UI Alumni Association President Loren R. Taylor: Exciting New Chapter

Left to right: University of Illinois President-designate Timothy L. Killeen, University of Illinois President Robert Easter, University of Illinois Alumni Association President and CEO Loren R. Taylor and University of Illinois Foundation Interim President Edward F. Ewald. (Photo by Stan Lindsey)

On the cover of this issue is Dr. Timothy L. Killeen, the soon-to-be 20th president of the University of Illinois.

Although his official start date is May 18, President-designate Killeen is already transitioning into his new role. He’s reduced his activities as vice chancellor for research and president of the Research Foundation, the State University of New York, in order to work on a part-time basis for the U of I. He’s also been working alongside President Bob Easter, PHD ’76 ACES, and meeting with students, faculty, legislators and others.

Both Easter and Killeen were literally side by side at the table of the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s Jan. 16 Board of Directors meeting. I was impressed, as well as grateful, that Tim (as he prefers to be called) joined our alumni leaders, whom he described as “an important interface” and intends to work with closely.

For the first time, the board meeting was held in Naples, Fla. The president and president-designate stayed afterward to attend a wonderful reception with 250 alumni. From the feedback I’ve received, alumni recognize that Bob Easter is a hard act to follow, but they’re looking forward to Tim Killeen’s leadership and optimism. It’s a credit to him that he’s genuinely interested in getting to know more about the University’s 700,000 alumni around the globe.

According to a recent article in The (Champaign, Ill.) News-Gazette, during his first meeting with the University Senates Conferences, the president-designate told members, “There’s incredible loyalty to the University of Illinois everywhere you go, and it’s deep. That’s an incredible asset, that loyalty.”

I had the pleasure of meeting informally with Dr. Killeen, as well as introducing him to the UI Alumni Association, its mission and its role in a broader, shared vision for the University. My impressions are that he’s very student-focused and team-oriented; he understands the scope of this large, complex University enterprise; he appreciates the uniqueness of each U of I campus; and he’s very optimistic about the future.

You can learn more about Killeen in our video interview. It’s available at uiaa.org/interview.

Loren R. Taylor
President and CEO,
University of Illinois Alumni Association