After a long and arduous search, The University of Illinois has announced that Dr. Robert Jones will be the school's new Chancellor, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees on Thursday. Jones will take over for Barbara Wilson, who has been serving in an interim role since the resignation of Phyllis Wise.
Welcome to the #Illini family!— Illini Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) July 19, 2016
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Jones, the now-former President at the University of Albany (State University of New York), earned a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, his master's degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology for the University of Missouri-Columbia. President Timothy Killeen, who also came to Illinois from Albany-SUNY, was involved in the hiring process so it's no surprise to see him tapping into prior relationships.
According to the News-Gazette, Jones will earn $649,000 annually, placing him seventh in compensation amongst public Big Ten institutions.
Jones is the first African-American chancellor at Illinois. The school's recent administrative diversification efforts are a great development, and it will hopefully lead to more collaborative, encompassing campus community.
The position of Chancellor has been vacant at Illinois since the resignation of Phyllis Wise last August. The former administrator resigned amidst scandals involving former head football coach Tim Beckman, and the use of private emails to discuss the University's business.
So, best of luck to Dr. Jones as he begins his journey in Champaign-Urbana!