CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Steven F. Schomberg is to be promoted to vice chancellor for public engagement and institutional relations, pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its meeting Nov. 14 in Urbana.
Schomberg, currently an associate chancellor, would begin his new duties Nov. 21. His current position would be eliminated.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a threefold mission of education, research and public engagement, and, as a land-grant university, Illinois has an increasingly important responsibility to address critical societal needs. Until now, only the education and research missions were led at the vice chancellor level. The vice chancellor for public engagement and institutional relations will work closely with the other vice chancellors and with colleges and other campus units to identify and advance new ways to build partnerships between external constituents interested in cultural, economic and community development and interested faculty, staff and students.
Engagement with the public touches all parts of the institution. It ranges, for example, from focusing the campus's cultural assets (such as Allerton Park, Japan House, Library, museums, performing arts center, public broadcasting) to better connect them with public use to Partnership Illinois that has engaged faculty and students with external communities and organizations. It includes initiatives such as language wellness programs conducted in collaboration with Head Start in Chicago, the campus's partnership with the Illinois Municipal League to help prepare city officials for governing, and collaboration between the College of Education and the Regional Offices of Education to create a unique and innovative program for retaining teachers - the Novice Teacher Support Program.
The new vice chancellor will continue to coordinate campus relationships with federal, state and local government, including the newly constituted Metropolitan Intergovernmental Council, in cooperation with the university-level Office of Governmental Relations, and will be the principal liaison with the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Trustees. The Office of Continuing Education, Allerton Park and Conference Center, Partnership Illinois, the Arboretum, and the Urban Exchange Center will also report to the vice chancellor.
In announcing this appointment Chancellor Nancy Cantor said: "I came to Illinois with a very strong commitment to public engagement, and it will be a pleasure to work closely on public engagement with someone who knows both the issues nationally and the history and evolution of public engagement on this campus. Steve Schomberg is exceptionally well qualified and suited for this position given his strong educational background, his longstanding national leadership role in public engagement matters, and his successful hands-on experience over the past several years managing, advancing and providing leadership on these matters for the Urbana campus."
Schomberg earned his bachelor of arts in European literature and thought at the University of Iowa in 1966, a master of divinity degree at Union Theological Seminary (1969) and a doctorate in higher education at the University of Minnesota (1978).
At Minnesota, Schomberg served as assistant dean and director of summer session, continuing education and extension (1985-1988); assistant to the vice president for academic affairs (1984-1985); acting director of University College (1981-1984); assistant director of University College (1978-1981); and assistant to the dean (1976-1978).
Schomberg began working at Illinois in 1988 as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of continuing education and public service, a position he held until 1996, when he was named associate chancellor. He continued to hold the position of director of continuing education and public service through 1998. Under Schomberg's leadership, Partnership Illinois was developed and advanced.
In addition, a number of other engagement initiatives were created, including a Web-based index of public engagement programs, a seed and sustaining-grant program, online programs, and continuing education programs in both DuPage County and Chicago.
Beyond the campus and the state of Illinois, Schomberg represents extension and continuing education professionals on the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He is also a member of the National Review Board for the Scholarship of Engagement sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation.