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Phyllis Wise '67 Named Next Chancellor of Univ. of Illinois

Phyllis Wise '67 Named Next
Chancellor of University of Illinois

by Alisa Giardinelli

Phyllis Wise '67
Wise received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Swarthmore in 2008.

Phyllis Wise '67, provost and executive vice president at the University of Washington (UW), will serve as the next vice president of the University of Illinois and Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wise, noted for her proven record of scientific accomplishment and administrative leadership at UW, UC-Davis, and the University of Kentucky, among other institutions, will join Urbana-Champaign effective October 1.

Wise graduated from Swarthmore with a B.A. in biology in 1967, earned a Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Michigan in 1972 and, following a Ford Foundation post-doctoral fellowship, taught for 16 years in the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland's Medical School. She then chaired the physiology department at the Medical School of the University of Kentucky and later served as dean of the Division of Biological Sciences, and distinguished professor of physiology and membrane biology, at UC-Davis. At UW, which she joined in 2005, she was the university's interim president during the 2010-2011 academic year, becoming the first Asian American woman to lead a major American research university.

In 2008, Wise received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Swarthmore and was praised as "a renowned researcher of the relationship of hormones to health, a remarkable model for all teachers and scientists, and a legendary academic administrator." In her remarks, she described her appreciation for the College as a beautiful place "imbued with the Quaker values of consensus, peace, responsibility to work for the greater good, and compassion and generosity."