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Richard H. Herman began serving as the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignmarker in 2005, having previously served there since 1998 as Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. He announced his resignation as Chancellor on October 20, 2009 due to the University of Illinois Clout Scandal. Before coming to Illinois, he served as Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Parkmarker and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at the Pennsylvania State Universitymarker. He has been a visiting faculty member and fellow at the University of Marseilles and Princeton Universitymarker.

In 1963, he received a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the Stevens Institute of Technologymarker. In 1967, he earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland.

A mathematician, Herman consistently stresses the need to better position the sciences to engage the emerging needs of society. President Bush appointed Dr. Herman to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has also served on the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and served as chair of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics. He is a member of the Observatories Council, the Management Council of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., associated with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Recently, he was appointed vice chair of the Universities Research Association.

Herman's research specializes on mathematical physics and operator algebras.

Herman is an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

In 2008 Herman was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciencesmarker.

Admissions Controversy

The Chicago Tribune reported on Friday, May 29, 2009 that several students had been admitted to the University based upon connections or recommendations by Board of Trustees, Chicago politicians, and members of the Rod Blagojevich administration. Initially denying the existence of a "Category I" admissions program, UI President White admitted that there were instances of preferential treatment. Although both he and Herman claimed the list was short and their role was minor, the Tribune obtained through a FOIA request several emails between Herman, then law dean Heidi Hurd and other spanning a number of years and establishing without any doubt that "Category I" existed. The Tribune reported on one case in which White had received a recommendation for a relative of a subsequently convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko to be admitted. The Tribune posted emails of Herman to admissions staff pushing for less qualified students to be accepted, citing particularly an exchange between Herman, admissions officers, and then-dean of the college of law Heidi Hurd. The controversy has sparked condemnation from student trustee Paul Schmitt and state lawmakers. It is quite unusual for deans, let alone provosts, to interfere with admissions staff in deciding whether or not to admit individual applicants. Their usual role is to provide guidance and direction as to admissions policies.

As a result of the clout controversy, several state lawmakers including Representatives, Naomi Jakobsson, Chapin Rose, and Bill Black have called for legislative investigations. Chairman of the Illinois House of Higher Education Committee, Representative Mike Boland, has called for Herman's and White's removal, as well as several administrators including and members of the Board of Trustees, saying "They were trusted to protect our university. In my eyes, they failed in that regard and they should resign."

After months of calls for his resignation, on 20 October 2009 Herman announced he would resign as Chancellor for his role in the controversy.

See also


  1. Academy Announces 2008 Class of Fellows. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. April 28, 2008

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