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New UI Chancellor Named

New UI Chancellor Named

Her name is Phyllis Wise; for the first time, all three University of Illinois chancellors are women. Her new job is effective Oct. 1, pending approval by the UI Board of Trustees at its September meeting.

Wise, 66, will earn $500,000 annually with an additional $100,000 per year deferred and paid if she stays in the job for five years.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, she served as interim president of the University of Washington, becoming the first Asian American woman to lead a major American research university.

She replaces Vice President/Chancellor Robert Easter, who has served as an interim since Richard Herman resigned in October 2009 after accusations of improper admissions to connected candidates at the Urbana campus.

The search for a new athletic director had been extended to give the next University of Illinois chancellor an opportunity to be involved and quell “speculation” about Ron Guenther’s successor, The News-Gazette previously reported.

Wise, who is a professor of physiology and biophysics, biology, and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington, previously served as dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California at Davis, from 2002 to 2005. Before that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2002. Wise was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, being named a full professor of physiology in 1987.

She holds a bachelor’s degree (1967) in biology from Swarthmore College and a doctorate (1972) in zoology from the University of Michigan. In 2008 she received an honorary doctorate from Swarthmore.

Wise continues an active research program in issues concerning women’s health and gender-based biology. She has been particularly interested in whether hormones influence brains of women and men during development, during adulthood and during aging.

From the News Gazette – Article by Paul Wood