Richard Herman officially gave up his title as chancellor of the Urbana campus Oct. 26, following a turbulent summer that placed him at the epicenter of the controversy about student applicants on the “clout list.” Several dozen of these applicants were admitted to the university – some, after having been denied admission – because of their relationships to trustees, legislators or other influential people.
Herman announced his resignation Oct. 20, and in an e-mail message to the campus wrote: “It has been the great privilege of my life to serve for 11 years as your provost and chancellor. I will not reiterate the complicated and agonizing steps that have brought us to this place, except to say that I regret the circumstances. I’m confident that Illinois will be stronger for all that we have learned from this controversy.”
The Executive Committee of the UI Board of Trustees accepted Herman’s resignation and ratified a revised employment agreement for him during a special meeting Oct. 23. Herman’s previous contract with the university would have expired June 30, 2010.
Under the revised agreement, Herman will serve as special assistant to Interim president-designate Stanley Ikenberry until June 30, 2010, at which time Herman is to become a professor of mathematics. Following a one-year sabbatical, Herman will move to the College of Education, where, beginning in July 2011, he is to serve as a professor, with an additional appointment as a visiting professor in the College of Education on the Chicago campus.
An interim chancellor will not be named, university officials said. Ikenberry and interim provost Robert Easter will assume some of Herman’s responsibilities.
Herman began his career with Illinois as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Urbana campus in October 1998, was appointed interim chancellor in April 2004 after Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s departure, and was named chancellor in May 2005.
The Category I controversy, which involved an investigation by a state commission appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn, also led to the resignations of seven members of the board of trustees and President B. Joseph White. White announced last month that he will step down Dec. 31 but will remain involved with fundraising and teaching in the College of Business. Ikenberry will become interim president on Jan. 1, succeeding White.