University of Illinois System
HomeAbout the OfficeCommunicationsPrograms

Welcome from the President

Whether you are a student, family member, an alum, a member of our faculty or professional staff, a citizen of Illinois, or just a browser, our three universities belong to you – and there is nothing quite like them! We are proudly part of the land-grant movement that was signed into law by Illinois’ own favorite son, President Abraham Lincoln, and that transformed higher education in America.

A 150-year commitment to excellence has earned us a place among the world’s most accomplished and respected universities. And we look forward with a spirit of exuberance and excitement just as much as we prize and honor our brilliant legacy.

Our Strategic Framework adopted in May 2016 articulates the 10-year vision of the University of Illinois System’s high-aspiration goals and has proven remarkably inspirational, nimble and stabilizing. With this framework as our north star, we’ve soared to new heights in everything from record-setting enrollment, to developing a pioneering new approach to next-generation innovation, workforce training and economic development – the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network.

And all of this has been done while navigating not only a multi-year state budgetary crisis that siphoned away hundreds of thousands of dollars but also a once-in-a-century global pandemic.

By embracing our identity as a system and leveraging the distinctive strengths of our three best-in-class universities, the U of I System is optimizing impact for the public good with excellence and at scale, in its aspiration to be “The Public’s University,” grounded in its bedrock commitment to lift both students’ lives and the public good.

- Tim

President Timothy L. Killeen

portrait of University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen

President Killeen started as the 20th president of the University of Illinois in May 2015. A leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences, Killeen received his bachelor’s degree and PhD at University College London, where he earned his doctoral degree in atomic and molecular physics.