Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs Biography

EVPAA, Dr. Barbara Wilson Dr. Barbara J. Wilson is the Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Illinois System. In this role, Dr. Wilson serves as the second most senior executive and the chief academic officer for the $7.0 billion U of I System. She works closely with the chancellors and provosts of the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield universities in defining and shaping strategic academic priorities for the system, coordinating planning and budgeting across the system, and spearheading system-wide academic initiatives. In addition, she works closely with the president to advocate for the U of I System across the state and the nation by building connections with legislators, funding agencies, and leaders in higher education and industry.

Previously, Dr. Wilson served as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a role in which she led the faculty, staff and students of one of the nation’s original land grant universities.

Dr. Wilson has been a member of the U of I Urbana-Champaign faculty for 20 years.  She was appointed as head of the Department of Communication from 2002 to 2009.  She then spent five years in the Office of the Provost as vice provost and then executive vice provost, providing campus leadership on strategic and financial planning, faculty hiring, training and promotion, and innovative academic programs.  In 2014, she was named the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the largest and most diverse college on campus.

Dr. Wilson’s research focuses on the social and psychological effects of the media, particularly on youth.  She is co-author or co-editor of four books, including Children, Adolescents, and the Media (2014, Sage) and the Handbook of Children, Media, and Development (2008, Blackwell).  She also has authored over 80 research articles, book chapters, and technical reports on media effects and their implications for media policy.  From 2008 to 2018, she was named the Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Science in recognition of her scholarship. In 2008, she was elected as Fellow of the International Communication Association.

Before joining the Urbana-Champaign faculty, Wilson was a professor of communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s degree and Ph.D.in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Wilson is a native of Appleton, WI.  Her spouse, John Lammers, is a professor in the Department of Communication. They have two daughters and reside in Champaign.