In a presentation Thursday to the University of Illinois System board of trustees at its regular meeting in Urbana, President Tim Killeen said the system is uniquely positioned to face society’s pressing issues.
“At the heart of all we do – what our leadership looks like in its most fundamental form – is our core mission: educational excellence at scale,” he said in reference to the system’s 22% enrollment growth in the past decade.
But in a rapidly evolving world where establishing a broader, more inclusive workforce is crucial to economic development, significant questions abound.
“How do we improve life expectancy? How can we close achievement gaps and create a diverse workforce? What must we do to engage every Illinoisan in lifelong learning that will be critical to navigating the world?” Killeen said.
“These are questions that, really, only an institution like the University of Illinois System – with our scale, our intellectual heft, our reach, our partnerships and our mission to serve the public good – is capable of answering.”
Trustees made several key appointments on Thursday.
John Coleman was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) effective July 19. Coleman is currently the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, a role he’s held since 2014. Coleman earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Germán Bollero was appointed dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at UIUC. Formerly head of the Department of Crop Sciences, Bollero served as ACES interim dean since September 2021. Bollero received a bachelor’s degree from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, and a master’s degree and PhD from UIUC.
Lisa A. Freeman was appointed dean of the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences effective July 1. Freeman received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and was interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the past academic year.
Nicholas Jones, University of Illinois System executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs, was appointed UIC interim chancellor for a four-day period in early July. Javier Reyes, UIC interim chancellor, becomes chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst effective July 1. Former University of Notre Dame Provost Marie Lynn Miranda begins July 5 as UIC chancellor and a system vice president.
New UIC department
The board also approved the establishment of the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies within UIC’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Graduate College.
Continuing budget resolution
The board also approved a provisional budget for fiscal year 2024 that authorizes expenditures after the current fiscal year ends June 30.
The routine measure authorizes expenditures based on funding levels for the current fiscal year. The budget for fiscal 2023 was $7.65 billion. Trustees will consider the full U of I System budget for fiscal 2024 later this year.
The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, and the largest educational institution in the state with more than 94,800 students, about 26,000 full-time equivalent faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 24,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.