John Wilkin is Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As the chief academic officer, he oversees the campus’ academic programs, policies, and priorities, which have been designed to ensure the quality of the educational experience for students and to sustain an environment that encourages and supports academic excellence. In this role, he works closely with the chancellor, the other vice chancellors, the deans of academic colleges and other units, academic staff, the Senate of the Illinois campus, and various committees in setting overall academic priorities for the campus.
Wilkin earned graduate degrees in English from the University of Virginia and in library science from the University of Tennessee, as well as a bachelor’s degree in literature from Antioch College. Prior to assuming the role of Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, he was appointed the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries in August 2013. In that role, he leads one of the largest academic research libraries in North America. Illinois’ library faculty and academic professionals bring a strong research agenda to addressing a wide array of challenges. Current initiatives include the establishment of a substantial Research Data Service, efforts to shape new forms of scholarly communication (as part of the Mellon-funded Publishing Without Walls initiative), and leveraging Illinois’ substantial collection for digitization and shared print initiatives.
Before coming to Illinois, Wilkin served in a number of library-related capacities at the University of Michigan over the course of two decades, most recently as the executive director of HathiTrust and the associate university librarian for publishing and technology. He also worked for two years at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.