Monday 4, 2011
MARQUETTE – Susan Koch, vice president of academic affairs and provost at Northern Michigan University, was named chancellor and vice president at the University of Illinois-Springfield today.  

Koch, who became NMU provost in 2007, will begin her UIS tenure July 1, pending Board of Trustee approval. Before joining NMU, Koch was the associate provost and dean of the Graduate College at the University of Northern Iowa.

University of Illinois President Michael J. Hogan called Koch a proven academic leader in announcing her appointment.

“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.

As vice president and chancellor of UIS, Koch will report to Hogan and will be responsible for the academic programs and operations of the Springfield campus. Illinois-Springfield is one of three campuses, including Urbana-Champaign and Chicago, that make up the University of Illinois. UIS serves approximately 5,000 students in 44 undergraduate and graduate programs in four colleges, is known for its special mission of public affairs and service, has 211 full-time faculty, 533 staff and an annual operating budget of $73 million.

At NMU, Koch is second to the president in executive leadership and is responsible for management of the academic and student services operations. Among her accomplishments was a key role in developing and implementing the university’s strategic plan, “Road Map to 2015,” and in creating the Wildcat Incentive Fund initiative to fund innovation projects that support the plan.

“Dr. Koch's move to the chancellorship of UIS is indicative of the leadership skills honed at NMU,” said NMU President Les Wong.  “She was instrumental in raising the reputation of academics, enhancing the quality of the student experience and securing an exemplary accreditation report. Every college president is proud when one of his senior team moves to a presidency of her own. We will miss her contributions and I look forward to working with her as a presidential colleague.

Wong said he plans to name an interim provost by the end of the semester and that a national search will be done during the 2011-12 academic year.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to have worked with an outstanding president and an extraordinary leadership team at Northern Michigan University and I am looking forward to both challenges and opportunities at the University of Illinois at Springfield. My husband and I have greatly enjoyed living in the Upper Peninsula and will always cherish many great memories of our time in Marquette," said Koch.

At UIS, Koch will hold a tenured faculty position in the College of Education and Human Services. 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. 

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 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.