U of I Trustees Extend President’s Contract
By Sean Powers
The president of the University of Illinois will stay in his position longer than expected.
At a meeting on Thursday in Chicago, the U of I’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a deal to keep Robert Easter as president through June 2015, and make him eligible for performance bonuses.
He currently makes $450,000 a year.
When Easter became president two years ago, he only planned to serve until June 2014.
“Bob has a rare combination of talents – a model of stability who can also bring about change through the trust and respect he has earned during his nearly four decades of distinguished service to the University.” said UI Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy, in a statement. “The trustees are pleased that Dr. Easter has agreed to extend his service. We could have launched a search for a new president, but we wouldn’t find a better choice than the president we have on the job right now.”
He replaced Michael Hogan, who stepped down under pressure from faculty who were unhappy with his management style and plans for the university.
“It is truly a privilege to lead a University that is known around the world for excellence in education, innovation and service to society, and to work with trustees, faculty, staff and supporters who are committed to an even brighter future,” Easter said.
Easter first came to the U of I in 1973 as a graduate student, and earned his doctorate in animal science in 1976. He became part of the faculty that same year, and later served as head of the Department of Animal Science, as dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, or ACES from 2002 to 2009, and as interim chancellor of the Urbana campus from 2009 to 2011.
Both in the coming year and in the final year of the agreement, Easter also will participate in a performance-based incentive compensation plan to be developed by the Executive Committee in conjunction with the board for consideration at its meeting in September.