U Of I President Resigns
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UPDATED 03/23/12 5:27 a.m.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (CBS) — University of Illinois president Michael Hogan has resigned and will step down on July 1.
The Daily Illini student newspaper first reported the news on Twitter Thursday afternoon that Hogan had resigned, citing a news release from U of I board of trustees chairman Christopher Kennedy.
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A mass e-mail from Kennedy said Hogan would remain until July 1, and chancellor and provost Robert Easter would take over on an interim basis, the Daily Illini tweeted.
Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy later told WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller that he expects incoming President Robert Easter will “continue to move the university forward.”
On Michael Hogan and his friction with the faculty, Kennedy said, “When the faculty is dissatisfied, it makes for a disruptive time for the entire university.”
Kennedy says the university is committed to “giving the faculty leadership an active voice in how the university is run.”
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The resignation could have an impact on the ongoing search for a new men’s basketball coach as school presidents are usually involved in the hiring process. Bruce Weber was fired on March 9.
On Feb. 23, 130 prominent faculty members from the main Urbana-Champaign campus wrote that they had “no confidence” in Hogan, and that he “lacks the values commitments, management style, ethics and even manners needed to lead this university.”
Signing the letter were highly regarded professors such as Nobel Prize-winner in physics Anthony Leggett, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism professor Leon Dash.
Faculty senate leader professor Nick Burbules, who did not sign the ouster request, says he still doesn’t feel great about the resignation, calling it a sad situation.
“I personally can’t have a good feeling about where we are right now, but I do believe that we have the basis now for establishing a different set of relationships moving forward, and I’m hopeful about the future,” Burbules said.
Burbules said Hogan did the right thing in resigning.
Hogan took office in 2010, in the wake of a scandal in which students with political connections allegedly were favored for admission to the university, despite lacking the necessary academic qualifications.
The rift between him and the faculty has developed over a management style they charge includes the sending of unethical emails to encourage their support of Hogan initiatives.
Faculty members also criticized Hogan for other steps the authors say threaten the autonomy of the three campuses.
They also accused Hogan of usurping the authority of the campus chancellor, lacking financial discipline, and trying to bully the chancellor and faculty into falling in line on enrollment issues, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Kennedy had supported Hogan immediately after the no confidence vote, but following a meeting with trustees, Kennedy told Hogan that, “We needed our people to change or we needed change in our people.”