University of Illinois names 20th president
SUNY Research Foundation President Timothy L. Killeen selected; Acclaimed researcher also served as top administrator at NSF.

November 19, 2014

CHICAGO, Ill. — Timothy L. Killeen, vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY), was named the 20th president of the University of Illinois on Wednesday, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees at its Jan. 15 meeting in Chicago.

Killeen, 62, who would succeed retiring President Robert Easter, brings the experience of more than three decades as a teacher, researcher and administrator in public higher education and in top leadership positions with national scientific research agencies.

His work at SUNY mirrors core missions of the University of Illinois – supporting pioneering research and scholarship across disciplines, and taking it to the marketplace to drive economic growth.

As president of SUNY’s Research Foundation, Killeen is chief executive officer of the largest, most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the nation, administering about $900 million annually across SUNY’s statewide network of 29 state-supported research campuses. Combined with his role as vice chancellor for research, he is at the center of SUNY’s strategy for research growth and works with campus leaders to increase basic, clinical and translational research.

He also chairs SUNY’s Patent and Inventions Policy Board, which seeks to promote economic development by turning research discovery into new businesses, products and services.

Killeen spent more than 20 years on the faculty and in administration at the University of Michigan, and served as assistant director for geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) before joining SUNY in 2012. The independent federal agency provides nearly a quarter of federal research funding for U.S. colleges and universities, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranks third among U.S. universities in NSF funding.

A leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences, Killeen earned his Ph.D. in atomic and molecular physics from University College London at the age of 23. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, which honors the world’s most accomplished engineers.

Killeen was selected as the next U. of I. president from a field of about 200 candidates and emerged as the top choice in the eight-month search because of a unique background that will help build on the University’s long legacy of contributions to progress and economic growth, said Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy.

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