Dear Colleagues:

Following yesterday’s meeting of the Academic Senate, I wanted to share a few of the points I made in my opening remarks.

As interim chancellor my goals for this year are pretty straightforward:

  • I will work to restore trust across the campus – among our faculty and staff, between faculty and campus leadership and between the students and those of us here to serve them.
  • I will communicate broadly and often and consult widely about the decisions we need to make together to keep the campus moving forward this year.
  • I want to see the AAUP censure lifted.
  • The development of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine will continue with the full support of the campus.
  • I will do everything in my power to ensure that we attract the best and most talented candidates to be our next permanent chancellor.

I know there are still plenty of issues on the horizon – the state budget situation being the most pressing among them – but I hope you get to see how much good news this campus has to celebrate.

  • We welcomed a bright and talented new undergraduate class this year.
    • Numbering 7,565, they are the second largest in our history.
    • More than 5,000 are Illinois residents – an increase of almost 600 in-state students over last year.
    • 17.1% are from underrepresented minorities, with notable increases over 2014 in the number of African-American and Latina/o students joining our class.
    • More than one in five of our freshmen are first generation college students – continuing our long tradition of accessible educational opportunities.
    • And once again, they excel academically, bringing with them an average ACT of 28.5 and average SAT of 1361.
    • We welcomed a strong new group of tenure and tenure-track faculty, with more than 120 new hires joining our community. Looking ahead, 120 new and continuing searches are authorized for this year.
    • We saw our annual rank in the US News move up one place among all universities, putting us 11th among our national public peers.
    • The campus hosted visits by the U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture and Education in the space of one week.

    This is a great university and the excellence here comes from the work you all do every day in the classrooms, laboratories, recital halls, libraries and throughout our communities.

    Thank you for your optimism and your enthusiasm.


    Barbara J. Wilson
    Interim Chancellor

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