Karen Whitney began serving as interim chancellor at University of Illinois Springfield in June, and now it appears she will continue in that capacity through June 2022. On Monday, University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen announced that he is recommending that Whitney’s appointment be extended by one year. The university’s board of trustees will vote on the extension in January.

“I could not be more pleased to recommend that Interim Chancellor Whitney’s tenure be extended at UIS,” Killeen said. “She has guided the university with a deft hand through this challenging period of transition, creating stability while prioritizing efforts to provide high-quality education and doing so safely during a pandemic. I welcome the opportunity to continue to work with her.”

Susan Koch retired as chancellor of UIS and vice president of the University of Illinois System on June 30, a role she had held since 2011, making her the longest-serving chancellor of the U of I system.

Whitney said she looks forward to continuing the work she began at UIS last summer.

“Working with the dedicated faculty, staff and students of UIS over these last five months, I am so proud to say that we completed our fall semester as planned and see our students succeeding,” Whitney said. “We are growing our academic programs, increasing our enrollment and ensuring that UIS continues to be united in safety and providing support for all students and employees.”

A national search for a permanent chancellor is expected to begin in late summer or early fall in 2021, Killeen said.

Prior to joining UIS, Whitney served as interim chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 2017-18 and was president of Clarion University in Pennsylvania for seven years. She remains president emerita of Clarion.