Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs Biography
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 $5.6 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 the strategic academic priorities and direction for the University, coordinating planning and budgeting across the system, and supporting key academic initiatives. In addition, she will work closely with the president to advocate for the U of I System and elevate its national profile by building on connections with legislators, funding agencies, and leaders in higher education communities 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 15 years, most recently as the Harry E. Preble Dean of the campus’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Wilson’s academic home is in the Department of Communication, where she is the Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professor and served as department head.
Prior to her 2014 appointment as dean, Dr. Wilson spent five years in the Office of the Provost, providing campus leadership on strategic and financial planning, faculty hiring, training and promotion, and innovative academic programs. She served as vice provost for academic affairs and later, as the executive vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.
Dr. Wilson is an elected fellow of the International Communication Association and her scholarly work is extensively published, with dozens of books, chapters and articles on a wide range of issues involving the social and psychological effects of media on children. Before joining the Urbana-Champaign faculty, Wilson worked as a professor of communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During that time she served as director of graduate studies for the Department of Communication. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and her master’s degree and PhD in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Wilson is a native of Appleton, WI. Her spouse, John Lammers, is a senior faculty member in the Department of Communication. They have two children and reside in Champaign.