From AP - News Local/State -

U Of Illinois Speeding Up Search For New President

The University of Illinois is speeding up its search for a new president.  The News-Gazette reports the presidential search committee wants to name a successor to President Robert Easter before Thanksgiving.

Easter is set to retire next June. University officials originally said they wanted to select his replacement by the end of this year.

But search committee members said Friday they want a new president in place in time to choose a new chancellor for the university's Chicago campus.
 
University of Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Paula Meares is stepping down in January.
 
The committee also heard from Easter about what they should look for in the next president. He says his successor should have an academic background, experience at a top university, familiarity with Illinois and "substantial global experience.'"

Meanwhile, Easter said Friday that making the U of I leader on the global stage should be a priority for his successor. 

During his two-year tenure as president, he's traveled across the world, mostly gonig to Vietnam three weeks ago to meet with that country's minister of Science and Technology.

"I really believe the next president has to be someone with substantial global experience," he said.  "That can't just have made a trip to Asia or to India to see the Taj Mahal.  They have to spend time in Latin America, and Africa, and other parts of the world."

Easter's retirement takes effect next July.