CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Edward Feser, the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is leaving the university next month to take on a top administrative job at Oregon State University.
Feser will begin his new role as the Corvallis, Oregon-based university’s provost and executive vice president on Feb. 28.
“We are a stronger institution because of Ed’s contributions here,” said Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “He has helped lead through one of the most difficult financial times in the university’s history and has championed a new budgeting system and model that will benefit our students, faculty and staff, and support our mission for years to come.”
Feser joined the university in 2004 as a professor of urban and regional planning, and he served as the department head of that unit for several years before taking an endowed faculty position at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He returned to Urbana in 2012 as the dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Feser earned a bachelor of arts in government at the University of San Francisco; a master's in regional planning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and a doctorate in regional planning, also at North Carolina.
Before coming to Illinois, Feser was a faculty member for seven years in North Carolina’s department of city and regional planning.
“I am grateful for the leadership opportunities I’ve had at Illinois, for the chance to partner with and learn from a number of immensely talented people,” Feser said. “The faculty, staff and students at Illinois are outstanding, and the chancellor, senior administrators, deans and other leaders have a firm grasp of the short- and long-term challenges the campus faces; my position served as a platform to help frame the issues that are vital to Illinois’ continued success.”
The son of a U.S. National Park ranger, Feser grew up in Montana, Washington and Northern California, and said his impending move is a homecoming.
“I’m fortunate to be in transition from one outstanding land-grant public research university to another,” he said.
Jones said he will consult with the Council of Deans this week to discuss how to fill the position on an interim basis, pending the selection of a permanent replacement.
“Ed Feser is one of the nation’s most outstanding academic leaders, and he will make a transformational impact at Oregon State just as he has done at Illinois,” Jones said.