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Phyllis Wise, Chancellor

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  • 4/15/ writer by published by

    It has been such an exciting and wonderful week to be part of the Illinois family. With the warmer temperatures, the campus has become so vibrant. And we’ve had many things to celebrate. 

  • 4/7/ writer by published by

    This week is a great opportunity to recognize one of our hardest working groups on campus. They make up more than a quarter of our student body and are essential to the success of the learning and discovery missions of Illinois. They work fervently to contribute so directly to our excellence. That group is our graduate students.

  • 4/1/ writer by published by

    In celebration of National Volunteer week, Illinois will be holding our second annual Campus and Community Day of Service on Saturday, April 5. I hope all of you will join me in participating.

  • 3/20/ writer by published by

    We are privileged to be part of a campus full of the smartest, hardest-working and friendliest faculty, students and staff in the world. Our energy and enthusiasm is a large part of why we enjoy such success and why the reputation of Illinois is known around the world. And many days and weeks in the year, I encourage the entire campus community, myself included, to charge ahead, to push boundaries and make an impact.

  • 2/25/ writer by published by

    In the midst of a cold winter, it may seem ironic to discuss our sustainability efforts on campus. But it seemed like the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to see where we have gone and where we are going. In the quest to become a pre-eminent research university with a land-grant mission and global impact, integrating sustainable practices in our research, classes, and buildings - every facet of campus – is a necessity and has been identified as a priority by our students and faculty. 

  • 1/30/ writer by published by

    Following the events of this week that raised the need for a campus discussion on civil discourse and respectful debate, I was asked to submit an op-ed to Inside Higher Education. This piece ran today and I want to share it with the campus community here as well. 

  • 1/21/ writer by published by

    On a hot August day in 1963, a man stood up and spoke for about seventeen minutes. When he began, an estimated 250,000 participants of the “March on Washington” paused to listen as millions more tuned in by television and radio. When he finished, Martin Luther King Jr. had established his own place among great American leaders.

  • 12/17/ writer by published by

    As our semester draws rapidly to a close and we head into these final hectic days of the year, I hope you take a few moments to celebrate all we have accomplished together so far. 

  • 12/13/ writer by published by

    The past week has been a blur of time zones and languages – from New York to the annual Silicon Valley Roundtable and then to China with stops in Hong Kong, Shanghai and finally, in Beijing. And once again, with each landing, the global presence of Illinois – both in terms of our alumni and our reputation – was proudly and clearly displayed. And I’m excited that we took another great step forward in our international reach with the official opening of the Illinois China office on Monday, December 9, in Shanghai.

  • 12/5/ writer by published by

     As we all know, in mid-October a short-term budget agreement was made in order to re-open the federal government and lift the debt ceiling. As part of the deal, Congress established a committee to reconcile the vast differences between the House and Senate budgets. The committee has until December 13 to submit an agreed-upon budget resolution for the next fiscal year. Without action, a new round of across-the-board spending cuts will occur in January.

    It’s easy to think of the difference in numbers as federal, impersonal facts. But these decisions have an impact on all of our lives, not only because of the Illinois impact, but the impact on the entire global economy.

  • 11/25/ writer by published by

    Last Thursday was the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, and I am proud that this year we celebrated the day at Illinois for the first time. We hope that it was an encouragement to quit for smokers in the Illinois family.


  • 11/11/ writer by published by

    At Illinois, we had the chance to celebrate Veterans Day a bit early at the groundbreaking for the Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education on Friday. I’m so proud of our campus commitment to supporting our veterans as they pursue their education. And we all look forward to the impact on campus and beyond of the programs and services that will be available when the doors open.

    The center is an extension of the importance Illinois places on the men and women in our family who have served in the United States military. They make up such a rich part of our history and our campus has proudly recognized them in monument and in word.

  • 10/31/ writer by published by

     Homecoming is always an exciting time of the year. This year it was chilly enough to pile on layers of orange and blue for the football game and droves of fans and alumni filled our campus. It’s always been a time filled with pride, nostalgia and good stories. Unfortunately as every visitor to campus knows, one of our most-recognized family members wasn’t able to join the festivities – Alma Mater.

  • 10/13/ writer by published by

    This past weekend, I was humbled and honored to be officially inducted as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I am proud to say that this year’s class saw Illinois well-represented. Fred Hoxie, Swanlund Professor of History, and alumnus Tom Siebel were both inducted as well. It is reassuring to be among friends at these sorts of events.

    I had the additional honor of being asked to speak on behalf of those inducted in my section this year – in Public Affairs, Business, and Administration. I realize that this particular honor was as much out of respect for the chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as it was for my personal achievement. I am sharing the text of those remarks and I hope they represented this university well.

  • 10/7/ writer by published by

     I was recently approached by LinkedIn about joining their Influencers Program. My first inclination was to politely decline the invitation. With several hundred (at the time) individuals ranging from President Obama to Meg Whitman to Maria Shriver offering their opinions, expertise and advice around professional and personal advancement, I wasn’t sure what I might add to the discussions. However, as I looked more closely at the spectrum of Influencers and their posts, I noticed the distinct absence of leaders in higher education among the group.

  • 10/4/ writer by published by

    The Carnegie Corp. of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, co-sponsors of the recent Time Summit on Higher Education, have published a section in the current issue of Time magazine that considers the future of U.S. research universities. I was invited, with University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Emeritus Robert Birgeneau, to contribute an essay for the section. Currently the text is only available in the print version of the magazine, but I can share my section of it here. 

  • 9/23/ writer by published by

    As many of you already know, last month President Obama unveiled a new education reform plan. With logistics of the president’s plan still in the early stages, no one can predict what the outcomes may be. And though I’m still not certain how this will directly affect Illinois, I’m happy to see the topic of affordable higher education take center stage. Access to education, to a transformative learning experience that changes not only what we do but also who we are, is inextricably tied to our foundation and mission.

  • 9/12/ writer by published by

    Since becoming chancellor at Illinois, I’ve been asked many times to speak about leadership – to many different audiences. And the opening of each year seems to bring the most invitations. It’s always an interesting opportunity for me - and in some ways still a surprising request - because, honestly, being the top administrator at a major public research university was never on my childhood list of things to do.

  • 8/28/ writer by published by


    Welcome back! And for those of you who are joining us for the first time, welcome to Illinois!

  • 8/9/ writer by published by

    There always seems to be some sense that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign slows down during the summer months. Certainly we notice the absence of our regular population of undergraduate and graduate students in our classrooms and on the streets and sidewalks of our community. And while our classrooms might be a bit emptier, our scholarship and engagement activities never seem to ease up.

  • 7/8/ writer by published by

    As you probably know, the justices of the United States Supreme Court delivered some major decisions in the final weeks of this year’s term. Two of these in particular have potentially significant and long-term impacts for this university and for higher education in general. 

  • 6/27/ writer by published by


    As most of you know from the email I sent a few weeks ago, pending board approval, we will be welcoming John P. Wilkin as university librarian and dean of libraries in August. I thank Paula Kaufman for her wonderful leadership of this university icon. Of all the grand accomplishments and great hallmarks across our history, I think none stand out like the university library. 

  • 6/13/ writer by published by

    With summer in full swing, it can often feel like children are taking over our campus. Indeed, we have a thriving camp system with thousands of kids ages six to 18 coming to Illinois throughout the next few months. While these camps are a wonderful service to kids and families, our camps are also strategic advantages for the university. For many families these experiences serve to set the first and lasting impression of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They can be the start of a relationship that will last a lifetime.  


  • 5/28/ writer by published by

    As we take time to enjoy Memorial Day this year among friends and family and to celebrate what has come to be the unofficial start of summer, I also urge all of us to take some time to consider the intent and purpose of this holiday: to remember those in our community who have died serving in the nation’s Armed Forces. And more broadly, it is a day to remind us that the world conflicts of recent years has brought a new generation of student, staff and faculty veterans to the campus.

  • 5/16/ writer by published by

    I love the hustle and bustle at the beginning of May. But often in the midst of preparing for Commencement, taking final exams, submitting work to academic journals and all the other tasks that go along with this time on campus, I think we can neglect our health. Fortunately, we have so many resources on campus to lead us towards a healthy lifestyle.