URBANA, Ill.– Dedra “DeeDee” Williams, a high-level administrator at the University of Illinois for more than two decades, has been appointed secretary of the U. of I. Board of Trustees and of the university, President Tim Killeen announced Jan. 11.
Dedra “DeeDee” Williams, a high-level administrator at the University of Illinois for more than two decades, has been appointed secretary of the U. of I. Board of Trustees and of the university.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
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Williams, a graduate of the university’s Urbana campus, will begin her duties Jan. 16, providing an overlapping transition period to help her gain background on the responsibilities of the position. Her appointment will go to the board for approval at its Jan. 21 meeting in Chicago
She will replace Susan M. Kies, who will retire June 30 after nearly five years as secretary, a university officer with major, wide-ranging responsibilities that include planning for board and board committee meetings; maintaining the minutes, records and major documents of the board; responding to requests from the public; providing assistance and advice to other administrators, including the president; and assisting the trustees in their work for the university.
“DeeDee has seen this university as a student and as an administrator who has worked closely with each of our three distinctive campuses,” Killeen said. “She brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective that will serve the board and the university well.”
Since 2012, Williams has served as assistant vice president for academic affairs, helping lead a unit in the central university administration that reports to the president and works closely with the three campuses to shape academic programs and priorities. The office also has a key collaborative role with the campuses in budgetary issues and student programs.
In her current position, she has helped guide initiatives such as a process now underway that will develop a new strategic plan to guide the university system for the next five to 10 years.
Williams earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from the Urbana campus in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Eastern Illinois University.
She joined the U. of I. in 1989 and served for nearly 23 years within various roles at the College of Medicine at Urbana, culminating as associate dean for administration, where she oversaw budget and resource planning and human resources for the regional site.
Earlier, she worked at the now-closed Burnham City Hospital in Champaign as a medical technologist in the clinical laboratory and taught interning medical technology students.
Williams said she is excited to begin her new post and expand her contributions to the university.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen as the eighth secretary of the board and university and delighted to have the opportunity to work with such highly supportive and engaged board members and university leaders at such an important time,” she said.
As secretary of the board and university, Williams will be one of four officers of the U. of I. Board of Trustees. She will report to the board chair and president and have responsibilities to all board members, including coordinating agendas for all meetings of the board and its committees.
Kies will retire in June after more than 25 years with the university as an employee and student. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Urbana campus in 1978 and worked in various administrative and faculty positions after returning to the university in 1993, including nearly five years as secretary.