Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank all of you who joined us last week – in person or virtually – at the Town Hall and reception to welcome President Killeen on his first official day as president of the University of Illinois. From the talks by Tim Killeen, Chancellors Susan Koch, Michael Amiridis and myself to the student speakers, the performance by members of the Black Chorus and the conversation moderated by Dean Ed Feser – the event was a spirited beginning to a weeklong, statewide tour that included all three of our campuses and the medical campuses in Rockford and Peoria.

This was a wonderful opportunity for me to join President Killeen, and my fellow chancellors for this week of conversations with alumni, friends, stakeholders, editorial boards of major newspapers and television and radio outlets throughout the state. I learned a great deal about how much leaders and the citizens of Illinois care about us and how much they look to us for solutions to many of the grand societal challenges facing us. It was very clear just how broad, deep and critical our impact is. We are a massive driver of educational, social and economic development for the state. Together we are the largest provider of undergraduate education to our residents. We are major sources of direct and indirect employment and our research enterprise is a huge source of new federal and private investment in Illinois each year.

I was particularly proud to be the chancellor of the flagship campus in the University of Illinois system. Our campus alone accounts for approximately $6.5 billion of direct economic impact and touches the lives of millions of people across every single county. Together, we have brought more than $500M in federal grants and contracts to Illinois, and over the past five years, our researchers have filed almost 1,000 invention disclosures.

Our students come to Illinois to get a world-class education and become leaders in their communities, our state and the world. Be sure to read the brief summary of that impact by the numbers here.

While we face significant challenges, our campus remains one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities. We have tremendous opportunities and many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the University of Illinois. It is my pleasure to welcome Tim Killeen as our twentieth president.


Phyllis M. Wise

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