancellor role on July 1.
“I’m thrilled and honored to come to Springfield to lead a university at this incredible moment in time,” Whitney said. “I am drawn to the mission and vision of the institution, the way UIS has positioned itself to be the capital city’s university with an emphasis on leadership development, that is, I think, an extremely import role in American society today.” 

A nationwide search for a permanent chancellor is expected to begin later this year. Whitney’s appointment is for one year or until a permanent chancellor is named. 

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on June 3, 2020.