Susan J. Koch, who has served in senior leadership roles at two public regional universities in the Midwest, has been selected to become vice president and chancellor at UIS.
Koch is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northern Michigan University, where she has served since 2007. Before joining NMU, Koch was the associate provost and dean of the Graduate College at the University of Northern Iowa.
UI President Michael J. Hogan called Koch a proven academic leader in announcing her appointment, effective July 1, subject to approval by the UI Board of Trustees at its June meeting.
"Dr. Koch's record reflects a proven appreciation for the value of a strong liberal arts education and a deep commitment to civic engagement. I couldn't be more pleased to have her joining our leadership team as we continue to advance the excellence of our Springfield campus and the entire university," Hogan said.
"With its strong reputation as a public liberal arts university, UIS is providing the state of Illinois with graduates who have the knowledge, skills and values necessary to be productive contributors to and leaders of their communities," Koch said. "I'm excited about working to continue and enhance this very important tradition."
Koch will hold a tenured faculty position in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS. Koch's research and scholarship are in health education, with a focus on international health, conflict resolution and human rights. She is author of numerous scholarly and creative publications and was co-founder of the Global Health Corps, a field-based organization that provides public health services to underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad.
Of her career in teaching and university administration, Koch said: "I'm an educator first and my highest priority will be students." Koch is a native of South Dakota, where she earned a bachelor's degree in health/physical education/biology at Dakota State University. Her first job was as a high school teacher in Waterloo, Iowa. She returned to college at the University of Northern Iowa and earned a master's degree and doctorate, both in health education. Koch joined the faculty at UNI in 1985 and moved into administration in 1995.
Northern Michigan University, located in Marquette, Mich, has an enrollment of about 9,300 with 1,200 employees and an annual operating budget of $203 million. As provost and vice president of academic affairs, Koch is second to the president in NMU's executive leadership and is responsible for management of the academic and student services operations. Among her accomplishments was playing a key role in developing and implementing the university's strategic plan, "Roadmap to 2015," and an initiative to fund innovation projects that support the plan.
Koch and her husband, Dennis, are the parents of four adult children.
At UIS Koch will report to Hogan and will be responsible for the academic programs and operations of the Springfield campus. UIS serves approximately 5,000 students in 44 undergraduate and graduate programs in four colleges, with 211 full-time faculty, 533 staff and an annual operating budget of $73 million.
Koch will take the helm of the campus from interim vice president and chancellor Harry Berman who has served as interim since last September.