- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Incoming University of Illinois system president Timothy Killeen has said he would like to begin his new job earlier than his official July 1 start date.

Killeen, in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times (https://bit.ly/1B5chr4 ), said he plans to be a regular presence on the University of Illinois campuses and his “start date might move forward.”

Killeen, 62, is replacing the retiring university President Robert Easter. He didn’t give an exact date but says he hopes to start work in late spring. He is currently State University of New York’s vice chancellor for research.

“Dr. Easter and I may overlap for a while - I in a junior role and he in his presidential role,” Killeen said.

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees must give Killeen’s hiring final approval at its next regular meeting on Jan. 15.

He was announced as the next system president on Nov. 19, in charge of overseeing the University of Illinois campuses and their multibillion-dollar operating budget. The university’s campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, along with smaller regional campuses in Rockford and Peoria, have more than 78,000 students and about 23,500 employees.

Killeen said he will start this week consultations with an advisory group of about ten students and faculty.

“I am very anxious to get the faculty voice and advice that any new, incoming president would want to get - an understanding of all the issues they care deeply about,” Killeen said.

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Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, https://www.suntimes.com/index

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