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University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen  at the President's House in Urbana.

Timothy L. Killeen President, University of Illinois System

Timothy L. Killeen is the 20th president of the University of Illinois System, which includes universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. He took office in May 2015 and received a new contract in 2020 that extends his term through June 2024.

Since taking office, Killeen has helped lead a surge of growth across the state’s flagship university system. Enrollment is at record highs, including increases among in-state and underrepresented students. Student costs have been held in check by affordability initiatives that include a tuition freeze for new Illinois students six of the last eight years and substantial increases in institutional financial aid. Retention and graduation rates top national norms, while student debt rates are lower than U.S. averages. The system plans to add 300 faculty members in three years on top of those hired to fill vacancies. A capital program will build or upgrade nearly 350 facilities over the next decade to ensure classroom and research space matches the system’s academic excellence, and the system’s largest fundraising campaign ever exceeded its $3.1 billion goal.

A leading researcher in geophysics and space sciences, Killeen champions efforts to expand research discovery that drives progress and job creation. That includes helping lead the creation of two pioneering initiatives to drive innovation and workforce development – Discovery Partners Institute, a world-class research, technology talent development and business-building center in downtown Chicago, and Illinois Innovation Network, a system of satellite hubs that combine research, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship and workforce training to spur inclusive economic development across the state.


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