Phyllis Wise Oversees Troubled Faculty at University of IIlinois

From central Illinois’ News-Gazette: For the first time, some faculty at the University of Illinois are saying they have no confidence in President Michael Hogan and have called for his presidency to end.

But a UI spokesman said Hogan has the “unwavering support” of UI trustees and has no intention of resigning.

Fourteen senior faculty members are circulating a letter they plan to send next week to UI trustees, urging them to ask for Hogan’s resignation.

As of noon Friday, 95 faculty had added their names to the list, according to one of the authors, Michael Moore, Walgreen University Chair and professor of law and philosophy.

The letter cites 10 different reasons for their lack of confidence, including Hogan’s actions during the recent enrollment management controversy and the resignation of his former chief of staff, Lisa Troyer, and his “extraordinary bullying” of Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise after just months on the job.

“In our view he lacks the values, commitments, management style, ethics, and even manners, needed to lead this University, and his Presidency should be ended at the earliest opportunity,” the letter said.

“We reach this conclusion reluctantly and do not take the implications of it at all lightly. We recognize that there are real costs to ending another presidency so soon after the premature ending of that of Hogan’s predecessor. But we, as well as many others at our institution, find the situation with Hogan as President to be so intolerable that rectifying this mistake would be worth the admittedly serious costs.”

More than 200 professors with prestigious endowed chairs are being asked to sign the letter.

The signatories include three Swanlund Chairs and five faculty from the Center for Advanced Study, among them music Professor Ian Hobson and Susan Kieffer, professor of geology and physics. Also signing was former Law Dean Heidi Hurd.

The letter follows six others sent by faculty in recent weeks raising concerns about Hogan’s leadership, including one signed by 126 named professors on Jan. 12.

The latest version focuses less on the merits of the enrollment management plan and more on Hogan’s style of leadership, citing emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The emails were first disclosed by The News-Gazette.

UI spokesman Thomas Hardy said the letter perpetuates inaccuracies in an earlier letter sent by Moore to the trustees on Feb. 8.

“It’s unfortunate that something fraught with inaccuracies and insinuation would have support at any level,” Hardy said.

Hardy said the board, and Chairman Christopher Kennedy, have reiterated their support for Hogan in recent weeks and throughout his presidency. He also said the number of faculty represented by the letter is small compared to the UI’s 40,000-plus employees.


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