University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Academic Freedom for a Free Society
of University

UIUC Chapter Members

Chapter Officers

Robin Kar


Philosophy and Law

Robin Kar (Rob) is a Professor of Law and Philosophy. He received his BA from Harvard College, his JD from Yale Law School, and his PhD from the University of Michigan in philosophy. He works at the intersection of law and philosophy, having made award-winning contributions to the study of evolutionary game theory, moral and legal psychology, legal philosophy, and contract theory. He has clerked for the Honorable Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the Honorable John G. Koeltl in Manhattan. 

Kar has served in significant leadership roles throughout campus, including Chair and Vice-Chair of the Academic Senate (at the university level) and Chair and Vice-Chair of the University Senates Conference (at the system level). He chaired the Committee on Faculty Sexual Misconduct and the Working Group that produced the System’s Guiding Principles on Fostering Healthy Relationships throughout the System. He is a 2022-2023 fellow with the President’s Executive Leadership Program.  He has served as the President of the local AAUP Chapter since Fall of 2023.

Carol Symes

Vice President

Carol Symes is a Professor of History and Director of the Program in Medieval Studies, with additional appointments in Classics and Theatre. She earned the BA at Yale, an M.Litt at Oxford, and the PhD at Harvard; she also trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing theatre professionals in the U.S.  A member of the faculty at Illinois since 2002, she has led or served on numerous department, college, and campus-wide committees, and is a current member of the LAS Executive Committee, the Senate Committee on Committees, and the University Senates Conference. As an advisor in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research in the Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields, she has worked with hundreds of faculty colleagues to develop research plans, grant applications, and book projects. She has served as Vice President of the local AAUP Chapter since Fall of 2023.

Bill Williamson



H.F. (Bill) Williamson is Associate Professor Emeritus in Economics and Emeritus Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Business. He also served as Vice Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department.

Williamson has served in several governance roles. These include membership on the following UIUC Senate Committees, where (*) indicates he served as Chair: Admissions*; Committee on Committees; Conference on Conduct Governance (CCG); Educational Policy; Faculty and Academic Staff Benefits (FB); Senate Executive Committee; Student Discipline*; and University Student Life*. Currently, he is a member of FB.

Within the UIUC Chapter of the AAUP, he has served as Treasurer and member of the Policy Committee for over forty years and, more recently, as Secretary/Treasurer.

Richard Laugesen




Richard Laugesen joined the Mathematics Department at the University of Illinois in 1997. He believes higher education is a public good, and that academic freedom is essential to our ability as faculty members at the university to effectively serve our students and the broader society. Outside of work, he and his wife enjoy the intellectual and cultural attractions of Champaign-Urbana.

Robert Parker

Immediate Past President

Robert Dale Parker (he, him, his) writes about American literature and critical theory, especially poetry and fiction. His scholarship and teaching pursue interests in literary form and aesthetics, history, gender, the socio-political roles of literature, and a pleasure in thinking through critical theory. Parker has published two books and many articles on the fiction of William Faulkner, including Faulkner and the Novelistic Imagination and “Absalom, Absalom!”: The Questioning of Fictions, as well as The Unbeliever: The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop and The Invention of Native American Literature, a critical and theoretical study of the emergence of American Indian literature and Americian Indian literary studies across the twentieth century. He has also undertaken a large-scale recovery of early American Indian poetry, leading to a series of articles and two books: Changing Is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930 and The Sound the Stars Make Rushing through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, which includes an edition of the works of the first-known Native American literary writer along with a biography and cultural history. Committed to merging scholarship with readability and theory with interpretation, he has also published How to Interpret Literature: Critical Theory for Literary and Cultural Studies (4th ed. 2020) and Critical Theory: A Reader for Literary and Cultural Studies. Recognized by campus awards for both undergraduate and graduate teaching, Parker has taught courses in the various periods of American literature, especially after 1900, as well as critical theory surveys and courses in Modernist literature, Native American literature, Faulkner, and other topics. He is currently writing a book about extreme poverty in American literature of the Great Depression.

Policy Committee Members

Hadi Esfahani (Business)

Matthew Finkin (Law)

Lewis Hopkins (Urban & Regional Planning)

Robin Kar (Law & Philosophy)

Richard Laugesen (Mathematics)

Walter McMahon (Economics)

Cary Nelson (English)

David O’Brien (Art History)

Robert Dale Parker (English)

Dana Rabin (History)

Daniel Steward (Sociology)

Leslie Struble (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Carol Symes (History)

Carol Tilley (Information Sciences)

Donald Uchtmann (ACES)

H.F. (Bill) Williamson (Economics)

American Association of University Professors — UIUC Chapter

1001 S. Wright St.
Champaign, IL 61820

The University of Illinois AAUP chapter maintains this web site. Opinions expressed by individual contributors to the site represent their personal views and are not necessarily positions of the chapter or any other entity. Opinions expressed by the chapter do not necessarily represent the views of the national AAUP or any other entity.