University of Illinois President Hogan resigns

March 22, 2012 8:15:42 PM PDT
Under fire from faculty members, University of Illinois President Michael Hogan resigned Thursday after less than two years on the job.

Hogan landed at Champaign from the University of Connecticut in May of 2010.

Over the last couple of months, his relationship with the faculty and staff has been deteriorating over concerns about his management style.

Hogan will stay on as university president until July. Then long time administrator Robert Easter will take over as interim president.

In the end, it was Hogan's decision to step down. In a statement he extolled his accomplishments over 20 months as U. of I. president but gave no details of his departure. "We have initiated the reforms necessary to modernize and streamline our business functions and redirect the savings to academic purposes," he wrote. "The underpinnings of this great institution are sound."

But some 130 faculty members, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, signed a letter this month demanding Hogan's ouster, saying Hogan's autocratic management style and plans to centralize a range of academic and administrative decision-making detracted from the autonomy U. of I.'s three campuses traditionally enjoyed.

"I think Mike Hogan was the right leader at the right time," said Chris Kennedy, U. of I. Board chair since 2009, told ABC7. "He came in with an ambitious agenda. He centralized things like IT to make sure that our $300 million a year spent in that area was coordinated."

Chairman Kennedy confirms there is no buyout of Hogan's existing contract.

On the UIC's Chicago campus, faculty were unwilling to weigh in on the resignation, but staff were talkative.

"To some people it was very surprising but to us it wasn't. I don't think the students were happy with him nor were a lot of the faculty," said Teauria Brown, UIC employee. "I think it is salary and the way he approached people, the way he interacted with the staff and faculty."

"I think it's rougher, because people are so scared right now," said Vanessa Alsup, UIC employee.

Hogan replaced B. Joseph White, who resigned after the clout admissions scandal. He will stay on at the university as a tenured professor.