Now that his replacement has been named, the outgoing president of the University of Illinois is getting accolades. Robert Easter came out of retirement to serve as interim president when Michael Hogan stepped down in 2012, and for that, he deserves our thanks for not only stabilizing the U. of I. but improving it, says Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy.
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“At the university he continued to recruit a better and better class in greater and greater numbers. He retained our great researchers and academic leaders. He rebuilt the campus but all the while continued our historic efforts to make the University of Illinois more accessible and more universal,” he said.
Kennedy credited Easter for the construction of new classrooms, new offices, new dorms, new student facilities, new labs and “more research than ever before.”
Easter is getting a parting gift, a $180,000 bonus, but even with that, his salary ($658,558) will be less than that of the presidents of other Big Ten universities (about $780,000).
Easter was chancellor of the Campaign campus when he retired in 2011. He will re-retire in mid-2015; his replacement, Timothy L. Killeen, was named last week.