University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones has named John Wilkin as the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost designate. Wilkin, currently the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and university librarian and a professor of library administration at the Urbana campus, will begin in the new role Feb. 18. The appointment is pending the review and approval of the Board of Trustees.
Wilkin follows Edward Feser in the interim leadership position. Feser announced last month that he was leaving Illinois to become the provost and executive vice president at Oregon State University, effective Feb. 28.
Prior to assuming his current role in August 2013, Wilkin served in a number of library-related capacities at the University of Michigan over the course of two decades, most recently as the executive director of HathiTrust and the associate university librarian for publishing and technology. He also worked for two years at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
“Dean Wilkin’s seamless combination of a thoughtful, balanced demeanor along with the practical experience and working knowledge of academic operations established him as the right person for this position at this critical time,” Jones said. “We need an interim provost who will continue to help lead us forward, and one who has the respect of the faculty, staff and students to build consensus around the challenges we face. John Wilkin will be a strong and effective leader, and I look forward to working closely with him in his new role.”
Wilkin earned graduate degrees in English from the University of Virginia and in library science from the University of Tennessee, as well as a bachelor’s degree in literature from Antioch College.
Wilkin said he does not intend to be a candidate for the provost position, and he will meet with individuals on the Library leadership team to identify an acting university librarian.
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