February 1, 2001
CONTACT: Lex Tate
URBANA-The senior academic officer at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., is the choice of University of Illinois President James J. Stukel to be chancellor of the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees, Richard D. Ringeisen, 56, East Carolina vice chancellor for academic affairs, will join UIS in April in the campus's top position. He succeeds Naomi Lynn, who led UIS through its early transition as the third campus of the University of Illinois, starting in 1995.
Ringeisen, an Indiana native with educational and professional ties to the Midwest, has academic and administrative experience at Old Dominion, Clemson, the Office of Naval Research, Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne and Colgate. "Dr. Ringeisen brings a wonderful combination of academic stature, practical experience at several levels of administration, an understanding of 'town and gown' relationship-building and a deep and realistic appreciation of UIS's aspirations," Stukel said. "I was immediately struck by his enthusiasm for the campus and the University and I am pleased that he has decided to join the University of Illinois family."
Gerald W. Shea, chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, praised the chancellor-designate. "We met with Rich Ringeisen in early January and were taken with his quick grasp of everyone's hopes and expectations for UIS," Shea said. " I know I can speak for my board colleagues when I say this is a wonderful turning point for a special campus." Ringeisen, who was born in Kokomo, Ind., earned a bachelor of science and a high school teaching certificate in math and chemistry from Manchester College in Indiana in 1966; a master of science in math from Michigan State University in 1968, and a Ph.D. in mathematics, with a specialty in graph theory, also from MSU, in 1970. Since mid-1996, he has been vice chancellor for academic affairs at ECU, the third largest university in the North Carolina system, with more than 18,000 students. It is a research/doctoral university with the full array of academic schools reporting to Ringeisen, as well as distance education, enrollment management, international programs and the library.
ECU is a Division 1A school in sports. Ringeisen called coming to UIS "an incredible opportunity." "The University of Illinois at Springfield is such an exciting place to be right now," he said. "It was clear to me from meeting the president, the trustees, the search committee and others that UIS is on the go, people are ready for the next step. This opportunity to help build a first-rate liberal arts university, while staying true to its public affairs commitment, to create residential life, while remaining a campus that also serves non-traditional students and, on top of it all, to be a part of the University of Illinois and all that that connotes, was just too great to pass up. "This is a rare opportunity to leave 'footprints in the sand,'" he said, "a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I am thrilled to be Jim Stukel's choice and grateful for his faith in me."
Before joining ECU, Dr. Ringeisen was dean of the College of Sciences and professor of mathematics and computer science at Old Dominion University in Virginia, 1993-96. From 1979 to 1993 he was on the faculty at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he also was head of the mathematical sciences department, 1988-1993. While at Clemson he spent one year on leave at the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, V.A., including eight months as the acting chief administrative officer for the mathematical science division, responsible for expenditures supporting research in seven mathematical areas.
For a year in the late '70s, Ringeisen was scientist-in-residence at the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. His first academic appointments were at Colgate University in New York, assistant professor, 1970-74; Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, assistant professor, 1974-77, and associate professor, 1977-79. He has nearly 60 scholarly publications in mathematics and has received more than $750,000 in research support. He has been married since 1965 to Carolyn Byrer Ringeisen, formerly an accounting instructor at Clemson and Old Dominion universities and now an academic adviser and coordinator of student volunteer efforts with the ECU athletic department.
The couple has two married children, both of whom received doctorates in 1999 and now live in the Washington, D.C., area. Heather Lynn, 30, earned a Ph.D. in child clinical psychology at Auburn University, and Bradley Richard, 27, earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and one granddaughter. The son's wife, Michelle New, has a U of I connection: she earned a master's degree in agricultural economics from the Urbana-Champaign campus in 1998. Dr. Ringeisen has several off-work interests: running, golf, spectator sports, concerts, plays and church activities.
In making the announcement of his selection of Ringeisen, Stukel praised outgoing UIS Chancellor Naomi Lynn, who continued in office nearly a year beyond her intended retirement, and the reconstituted UIS search committee, led by Patricia Langley, UIS professor of both women's studies and legal studies. A delay in the search prompted Stukel's request that Dr. Lynn, chancellor since 1991, remain chancellor instead of handling special fund-raising projects for the president as had been planned. "Dr. Lynn has been most gracious and accommodating of the needs of the Springfield campus and the entire University," Stukel said. "She has our deepest gratitude not only for adapting her plans but working as if it was her first year on the job. And Dr. Langley deserves kudos for keeping the search moving productively, keeping us all well informed and, finally, yielding a great candidate in Rich Ringeisen."
Previously known as Sangamon State University, which was founded in 1969, UIS joined the University of Illinois in 1995. The U of I enrolls some 65,000 students, employs more than 20,000 persons and has an operating budget of $2.4 billion.
UIS is one of three campuses of the University of Illinois and enrolls about 4,000 students and has about 20,000 alumni. UIS offers 20 bachelor's degrees and 18 master's degree programs designed to meet the needs of transfer, commuter and residential students.
UIS also offers a doctoral program in public administration. Students admitted at the junior, senior and graduate levels receive a strong liberal arts education with an emphasis on public affairs.
This fall, UIS will admit its first class of freshmen to a selective program called Capital Scholars.
Reporters/Editors/News Directors: Richard Ringeisen (RING-eye-zin) will be available for brief phone interviews Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Please call Lex Tate at 217-333-6400 to arrange or to get access to a Web headshot of Dr. Ringeisen at 170 dpi. Dr. Ringeisen will be in town in mid-February for a press conference, one-on-ones and a University and community reception. We will keep you posted.