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Incoming University of Illinois system president Timothy Killeen says he's negotiating to begin his new job earlier than his official July 1 start date.

According to reports, Killeen says he'll be a regular presence on the University of Illinois campuses "and the start date might move forward." Killeen is replacing the retiring university President Robert Easter. He didn't give an exact date but says he hopes to start work in late spring.

Killeen says he and Easter may overlap. Killeen would be in a junior role and Easter in a presidential role. The system's Board of Trustee must give Killeen's hiring final approval at its next regular meeting on Jan. 15. He was announced as the next system president on Nov. 19.

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