University Counsel Byron Higgins has announced plans to step down from his current post at the UI and assume two new titles in the near future.
Higgins, who has been the university's chief legal officer and an officer of the UI Board of Trustees since 1984, will become a senior fellow in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs and a special assistant to the president. The change will occur upon the selection of a successor to be university counsel.
"I look forward to applying what I have learned in 40 years of involvement with universities to the study of policy issues in governmental affairs," Higgins said. "Like so many others, I am deeply indebted to public universities for the opportunities that flowed from the education that I received. I am gratified that President Stukel also has asked me to continue to assist him at the university."
Higgins joined the UI in October 1984. He succeeded James J. Costello, who retired.
"Byron's legal expertise and high ethical standards have greatly benefited both the university and the board of trustees for more than a decade," said UI President James J. Stukel. "He is the kind of person who makes a difference in everything he does. Having him remain as a special assistant means I can look forward to continuing to receive his advice on a variety of key university issues."
Higgins, regarded by colleagues in the legal community as an outstanding lawyer, was associate general counsel at Michigan State University from 1978 to 1984. He served as general counsel and was on the law school faculty at Wayne State University from 1973 to 1978.
Higgins is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Illinois and Champaign County bar associations, the Law Club of Chicago and other professional organizations.