CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Edward J. Feser, a former head of the department of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois and currently a professor at Manchester Business School, in England, has been named dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Illinois.
Feser (pronounced FAZE’-uhr), the Eddie Davies Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at the business school at the University of Manchester, will succeed Robert Graves at Illinois on Nov. 1, pending approval by the U. of I. Board of Trustees. Graves is retiring.
Feser, who has been a professor of urban and regional planning at Illinois since January 2004, was the head of the department from August 2009 until May 2011. He became head of the Division of Innovation, Management and Policy at the business school in Manchester in October 2011.
“Illinois is eager to have Ed Feser back on campus full-time in this critically important position,” said Richard Wheeler, interim provost at Illinois. “As former head of the department of urban and regional planning, which is part of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Ed is familiar with the breadth and scope of this campus’s distinguished programs across the arts disciplines. He is committed to building on our tradition of excellence.”
Feser earned a doctorate in regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997); a master’s in regional planning, also at UNC (1995); and a bachelor of arts in government at the University of San Francisco (1989).
“I feel privileged to be returning to Illinois in this role,” Feser said. “The College of Fine and Applied Arts is made up of outstanding disciplines and arts venues, and the creative work of its faculty and students links to important lines of innovation in other top fields in the university. It’s an exciting, diverse college on a terrific campus. I look forward to collaborating with college faculty and staff and the campus leadership to further strengthen the arts at Illinois.”
Feser also has been a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois since October 2008. He was a city and regional planning professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a visiting research fellow in the Bureau of Labor Statistics; an Assistant Secretary in the North Carolina Department of Commerce; and a planner for the Community Services Planning Council in Sacramento, Calif.
Feser also has been a research professor in the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at Illinois since 2004. He was named a University Scholar at Illinois in 2007.