Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

At last week’s University of Illinois Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, President Tim Killeen reiterated the foundational importance of academic freedom to our institution. He noted that academic freedom is embedded in the new University of Illinois system strategic framework and protected by the University Statutes. Importantly, our institutional commitment to and protections of academic freedom are consistent with the AAUP’s 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. We share President Killeen’s commitment to academic freedom and appreciate his reiteration of these core principles.

Over the past 18 months, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has taken several steps to strengthen our hiring practices. We created a faculty committee to review our policies and procedures and have worked with the Academic Senate, additional faculty leaders and the Council of Deans to revise our processes and underscore our shared understanding of the critical role that academic freedom plays in supporting the mission of a world-class university. We also consulted with the local and national AAUP on the steps we were taking.

Today we have hiring procedures that facilitate final approval well in advance of the beginning of the academic year. Our hiring policies contain an explicit consultation process with the relevant dean and academic unit to address any questions that arise at the campus or BOT level. The off-cycle tenure review process itself has been revised and strengthened to be more faculty driven. Additionally, in a collaborative effort with the Academic Senate, the Provost’s Office memorialized the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s long-held dedication to shared governance by issuing Provost’s Communication No. 27, Shared Governance for Academic Units.

We appreciate President Killeen’s support over the past year as we have jointly acted to ensure protection of our university-wide commitment to academic freedom.


Barbara Wilson
Interim Chancellor

Edward Feser
Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost



This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Massmail Archive   .   Massmail powered by WebTools