The Next 150 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

The Next 150 emerged from a collaborative, transparent yearlong planning process and sets the priorities for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the next five years. We invite you to scroll down and view the ambitious goals that will shape the future of the university. Progress on these goals will be shared on Stories of Impact, which currently lists accomplishments from the previous Strategic Plan.


For 150 years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been changing the world. As we embark on our next 150 years, we do so with a renewed commitment to educational opportunity, research, and public engagement.

We envision a bold future built on our tradition of excellence and our land-grant heritage that will require us to harness our community's talents and our resources to be world-class in every dimension of our mission. Our most powerful asset is our diverse community: the faculty members who lead the research and teaching, the professionals who enable and support every aspect of our operation, the undergraduate and graduate students who learn from and inspire us, and the alumni who represent us around the globe. We derive strength from the pursuit of complex ideas, the value of multiple perspectives, and a commitment to scholarship and research that asks the difficult questions needed to create a better future for everyone.

The quality, diversity, and breadth of our faculty are the cornerstone of our success. Illinois is home to some of the most accomplished scholars in the world. Illinois leads in academic disciplines that influence global scholarship. The grand challenges we will face as a society in the next 150 years will call for collaboration, listening, and a capacity for perspective-taking. Therefore, this strategic plan sets the course to bring scholars together in even more creative and innovative ways. In so doing, our university community will continue to lead and to find solutions for society's greatest challenges in areas as wide-ranging as energy, food security, health, and the human condition.

Illinois must continue to attract outstanding students who reflect the full diversity of the world we will prepare them to lead. We prioritize access and affordability as well as our responsibility to make institutional transformations necessary to remove the barriers, assumptions, and biases that limit opportunities. By providing innovative learning opportunities, both in and out of the classrooms, we will prepare our students for multiple future careers, while teaching them to think critically, excel in their chosen disciplines, embrace the importance of continuing to learn over the course of their lives, and engage with the ever-changing, increasingly diverse world around them. We want our graduates and future alumni to be responsible citizens and leaders who value knowledge, creativity, global awareness, and social and cultural understanding.

Our ability to embrace, encourage, and adapt to the accelerating diversity of cultures, ideas, and identities fuels our creative spirit and leads us to consider new perspectives, possibilities, and knowledge.

As a land-grant university, Illinois is tasked with the privilege of service—to the local community, to the state, the country, and the world. As custodians of this charge, we are also recipients of an immense opportunity, and we will use this moment to reimagine our public engagement efforts. Interaction with our community will be woven into the fabric of everything we do—from research and teaching to educational experiences to our external partnerships. Specifically, we will strengthen our connections across the state—with both urban and rural communities—in a way that builds reciprocal and collaborative partnerships. We strive to encourage, elevate, and enhance community-engaged scholarship, teaching, and service to make a positive and visible impact in the spirit of our land-grant mission.

Appropriate, sufficient, and sustainable resources are imperative to our success. Our new, transparent budget model will help us thrive as we progress toward our shared campuswide goals and aspirations. Reimagining our budget model was not a logistical exercise—it was a deliberate effort to build the engine that will power our plans. We must be responsible stewards to ensure that we have the necessary elements to achieve our goals. Through careful handling of resources, innovations in services, and focused efforts to find new efficiencies, we will conserve financial resources that can be reinvested across our strategic priorities. We will couple this increased financial capacity with our advancement efforts and new revenue sources to allow the university to move forward on our goals. We must also be accountable to the state, to our students and their families, and to our partners who invest in our mission and our success.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's vision for the future is ambitious. Broad consultation, transparency, and shared commitment to our institutional goals will be necessary. We must balance long-term planning and short-term opportunities by empowering the units' expertise and flexibility to make their own strategic choices. The process we develop and implement must respect and leverage our university's commitment to shared governance.

We are at an exciting time in our history. In our first 150 years, Illinois asserted itself as a world leader in higher education. Today's rapidly changing landscape does not allow us to rest on our accomplishments. Right now, we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to redefine the role of public higher education. This plan is our public declaration of what the world should expect from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the next five years, and it sets the course for another 150 years of success.

Vision & Mission

Our Shared Vision

We will be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and a global impact. This is how the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will define pre-eminence:

  • We will be the best at what we do; this is a matter of excellence in achievement.
  • We will have impact locally, nationally, and globally through transformational educational experiences, innovative public engagement, and groundbreaking scholarship.
  • We will be recognized as leaders by our peers. We will be visible, engaged, and significant agents for the prosperity of the state, nation, and world; this is the leadership expected from a world-class university with a land-grant mission.
  • We will be leaders in advancing diversity and equity that will contribute to creating an institution committed to excellence in discovery, teaching, and research, and a climate where all can achieve their highest aspirations in a safe and welcoming environment.

Our Mission

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is charged by our state to enhance the lives of people in Illinois, across the nation, and around the world through our leadership in learning, discovery, engagement, and economic development.

We Will Achieve Our Vision by Leveraging Our Areas of Distinction

In our 150-year history, this campus has established a distinctive identity. It leads us to work and explore in uniquely productive ways. These areas of distinction provide the fundamental building blocks for our strategic goals.

  • Our iconic, inspirational, and inventive campus
  • Our engaged and open scholarly community
  • Our campuswide commitment to diversity, inclusion, and accessibility
  • Our groundbreaking track record of convergence, innovation, and creativity
  • Our technology-rich environment
  • Our comprehensiveness and land-grant tradition
  • Our effective, collegial, and nationally recognized system of shared governance
  • Our regional, national, and global impact
  • Our global leadership in creating an interdisciplinary culture
  • Our hardworking, bright, and creative faculty, staff, students, and alumni

Process & Principles

Our Process

Starting with the 2013-2016 Visioning Future Excellence plan and over the past five years, the entire campus community worked toward a shared vision for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—one that would strategically focus our intellectual and financial resources to face and respond to the challenges of our state, nation, and world. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the university celebrated its sesquicentennial, a timely opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Faithful to the guiding principles of our mission as the state's flagship public research university, we considered the changing landscape of higher education and the best ways to position ourselves in the next five years to drive 150 more years of discovery, innovation, and education.

A leadership team was formed to guide the collective and comprehensive work of strategic planning. Faculty, staff, students, deans, and campus administration collaborated throughout this past year to set out the broad strategic goals, initiatives, actions, and metrics for success that will guide our decisions and priorities over the next five years.

The 2013-2016 strategic plan served as a steppingstone to create a bold and ambitious new path forward in research, teaching, engagement, and resources that leverages our strengths and our identity, and embraces areas of growing importance to our mission and excellence, such as:

  • Arts
  • Data Science
  • Diversity
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Food Security
  • Globalization
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Public Engagement
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Undergraduate Education

The Chancellor and the Provost charged Strategic Task Forces to develop bold and broad strategies, comprehensive and far-reaching goals, and ideas covering research, teaching, service, and diversity. The Task Forces were also asked to reach out to stakeholders to garner feedback. After drafting the reports, the Task Force chairs presented during a strategic planning retreat, where administrators and a campuswide group of faculty members and staff had the opportunity to provide feedback. Following the consideration and integration of this feedback by the Task Forces, the chairs submitted a final version of the reports, which were posted on the planning website. To allow for broader ideas outside of the focus areas, the Office of the Provost organized multiple goal-development sessions on each of the four goals for several hundred members of the community from across campus. Summaries from these sessions were shared on the planning website.

Our shared vision for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will strategically focus our intellectual and financial resources to face and respond to the challenges of our state, nation, and world.

Having both the Strategic Task Force reports and the summaries from the goal-development sessions posted on the web, the Strategic Planning Leadership Team worked to make the campus community aware of the work that had been accomplished and to encourage feedback from the campus community. Strategies used included a town hall event, email messages, and announcements in newsletters. To gather deeper feedback on the work that had been done, the Office of the Provost organized faculty and staff panels to read and respond to all of the material submitted. By late spring 2018, most of the feedback had been received, and campus leaders gathered to discuss what emerged from the yearlong activities so as to prioritize specific ideas. This prioritization continued through the summer months as the strategic plan underwent various drafts.

By fall 2018, deans, campus institutes directors, Task Force chairs, and the aforementioned faculty panel read and responded to the drafts. The feedback received led to further improvements and refinement of the plan, and yielded a bold call to strategic and responsible action that sets the course for success in the next five years and a foundation for continued excellence in the next 150.

Our Guiding Principles

While the mechanics and implementation strategies of a plan may change over time to reflect the operating environment and global landscape, we are committed to a clear set of open and transparent principles to:

  • continue to make strategic investments in institutional excellence
  • be mindful of and responsive to the changing financial landscape of higher education
  • be agile as we pursue the current sets of priorities in our plan
  • embrace a culture of institutional improvement and assessment
  • collaborate and engage with faculty members, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders in our planning and implementation
  • celebrate our achievements visibly and proudly
  • empower all members of our community to speak honestly and openly
  • strive to create an inclusive environment for our students, faculty members, and staff
  • enhance and promote diversity as a fundamental value
  • foster connections across disciplinary boundaries to inspire and drive multidisciplinary convergence
  • continue leading in areas that drive translation of innovation and global impact
  • engage our local, state, national, and global community as we redefine what it means to be a land-grant university in the 21st century

At the core of our university, and its principles, is the acknowledgement of Native peoples and the land on which this university exists.

Our Goals

We will be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and a global impact. That is the vision our faculty, staff, and students have collectively established for this university in its next 150 years.

Our efforts are focused around a framework of four fundamental goals:

To realize these goals, we will pursue specific initiatives created through our collaborative yearlong planning process. To ensure success, we will monitor our progress, make changes as necessary, and share updates on at least an annual basis.

Goal 1 Foster scholarship, discovery, and innovation

Scholarship, discovery, and innovation are at the heart of Illinois' local, national, and global impact. We will drive new frontiers by attracting and retaining a diverse group of faculty, students, and staff endowed with creativity and intellectual depth and breadth. Modern infrastructures, streamlined processes, and enriching interdisciplinary and convergent work will advance the university's mission.

  1. Strengthen our faculty and align resources with academic and research units to capitalize on our scholarly synergies across campus

    1. Increase the number of faculty members with an intentional focus on enhancing diversity and retention, building disciplinary strength and significance, advancing interdisciplinary discovery and innovation, and elevating the importance of translational research
    2. Create an inclusive, scholarly culture among the faculty, students, and staff by improving the climate for all members of the university community and aiding in the retention of underrepresented faculty
    3. Support and empower specialized faculty to succeed in their primary roles in teaching, research, or clinical work
    4. Ensure explicit, detailed charters for centers, institutes, and initiatives seeded at all levels across campus, and establish an evaluation process to ensure their viability, sustainability, cross-disciplinary reach, relevance, and impact
    5. Grow the global impact of our research by building strong educational, research, and translational partnerships with leading universities, research institutes, and corporations in the United States and abroad

  2. Develop a strong infrastructure, policies, and practices to support scholarship, innovation, public engagement, and entrepreneurship across disciplinary lines

    1. Partner and leverage investments in state-of-the-art instruments and facilities to provide safe and modern research environments
    2. Enhance translational and commercialization support to promote entrepreneurial opportunities
    3. Promote and foster multidisciplinary convergent scholarly opportunities for our undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students
    4. Grow our entrepreneurial ecosystem, research translation, and new venture creation through investments in EnterpriseWorks, Research Park, and Carle Illinois College of Medicine
    5. Align with opportunities in the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network

  3. Affirm our commitment to the foundational role of the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, and invest in their contribution to our research, creative, and innovation pursuits for the common good

    1. Facilitate new roles for artists and designers in research, teaching, and engagement across the campus and community through integration of arts practitioners into areas beyond their departmental homes
    2. Advance the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities to an Institute with additional infrastructure, staffing, and support for leadership
    3. Elevate the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Initiative to a Center to foster intersections with technology, promote measurements and assessment, and fight the root causes of poverty and social disparities

  4. Establish Illinois as the global leader in digital transformation at the service of society

    1. Invest in new facilities, infrastructure, and resources that leverage the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, expand our computing strengths and resources, advance the frontiers of quantum information and new computing paradigms, and bolster our strength in information sciences, data science, data analytics, health analytics, and machine learning
    2. Foster and support new multidisciplinary research and educational programs to advance our excellence and leadership in areas such as autonomy and augmented human intelligence, environmental monitoring and sustainability, e-Learning and personalized learning
    3. Establish Illinois as the leading intellectual center for the advancement of ideas, principles, policies, regulations, and tools for the just, safe, sustainable, and peaceful progress of the world's digital transformation
    4. Enrich interdisciplinary connections and invest in new resources and facilities to expand our campus's strength in food, nutrition, energy, health sciences, and cancer
    5. Establish new initiatives in data-driven agriculture and personalized nutrition that harness the power of research at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
    6. Invest in core infrastructure, including seed funding for health-related programs and clinical partnerships that link basic, translational, and applied research, positioning Illinois to partner with key health care, government, and corporate partners such as the Mayo Clinic and Illinois Alliance
    7. Foster activities across disciplines to build a vibrant enterprise in cancer research, education, and outreach, that translates Illinois' innovations to societal impact, while securing National Cancer Institute designation as a basic science cancer center

Goal 2 Provide transformative learning experiences

With a solid academic core, Illinois will deliver on the fundamental promise of a public university—to teach students and to pioneer the science and the art of learning. This is transformative knowledge—for the individual and, collectively, for the world in which we live and work.

  1. Ensure that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign education is available to all who qualify academically by implementing financial aid programs to increase accessibility and by growing our merit-based scholarship programs to attract an outstanding and diverse student body

  2. Develop a campuswide initiative in undergraduate and graduate student success that integrates classroom experiences, academic support, academic advising and mentoring, and co-curricular student services and experiences

    1. Continue to support and augment teaching excellence in all modalities by investing in and valuing teaching
    2. Assure the quality of learning on campus by fostering a culture of assessing curricular and co-curricular programs, using evidence to improve the student experience, and sharing learning outcomes for all programs in a way that is transparent and consistent with the recently endorsed campus student learning outcomes
    3. Re-envision instruction, staffing, and educational spaces for foundational courses that provide the academic base upon which all programs build
    4. Implement a new academic advising paradigm
    5. Develop a campus center for academic support
    6. Coordinate, connect, and create partnerships between the programs on campus that support students' physical and mental health and well-being
    7. Utilize student performance data and advanced analytics to improve student success

  3. Provide new educational pathways and enhance current programs to increase flexibility and to foster education across disciplines

    1. Identify opportunities for modular curricula that allow the creation of new or modified degree programs
    2. Explore ways students can develop skills and proficiencies across multiple disciplinary areas by increasing the availability and feasibility of dual majors and joint degrees, especially when majors cross colleges
    3. Examine methods to pilot cutting-edge degree programs that can be implemented in a timely way
    4. Re-envision, reshape, and re-examine the Illinois undergraduate student experience by considering the role of General Education in preparing students for an ever-changing society
    5. Provide all Illinois students the opportunity to have a meaningful exposure to data science and to integrate arts into the curriculum such as through the Siebel Center for Design
    6. Incentivize the development of cross-disciplinary graduate education programs and certificates, while addressing some of the barriers to these programs
    7. Integrate and emphasize global perspectives within our learning environment, and benefit from the international diversity of our students, faculty, and staff

  4. Identify a path forward to respect diverse groups, develop educational strategies to increase knowledge about different cultures, and create a campus that celebrates our diverse university and community

    1. Prepare students for living in a diverse, globally minded society by offering enriching programming and services
    2. Enhance support for students with disabilities to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to acquire information and receive services in an equally effective and equally integrated manner
    3. Conduct climate surveys at regular intervals and use the results to educate and improve the campus community
    4. Create educational opportunities and resources for faculty members to work with and advocate for a diverse student body

  5. Encourage every undergraduate student to complete one or more integrative learning experiences, such as capstone courses, internships, research, and study abroad

    1. Develop uniform campus mechanisms to award academic credit for experiential learning activities, while ensuring the experience is aligned with our high-quality educational standards
    2. Assure that students have opportunities to participate in University of Illinois Extension and public engagement activities through volunteerism and service learning
    3. Leverage the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network to provide undergraduate students with immersive experiential learning opportunities
    4. Provide transformative learning opportunities for undergraduate research, taking advantage of our world-class faculty and research infrastructure
    5. Develop global awareness and cultural competency through a combination of curricular, student-life activities, and international experiences that build and foster collegewide and universitywide strategic partnerships

  6. Innovate in graduate, professional, and continuing education, with new degree programs and certificates at the intersection of disciplines, and support recruitment and retention of graduate students

    1. Invest in the success of graduate education and our graduate students to ensure access and inclusion to our university for as diverse a student population as possible, through sustainability funding and graduate fellowships
    2. Empower our graduate programs to recruit, fund, and retain underrepresented minority graduate students
    3. Leverage the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network to make the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign the go-to place for professional and continuing education programs
    4. Provide sustainable funding for graduate fellowships in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other areas of importance to our scholarly excellence and societal impact

  7. Expand investments in building and renovating state-of-the-art learning spaces and infrastructure to support the latest modes of instruction and learning for Illinois students both on and off campus as well as in small and large classroom spaces

    1. Pursue new opportunities for programs to have online components including new technologies such as virtual reality
    2. Build additional training grants for faculty members to develop online courses and programs
    3. Develop additional MOOCs to reach a broader population of students both on and off campus

Goal 3 Make a significant and visible societal impact

When the core foundations of unabashed discovery combine with transformative learning and teaching, the outcomes are no longer measured simply in degrees or in citations. They are seen in how the world is changed for the better through contact with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university lives up to its land-grant mission in many ways, and we will better organize, enrich, and value these contributions as we reach out to our local, regional, national, and global communities.

  1. Empower University of Illinois Extension to differentiate itself from other state extension networks by focusing on societal grand challenges, to balance its efforts to address rural and metropolitan needs and issues, and to collaborate with faculty and staff across all colleges to have a higher impact

  2. Create a structure and culture that facilitates and values long-term partnerships with external stakeholders through the development of a campuswide strategic plan on public engagement that includes both extension and nonextension activities

    1. Promote a faculty and institutional culture that prizes and rewards engaged research/scholarship and teaching
    2. Build a better network of cooperation among the many publicly engaged activities already occurring in the colleges, departments, research institutes, and public good entities, such as those activities focused on K-12 schools, veterans, and continuing education for lawyers, social workers, teachers, veterinarians, etc.
    3. Establish principled, long-term partnerships in the public sector for areas where the research stands to benefit the public good through collaborative policymaking or other applications
    4. Foster an environment where our excellence in education and scholarship have a global impact and where international perspectives are built into the institutional culture such as through the area studies centers and critical conversations

  3. Develop our students to be future leaders with deep understanding of the unique commitments, traditions, and challenges of distinct communities by increasing student opportunities for service learning and volunteering through campus organizations and off-campus organizations

  4. Draw local and regional community members onto campus through the development of a broader spectrum of enriching cultural and athletic experiences that leverage the university's common good facilities and community programming

    1. Build on the 50 years of success of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to increase its scale and reach by providing additional enriching educational opportunities
    2. Support and celebrate the educational and outreach efforts of Krannert Art Museum, Spurlock Museum, cultural resources centers, Illini Union, Campus Recreation, and athletics
    3. Coordinate and communicate clear paths for broad audiences to attend existing public lectures such as those offered in the College of Law or through the CAS/MillerComm Lecture Series
    4. Build better translational and transparent communications to share research findings and other successes by leveraging the Illinois Experts database and the connections to Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV-Online), and other university media sources
    5. Partner with a wide variety of stakeholders, including Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, who bring people to campus to showcase the research and education happening at Illinois

  5. Engage with our local and regional community and neighborhoods in ways that have an impact

    1. Better connect and communicate how our master planning affects the area and region
    2. Develop synergies and strategies to examine how our procurement and contracting services support local and minority-serving businesses
    3. Examine and assess creation of jobs, business, and new ventures locally and regionally

  6. Accelerate the growth of the Illinois entrepreneurial ecosystem to establish Champaign-Urbana as the best university-based entrepreneurship and innovation hub in the Midwest

    1. Invest in new facilities in the Research Park to grow our resources and services in support of new business creation, economic development, and prosperity in the region, across the state, and beyond
    2. Advance and accelerate the impact of our university's outstanding record of breakthrough discoveries and innovations by dedicating resources for marketing, advancement, corporate relations, and alumni engagement
    3. Increase the capacity for our entrepreneurial ecosystem to leverage networks of people, companies, and capital, and to set up and manage partnerships with the Discovery Partners Institute, including other innovation hubs and universities

  7. Reach out to all community stakeholders and partner with them to make our university and its surrounding region the leading innovation center and testbed for the technologies and services that will enable the safe, healthy, and sustainable communities of the future

    1. Engage our students in a technology-augmented living and learning environment that nurtures their wellness, empowers their academic success, and inspires them to be proactive innovators and contributors to the communities of tomorrow
    2. Leverage our strengths in computing, engineering, and data analytics to build a functional "smart and connected community" for our campus and its neighboring areas
    3. Work closely with all community stakeholders to anticipate and research the opportunities and challenges associated with making our community safe, inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and resilient to any major natural or manmade disruption, and to conceive, develop prototypes, and test the relevant policies, programs, and services

  8. Create workforce-development strategies and related partnerships across the public and private sectors, with an emphasis on using Illinois expertise to create new jobs and enhance the skill sets of new and continuing workers

  9. Develop and execute an integrated, coordinated, and sustained marketing and communications effort to all stakeholders and influencers: students, alumni, parents and friends, business and government leaders, and residents of the state of Illinois

    1. Build and implement a university-level brand platform that clearly establishes a distinct position for the university among our peers
    2. Create a strategic marketing-communications campaign that shares our story of learning, discovery, and engagement to internal and external audiences to achieve metrics-based goals
    3. Provide training for researchers to better communicate their scholarship and discoveries with general audiences, making research findings more readily available to all media platforms
    4. Place special emphasis on articulating the overwhelming economic impact of the university to the state of Illinois as well as the university's contributions to the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network
    5. Increase visibility and connections for the university's leaders among opinion leaders in the Chicago area

  10. Improve visibility and coordination for university efforts that allow students and faculty to work closely with the public sector and decision-makers to impact public policy

Goal 4 Steward current resources and generate additional resources for strategic initiatives

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has stewarded its land-grant mission and accompanying financial, human, technology, and infrastructure resources while tackling significant budgetary challenges. We need to continue to refine, coordinate, and structure our financial framework to manage all of our resources effectively and develop new lines of revenue to support our human resources, infrastructure, operating budget, and strategic initiatives. To create this framework, we must streamline our processes, reduce redundancies, and improve the quality and quantity of services throughout campus.

  1. Implement and promote Operational Excellence @ Illinois, a campuswide initiative to streamline, innovate, reduce costs, improve services, and coordinate processes at all levels

    1. Build a smarter budgeting and financial system that will allow multiyear planning, provide more effective data for decision-making, enhance our cash management strategies, and coordinate university and system financial plans
    2. Promote continued transparency and accountability with smarter budgeting systems by providing better data for multiyear planning, estimating the cost of instruction, and evaluating the cost of research for both operations and capital planning
    3. Improve understanding of budget, accounting issues, and financial planning at all levels
    4. Implement ongoing programmatic and budgetary review processes for nonacademic units
    5. Develop, integrate, and coordinate high-quality technology solutions at all levels by investing in integrated solutions that have scale efficiencies, improve service quality, and enhance campus cybersecurity, while encouraging innovation that addresses specialized needs of units
    6. Identify specific areas to reduce overhead costs for research to maintain and improve our competitiveness with our peers
    7. Allocate resources devoted to Operational Excellence @ Illinois proposals and actions that can be implemented to improve processes, reduce costs, enhance productivity, and develop an operational excellence mindset across all units on campus
    8. Become more cost-efficient on renovation, repair, and building projects with a particular focus on reducing time to completion. Examine process improvements starting with more effective planning, project management, and execution
    9. Evaluate and address how to optimize space on campus through multiyear master planning
    10. Heighten our efforts to apply universal design and individual access to the campus environment including architecture, instruction, services, and technology

  2. Actively explore additional revenue sources by increasing online education, corporate partnerships, and royalty and patent revenue through creating the proper infrastructure for building large-scale research proposals, and supporting scholars as they commercialize research for entrepreneurial opportunities that bring cutting-edge technologies to market

  3. Allocate additional institutional resources to increase the amount and availability of student scholarships and other financial aid, to make an Illinois education accessible for every qualified student through the Illinois Commitment Program, and to attract the best and brightest to the university

  4. Understand that the largest resource on campus is its employees and students while creating an inclusive and welcoming campus climate

    1. Deploy a professional development strategy and award system for employees by leveraging existing programs and adding new programs where required
    2. Recognize that diversity is essential to our excellence, and interweave diversity through planning and operations
    3. Recognize that climate challenges differ for faculty, staff, and students
    4. Develop a robust infrastructure to identify, manage, and mitigate internal disputes and climate issues
    5. Commit to mentoring and support for the success and professional development of faculty and staff to ensure that processes governing recruiting, hiring, and promotion are inclusive and follow research-based practices for avoiding bias
    6. Be a leader in developing and implementing effective, evidence-based policies to address discrimination and harassment

  5. Foster an integrated and holistic approach to institutional advancement efforts

    1. Further develop and expand Illinois Alumni Association programming toward a unified and innovative relationship model for engaging alumni, friends, parents, and students
    2. Continued refinement of responsible data-sharing practices throughout the institutional and constituent lifecycles
    3. Prioritize our campus fundraising efforts through With Illinois to emphasize soliciting support for programs and projects tied to our strategic vision
    4. Redefine the With Illinois experience by leveraging existing or creating new engagement channels to inspire, capture, and share Illinois pride and affinity
    5. Enhance and emphasize our robust international alumni network to increase financial resources and Illinois passion across the globe
    6. Strategically source, share, or add essential advancement staff and resources to deliver efficiencies across the campus
    7. Remain focused on synergistic alignment between industrial/corporate relationships, research collaboration, and philanthropic gift opportunities

Plan Leadership

A core group of individuals from across the campus provided significant guidance on the development of the campus strategic plan.

Leadership Team:

  • William Bernhard
  • Michael DeLorenzo
  • Robin Kaler
  • Susan Martinis
  • Staci Provezis
  • Rosa Milagros Santos
  • Assata Zerai

Arts Strategy:

  • Cynthia Oliver, Chair
  • Robert Anderson
  • Teofilo Carrillo
  • Arnab Chakraborty
  • Terri Ciofalo
  • Lynne Dearborn
  • Kevin Erickson
  • Jason Finkelman
  • Kevin Hamilton
  • Lauretta Hogin
  • Sharon Irish
  • Julia Nucci Kelly
  • Susan Koshy
  • Jennifer Monson
  • Veronica Paredes
  • Jesse Ribot
  • Stacey Robinson
  • Valleri Robinson
  • Stanley Ruecker
  • Rochelle Sennet

Data Science:

  • Robert Brunner, Chair
  • Brian Aldridge
  • Vikram Adve
  • Gabrielle Allen
  • Scott Althaus
  • Matthew Ando
  • Katherine Baylis
  • Roy Campbell
  • Peter Christensen
  • Jana Diesner
  • William Gropp
  • Matthew Hudson
  • Heidi Imker
  • William Sanders
  • Douglas Simpson
  • Jacob Sosnoff
  • Ramanath Subramanyam
  • Venugopal Veeravalli
  • Pramod Viswanath
  • Ted Underwood


  • Assata Zerai, Chair
  • EDGE Council Chair
  • DRIVE Committee
  • CORE Co-Chairs
  • Isabel Molina
  • Maureen Banks
  • Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo, ex officio

Energy and Sustainability:

  • Brian Allan
  • German Bollero
  • Jeffrey Brawn
  • Carla Cáceres
  • Arnab Chakraborty
  • Don Fullerton
  • Praveen Kumar
  • Sarah Taylor Lovell
  • Stephen P. Long
  • Benito Mariñas
  • Stephen Marshak
  • Dipanjan Pan
  • Jesse Ribot
  • Peter Sauer
  • Murugesu Sivapalan
  • Rizwan Uddin
  • Gillen D'Arcy Wood
  • Donald Wuebbles
  • Nick Heyek

Food Security:

  • Alex Winter-Nelson, Chair
  • Richard Akresh
  • Brian Dill
  • Brenna Ellison
  • Barbara Fiese
  • Paolo Gardoni
  • Richard Gates
  • Craig Gundersen
  • Kristin Hoganson
  • John "Jack" Juvik
  • Prasanta Kalita
  • Michelle Nelson
  • Shelly Nickols-Richardson
  • Jesse Ribot
  • Hans Stein
  • Sarah Williams
  • Matthew Winters


  • Clara Chu, Chair
  • Peter Constable
  • Andi Cailles
  • Jerry Dávila
  • J. Stephen Downie
  • Melissa Edwards
  • Margareth Etienne
  • Edward Ewald
  • Boyi Guo
  • Prasanta Kalita
  • Maryam Khademian
  • Kenneth Long
  • Ben Lough
  • Osamu Miyawaki
  • Robert Pahre
  • Beth Scheid
  • Erol Tutumluer
  • Alex Winter-Nelson
  • Allison Witt
  • Steve Witt
  • Angharad Valdivia
  • Deana McDonagh

Health Sciences:

  • Neal Cohen, Chair
  • Reggie Alston
  • Stephen Boppart
  • Martin Burke
  • Roy Campbell
  • Sharon Donovan
  • John Erdman
  • Tim Fan
  • Barbara Fiese
  • Martha Gillette
  • Craig Gundersen
  • Wendy Heller
  • Thenkurussi Kesavadas
  • King Li
  • Brent Roberts
  • Sue Schantz
  • Jim Slauch
  • Brad Sutton
  • Derek Wildman
  • Jeff Woods


  • Antoinette Burton, Chair
  • Ruth Nicole Brown
  • Eric Calderwood
  • Cara Finnegan
  • Sam Frost
  • Harriett Green
  • Christopher Higgins
  • Jonathan Inda
  • Isabel Molina
  • Bob Morrissey
  • Justine Murison
  • Carl Niekerk
  • Naomi Paik
  • Anke Pinkert
  • Gabriel Solis
  • Nora Stoppino
  • Angeliki Tzanetou
  • Terri Weissman
  • Kirstin Wilcox
  • Martin Camargo, ex officio

Public Engagement:

  • Wynne Korr, Chair
  • Kimberlee Kidwell
  • James Anderson
  • Antoinette Burton
  • Michael Ross
  • Assata Zerai
  • Danita Brown Young
  • Rosa Milagros Santos

Social Sciences:

  • Brent Roberts, Chair
  • Kristen Bub
  • Craig Gundersen
  • Hillary Klonoff-Cohen
  • Christopher Larrison
  • Jeffrey Mondak
  • Silvina Montrul
  • Andrew Orta
  • Eva Pomerantz
  • Brian Quick
  • Patrick Vargas

Undergraduate Education:

  • Tracy Sulkin, Chair
  • Janet Carter-Black
  • Kevin Jackson
  • Emily Knox
  • Craig Lemoine
  • Patricia Loughran
  • Kathy Martensen
  • Carla McCowan
  • Ruby Mendenhall
  • Umberto Ravaioli
  • Linda Robbennolt
  • David Ward
  • David Zola
  • Michel Bellini, ex officio
It is no ordinary work which we are set to do, and it comes to us under no ordinary circumstances. We are not here to reproduce, in this new locality, some old and well-known style of college or university. The hungry eyes of toiling millions are turned, with mingled hope and fear, upon us, to see what new and better solution we can possibly offer of the great problems on which their well-being and destiny depend.

John Milton Gregory, Regent, March 11, 1868, on the inauguration of the Illinois Industrial University