- William Bernhard
- Michael DeLorenzo
- Robin Kaler
- Susan Martinis
- Staci Provezis
- Rosa Milagros Santos
- Assata Zerai
The Next 150 emerged from a collaborative, transparent yearlong planning process and sets the priorities for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the next five years. We invite you to scroll down and view the ambitious goals that will shape the future of the university. Progress on these goals will be shared on Stories of Impact, which currently lists accomplishments from the previous Strategic Plan.
For 150 years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been changing the world. As we embark on our next 150 years, we do so with a renewed commitment to educational opportunity, research, and public engagement.
We envision a bold future built on our tradition of excellence and our land-grant heritage that will require us to harness our community's talents and our resources to be world-class in every dimension of our mission. Our most powerful asset is our diverse community: the faculty members who lead the research and teaching, the professionals who enable and support every aspect of our operation, the undergraduate and graduate students who learn from and inspire us, and the alumni who represent us around the globe. We derive strength from the pursuit of complex ideas, the value of multiple perspectives, and a commitment to scholarship and research that asks the difficult questions needed to create a better future for everyone.
The quality, diversity, and breadth of our faculty are the cornerstone of our success. Illinois is home to some of the most accomplished scholars in the world. Illinois leads in academic disciplines that influence global scholarship. The grand challenges we will face as a society in the next 150 years will call for collaboration, listening, and a capacity for perspective-taking. Therefore, this strategic plan sets the course to bring scholars together in even more creative and innovative ways. In so doing, our university community will continue to lead and to find solutions for society's greatest challenges in areas as wide-ranging as energy, food security, health, and the human condition.
Illinois must continue to attract outstanding students who reflect the full diversity of the world we will prepare them to lead. We prioritize access and affordability as well as our responsibility to make institutional transformations necessary to remove the barriers, assumptions, and biases that limit opportunities. By providing innovative learning opportunities, both in and out of the classrooms, we will prepare our students for multiple future careers, while teaching them to think critically, excel in their chosen disciplines, embrace the importance of continuing to learn over the course of their lives, and engage with the ever-changing, increasingly diverse world around them. We want our graduates and future alumni to be responsible citizens and leaders who value knowledge, creativity, global awareness, and social and cultural understanding.
Our ability to embrace, encourage, and adapt to the accelerating diversity of cultures, ideas, and identities fuels our creative spirit and leads us to consider new perspectives, possibilities, and knowledge.
As a land-grant university, Illinois is tasked with the privilege of service—to the local community, to the state, the country, and the world. As custodians of this charge, we are also recipients of an immense opportunity, and we will use this moment to reimagine our public engagement efforts. Interaction with our community will be woven into the fabric of everything we do—from research and teaching to educational experiences to our external partnerships. Specifically, we will strengthen our connections across the state—with both urban and rural communities—in a way that builds reciprocal and collaborative partnerships. We strive to encourage, elevate, and enhance community-engaged scholarship, teaching, and service to make a positive and visible impact in the spirit of our land-grant mission.
Appropriate, sufficient, and sustainable resources are imperative to our success. Our new, transparent budget model will help us thrive as we progress toward our shared campuswide goals and aspirations. Reimagining our budget model was not a logistical exercise—it was a deliberate effort to build the engine that will power our plans. We must be responsible stewards to ensure that we have the necessary elements to achieve our goals. Through careful handling of resources, innovations in services, and focused efforts to find new efficiencies, we will conserve financial resources that can be reinvested across our strategic priorities. We will couple this increased financial capacity with our advancement efforts and new revenue sources to allow the university to move forward on our goals. We must also be accountable to the state, to our students and their families, and to our partners who invest in our mission and our success.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's vision for the future is ambitious. Broad consultation, transparency, and shared commitment to our institutional goals will be necessary. We must balance long-term planning and short-term opportunities by empowering the units' expertise and flexibility to make their own strategic choices. The process we develop and implement must respect and leverage our university's commitment to shared governance.
We are at an exciting time in our history. In our first 150 years, Illinois asserted itself as a world leader in higher education. Today's rapidly changing landscape does not allow us to rest on our accomplishments. Right now, we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to redefine the role of public higher education. This plan is our public declaration of what the world should expect from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the next five years, and it sets the course for another 150 years of success.
We will be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and a global impact. This is how the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will define pre-eminence:
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is charged by our state to enhance the lives of people in Illinois, across the nation, and around the world through our leadership in learning, discovery, engagement, and economic development.
In our 150-year history, this campus has established a distinctive identity. It leads us to work and explore in uniquely productive ways. These areas of distinction provide the fundamental building blocks for our strategic goals.
Starting with the 2013-2016 Visioning Future Excellence plan and over the past five years, the entire campus community worked toward a shared vision for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—one that would strategically focus our intellectual and financial resources to face and respond to the challenges of our state, nation, and world. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the university celebrated its sesquicentennial, a timely opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Faithful to the guiding principles of our mission as the state's flagship public research university, we considered the changing landscape of higher education and the best ways to position ourselves in the next five years to drive 150 more years of discovery, innovation, and education.
A leadership team was formed to guide the collective and comprehensive work of strategic planning. Faculty, staff, students, deans, and campus administration collaborated throughout this past year to set out the broad strategic goals, initiatives, actions, and metrics for success that will guide our decisions and priorities over the next five years.
The 2013-2016 strategic plan served as a steppingstone to create a bold and ambitious new path forward in research, teaching, engagement, and resources that leverages our strengths and our identity, and embraces areas of growing importance to our mission and excellence, such as:
The Chancellor and the Provost charged Strategic Task Forces to develop bold and broad strategies, comprehensive and far-reaching goals, and ideas covering research, teaching, service, and diversity. The Task Forces were also asked to reach out to stakeholders to garner feedback. After drafting the reports, the Task Force chairs presented during a strategic planning retreat, where administrators and a campuswide group of faculty members and staff had the opportunity to provide feedback. Following the consideration and integration of this feedback by the Task Forces, the chairs submitted a final version of the reports, which were posted on the planning website. To allow for broader ideas outside of the focus areas, the Office of the Provost organized multiple goal-development sessions on each of the four goals for several hundred members of the community from across campus. Summaries from these sessions were shared on the planning website.
Our shared vision for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will strategically focus our intellectual and financial resources to face and respond to the challenges of our state, nation, and world.
Having both the Strategic Task Force reports and the summaries from the goal-development sessions posted on the web, the Strategic Planning Leadership Team worked to make the campus community aware of the work that had been accomplished and to encourage feedback from the campus community. Strategies used included a town hall event, email messages, and announcements in newsletters. To gather deeper feedback on the work that had been done, the Office of the Provost organized faculty and staff panels to read and respond to all of the material submitted. By late spring 2018, most of the feedback had been received, and campus leaders gathered to discuss what emerged from the yearlong activities so as to prioritize specific ideas. This prioritization continued through the summer months as the strategic plan underwent various drafts.
By fall 2018, deans, campus institutes directors, Task Force chairs, and the aforementioned faculty panel read and responded to the drafts. The feedback received led to further improvements and refinement of the plan, and yielded a bold call to strategic and responsible action that sets the course for success in the next five years and a foundation for continued excellence in the next 150.
While the mechanics and implementation strategies of a plan may change over time to reflect the operating environment and global landscape, we are committed to a clear set of open and transparent principles to:
At the core of our university, and its principles, is the acknowledgement of Native peoples and the land on which this university exists.
We will be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and a global impact. That is the vision our faculty, staff, and students have collectively established for this university in its next 150 years.
Our efforts are focused around a framework of four fundamental goals:
To realize these goals, we will pursue specific initiatives created through our collaborative yearlong planning process. To ensure success, we will monitor our progress, make changes as necessary, and share updates on at least an annual basis.
Scholarship, discovery, and innovation are at the heart of Illinois' local, national, and global impact. We will drive new frontiers by attracting and retaining a diverse group of faculty, students, and staff endowed with creativity and intellectual depth and breadth. Modern infrastructures, streamlined processes, and enriching interdisciplinary and convergent work will advance the university's mission.
Strengthen our faculty and align resources with academic and research units to capitalize on our scholarly synergies across campus
Grow the global impact of our research by building strong educational, research, and translational partnerships with leading universities, research institutes, and corporations in the United States and abroad
Develop a strong infrastructure, policies, and practices to support scholarship, innovation, public engagement, and entrepreneurship across disciplinary lines
Align with opportunities in the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network
Affirm our commitment to the foundational role of the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, and invest in their contribution to our research, creative, and innovation pursuits for the common good
Elevate the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Initiative to a Center to foster intersections with technology, promote measurements and assessment, and fight the root causes of poverty and social disparities
Establish Illinois as the global leader in digital transformation at the service of society
With a solid academic core, Illinois will deliver on the fundamental promise of a public university—to teach students and to pioneer the science and the art of learning. This is transformative knowledge—for the individual and, collectively, for the world in which we live and work.
Ensure that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign education is available to all who qualify academically by implementing financial aid programs to increase accessibility and by growing our merit-based scholarship programs to attract an outstanding and diverse student body
Develop a campuswide initiative in undergraduate and graduate student success that integrates classroom experiences, academic support, academic advising and mentoring, and co-curricular student services and experiences
Utilize student performance data and advanced analytics to improve student success
Provide new educational pathways and enhance current programs to increase flexibility and to foster education across disciplines
Integrate and emphasize global perspectives within our learning environment, and benefit from the international diversity of our students, faculty, and staff
Identify a path forward to respect diverse groups, develop educational strategies to increase knowledge about different cultures, and create a campus that celebrates our diverse university and community
Create educational opportunities and resources for faculty members to work with and advocate for a diverse student body
Encourage every undergraduate student to complete one or more integrative learning experiences, such as capstone courses, internships, research, and study abroad
Develop global awareness and cultural competency through a combination of curricular, student-life activities, and international experiences that build and foster collegewide and universitywide strategic partnerships
Innovate in graduate, professional, and continuing education, with new degree programs and certificates at the intersection of disciplines, and support recruitment and retention of graduate students
Provide sustainable funding for graduate fellowships in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other areas of importance to our scholarly excellence and societal impact
Expand investments in building and renovating state-of-the-art learning spaces and infrastructure to support the latest modes of instruction and learning for Illinois students both on and off campus as well as in small and large classroom spaces
When the core foundations of unabashed discovery combine with transformative learning and teaching, the outcomes are no longer measured simply in degrees or in citations. They are seen in how the world is changed for the better through contact with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university lives up to its land-grant mission in many ways, and we will better organize, enrich, and value these contributions as we reach out to our local, regional, national, and global communities.
Empower University of Illinois Extension to differentiate itself from other state extension networks by focusing on societal grand challenges, to balance its efforts to address rural and metropolitan needs and issues, and to collaborate with faculty and staff across all colleges to have a higher impact
Create a structure and culture that facilitates and values long-term partnerships with external stakeholders through the development of a campuswide strategic plan on public engagement that includes both extension and nonextension activities
Foster an environment where our excellence in education and scholarship have a global impact and where international perspectives are built into the institutional culture such as through the area studies centers and critical conversations
Develop our students to be future leaders with deep understanding of the unique commitments, traditions, and challenges of distinct communities by increasing student opportunities for service learning and volunteering through campus organizations and off-campus organizations
Draw local and regional community members onto campus through the development of a broader spectrum of enriching cultural and athletic experiences that leverage the university's common good facilities and community programming
Partner with a wide variety of stakeholders, including Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, who bring people to campus to showcase the research and education happening at Illinois
Engage with our local and regional community and neighborhoods in ways that have an impact
Examine and assess creation of jobs, business, and new ventures locally and regionally
Accelerate the growth of the Illinois entrepreneurial ecosystem to establish Champaign-Urbana as the best university-based entrepreneurship and innovation hub in the Midwest
Increase the capacity for our entrepreneurial ecosystem to leverage networks of people, companies, and capital, and to set up and manage partnerships with the Discovery Partners Institute, including other innovation hubs and universities
Reach out to all community stakeholders and partner with them to make our university and its surrounding region the leading innovation center and testbed for the technologies and services that will enable the safe, healthy, and sustainable communities of the future
Work closely with all community stakeholders to anticipate and research the opportunities and challenges associated with making our community safe, inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and resilient to any major natural or manmade disruption, and to conceive, develop prototypes, and test the relevant policies, programs, and services
Create workforce-development strategies and related partnerships across the public and private sectors, with an emphasis on using Illinois expertise to create new jobs and enhance the skill sets of new and continuing workers
Develop and execute an integrated, coordinated, and sustained marketing and communications effort to all stakeholders and influencers: students, alumni, parents and friends, business and government leaders, and residents of the state of Illinois
Increase visibility and connections for the university's leaders among opinion leaders in the Chicago area
Improve visibility and coordination for university efforts that allow students and faculty to work closely with the public sector and decision-makers to impact public policy
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has stewarded its land-grant mission and accompanying financial, human, technology, and infrastructure resources while tackling significant budgetary challenges. We need to continue to refine, coordinate, and structure our financial framework to manage all of our resources effectively and develop new lines of revenue to support our human resources, infrastructure, operating budget, and strategic initiatives. To create this framework, we must streamline our processes, reduce redundancies, and improve the quality and quantity of services throughout campus.
Implement and promote Operational Excellence @ Illinois, a campuswide initiative to streamline, innovate, reduce costs, improve services, and coordinate processes at all levels
Heighten our efforts to apply universal design and individual access to the campus environment including architecture, instruction, services, and technology
Actively explore additional revenue sources by increasing online education, corporate partnerships, and royalty and patent revenue through creating the proper infrastructure for building large-scale research proposals, and supporting scholars as they commercialize research for entrepreneurial opportunities that bring cutting-edge technologies to market
Allocate additional institutional resources to increase the amount and availability of student scholarships and other financial aid, to make an Illinois education accessible for every qualified student through the Illinois Commitment Program, and to attract the best and brightest to the university
Understand that the largest resource on campus is its employees and students while creating an inclusive and welcoming campus climate
Be a leader in developing and implementing effective, evidence-based policies to address discrimination and harassment
Foster an integrated and holistic approach to institutional advancement efforts
A core group of individuals from across the campus provided significant guidance on the development of the campus strategic plan.
It is no ordinary work which we are set to do, and it comes to us under no ordinary circumstances. We are not here to reproduce, in this new locality, some old and well-known style of college or university. The hungry eyes of toiling millions are turned, with mingled hope and fear, upon us, to see what new and better solution we can possibly offer of the great problems on which their well-being and destiny depend.
John Milton Gregory, Regent, March 11, 1868, on the inauguration of the Illinois Industrial University