President B. Joseph White took office in January 2005. He graduated magna cum laude in international economics from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and later earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a doctorate from the University of Michigan in business administration. He served for three decades at the University of Michigan as professor of organizational behavior and industrial relations, dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and interim president. His private-sector experience includes six years at Cummins Inc. in Indiana, first as vice president for management development and then as vice president for personnel and public affairs.
White initiated a strategic planning process with three stages: for the University as whole; for the three campuses, University administration, the Alumni Association, and the Foundation; and for each school, college, and major administrative unit. Annual updates chart the progress of the campuses and administration toward these goals.
He championed the establishment of the Global Campus Partnership, an online education initiative designed to increase access for students to a University of Illinois education. Global Campus officially launched in early 2008. Following debate and discussion on the campuses during 2008 and 2009, the initiative changed to encompass existing online degree and certificate programs on the three campuses.
White worked to seek financial support for the University through the $2.25 billion fund-raising Brilliant Futures: The Campaign for the University of Illinois. The campaign priorities are faculty support in the form of endowed chairs and professorships; student scholarships; programmatic support to keep the institution competitive; increased annual giving; and growing the endowment. It is the largest campaign in the university's history.
B. Joseph White announced his resignation on September 23, 2009, following an admissions controversy on the Urbana campus that lasted several months. He returned to teaching and is on the faculty of the College of Business on the Urbana campus where he is James Towey Professor of Business and Leadership