University of Illinois
2:00 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

University of Illinois president Michael Hogan resigns

This story will be updated. Information from Amanda Vinicky at Illinois Public Radio was used in this report.

For the second time in three years, the University of Illinois is looking for a new president.

The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Christopher G. Kelly, announced in an email today that Michael Hogan will resign July 1. He'd been embroiled in a controversy involving emails from his former chief of staff, in which she allegedly tried to pressure faculty into supporting an enrollment management plan that Hogan had proposed. University faculty had advocated for his departure for months, citing his dictatorial management style and fears that he would cut into the autonomy of the school's three campuses in Urbana, Springfield and Chicago.

Hogan will remain with the university until July 1, which would be his second anniversary.

Hogan, who was formerly the president of the University of Connecticut, was hired in 2010 to replace former president B. Joseph White, who resigned in 2009 after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed that children of politicians and politically-connected individuals were getting into the university ahead of those with better academic qualifications."

"President Hogan joined the University at a very challenging time, when it had just weathered a long and very public controversy around admissions and enrollment practices, had major gaps in the administrative team, and was under such significant financial constraint that furloughs and salary freezes were required," Kelly, the board chairman said in his email.  Kelly goes on to note that Hogan was able to fund more than $30 million in recurring annual savings, and that furloughs have not been required since he took office.

Robert Easter, the current interim vice chancellor for research at the Urbana campus, will be appointed as president-designate on Friday. Easter served as interim chancellor after White's resignation, and will take over as president after July 1.