BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University Provost Jonathan Green has announced
Marina Balina has been reappointed to the Isaac Funk Professorship.
A professor of Russian Studies, Balina was first appointed to the Funk Professorship
in 2007. According to current University policy, endowed chair and professorship reappointments
are made for a period of five years. Balina’s reappointment is based on her contributions
in scholarship, teaching and service.
A native of Russia who was educated in Russia and Germany, Balina joined the IWU faculty
in 1989. She is the director of the International Studies program and a former chair
of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. Known for her
pioneering research on Soviet-era and post-Soviet children’s literature, Balina’s
reputation makes her a sought-after speaker internationally. She has published numerous
articles and authored or co-edited books in three languages – Russian, German and
The Isaac Funk Professorship was originally established in 1865 – the first endowed
professorship for the University. Instructors were named until funds were deemed no
longer sufficient to maintain the professorship in the 1920s. In the fall of 2004,
the Paul A. Funk Foundation made a major gift to re-establish the fund, which was
first awarded to Balina in 2007.