Karen Whitney to Lead the University of Illinois at Springfield

Karen M. Whitney, a nationally recognized higher education leader, has been selected to serve as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Springfield. She will assume her new duties on July 1. Dr. Whitney is expected to serve a one-year term as interim president.

“I’m thrilled and honored to come to Springfield to lead a university at this incredible moment in time,” Dr. Whitney said. “I am drawn to the mission and vision of the institution, the way UIS has positioned itself to be the capital city’s university with an emphasis on leadership development – that is, I think, an extremely important role in American society today.”

The University of Illinois at Springfield enrolls about 2,800 undergraduate students and more than 1,700 graduate students, according to the latest data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up 50 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Dr. Whitney is the president emerita of Clarion University in Pennsylvania and recently served as interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Before leading Clarion, Dr. Whitney was vice chancellor for student life at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis from 1999 through 2010. Previously, she served in leadership positions at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Dr. Whitney holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of public administration degree from the University of Houston. She earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Filed Under: LeadershipNews


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