U of Illinois president resigns

September 24, 2009 4:35:28 AM PDT
University of Illinois President B. Joseph White has resigned in the wake of news reports that politically connected students were given preferential admissions treatment at the school's Urbana-Champaign campus.The school is under fire for allegations that clout has been used to get some students admitted at the school.

B. Joseph White says he will step down as president of the university at the end of this year.

Joseph White resigns as the 16th president of the University of Illinois.

While he steps down at the end of the year, White says he plans to remain with the university in roles that include teaching and fundraising.

His resignation comes a week after the U. of I. faculty and student leaders asked for White and the chancellor to be replaced.

Some would say it was a long time coming, University of Illinois president Joseph White has resigned after being urged to do so by the U. of I. faculty, students and Gov. Pat Quinn.

"President White is doing what is best for the university," said Quinn.

White has served as president since January, 2005.

For the past few months, his job has been clouded by an admissions scandal. In May, it was first reported that U. of I. was accepting politically connected applicants over more qualified ones. Gov. Quinn appointed an admissions review commission which recommended reforms as well as the resignations of the trustees.

Commissioner Doris Lowry says President White did the right thing.

"I think the president understands that there is no confidence in his tenure as president so I'm pleased," said Doris Lowry, Admissions Review Commission.

White submitted his resignation by letter to the newly appointed Board of Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy. In the letter, White says, "I take this action to enable you as a newly constituted Board to select university leadership going forward."

"President White is a good man. He accomplished an awful lot at the university. He's got a legacy there," said Kennedy.

With a new board and president, Gov. Quinn and others hope U. of I. chancellor Richard Hermman will resign as well. Meantime, Quinn is confident the admissions process is now a fair one.

"We've completely reformed admissions process at U. of I. eliminated abuse...wnated to do ," said Quinn.

To move forward with president white's replacement it is up to the Board of Trustees to find a replacement.

Chris Kennedy says the board is expected to name an interim president at a special meeting.

A search committee will soon be named to find a permanent replacement.

White's says he will forgo a $475,000 retention bonus he earned as president.


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