Easter was chosen three months ago to take over for departing President Michael Hogan and lead the school's campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. Monday is Easter's first day on the job.
Easter is a former dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in Urbana. He has also served in several interim leadership roles.
Hogan resigned in March after some faculty leaders called for his ouster. They complained about his leadership style.
Easter has been called a natural choice to take over after Hogan's rocky tenure, but he's agreed to keep the job only two years.