Longtime administrator named board secretary
Dedra “DeeDee” Williams, a university administrator for more than two decades, has been appointed secretary of the university and Board of Trustees.
Williams, a graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus, began her duties Saturday. The board will vote to approve her appointment at its meeting Thursday at UIC.
She will replace Susan M. Kies, who is retiring June 30 after nearly five years as secretary. The position has wide-ranging responsibilities that include planning for board and board committee meetings; maintaining the minutes, records and major documents of the board; responding to requests from the public; providing assistance and advice to other administrators, including the president; and assisting the trustees in their work for the university. She began her position last week to provide a transition period.
“DeeDee has seen this university as a student and as an administrator who has worked closely with each of our three distinctive campuses,” University President Timothy Killeen said. “She brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective that will serve the board and the university well.”
Since 2012, Williams has served as assistant vice president for academic affairs, helping lead a unit in University Administration that reports to the president and works closely with the three campuses to shape academic programs and priorities. The office has a collaborative role with the campuses in budgetary issues and student programs.
Williams helped foster initiatives such as a process that will develop a new strategic plan to guide the University system for the next five to 10 years.
She earned her master’s degree in higher education administration from the Urbana campus in 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Eastern Illinois University.
She joined the university in 1989 and served nearly 23 years in various roles at the College of Medicine on the Urbana campus, including associate dean for administration, where she oversaw budget/resource planning and human resources for the regional site.
She previously worked at the now-closed Burnham City Hospital in Champaign as a medical technologist in the clinical laboratory and taught interning medical technology students.
Williams is excited to begin her new post and expand her contributions to the university.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen as the eighth secretary of the board and university, and delighted to have the opportunity to work with such highly supportive and engaged board members and university leaders at such an important time,” she said.
Kies will retire in June after more than 25 years with the university as an employee and student. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Urbana campus in 1978 and worked in various administrative and faculty positions after returning to the university in 1993, including nearly five years as secretary.