New University of Illinois President Robert Easter talks to reporters on Monday, July 2, 2012, in his office in Urbana, Ill.
New University of Illinois President Robert Easter says his top tasks will be trying to create a sense of stability on the school's three campuses, working on the university's budget and doing what he can to keep higher education affordable.
Easter was picked to take over for departing President Michael Hogan. Monday was Easter's first day on the job.
Hogan resigned in March after some faculty leaders called for his ouster over his leadership style. Easter was a popular choice after Hogan's rocky tenure, but he's agreed to keep the job only two years.
The university continues to see dwindling state support. That makes the budget a key issue. But the university has also pledged to raise tuition no more than increases in the cost of living.