System Organization and Governance

The Board of Trustees

Within the limits of authority fixed by the Illinois constitution and laws, the Board of Trustees exercises final authority over the University. For the proper use of funds appropriated by the General Assembly and for the proper administration and government of the University, the Board of Trustees is responsible to the people of Illinois.

As the governing body of the University, the Board of Trustees exercises jurisdiction in all matters except those for which it has delegated authority to the President of the University, other officers or agencies of the University.

The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois consists of thirteen members, eleven who have official votes. Nine are appointed by the Governor for terms of six years, and three student trustees (one from each campus) are elected by referenda on their campuses for one-year terms. One of these student trustees is appointed by the Governor to have an official vote. The Governor serves as an ex officio member.

The Board of Trustees sets their annual meeting schedule to begin in September each year and elects officers at the annual meeting held in January of each year. Meetings usually alternate among Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign. On occasion, a meeting may be held in another city in Illinois where University programs exist. All meetings are open to the public, except for limited closed sessions allowed by the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The Board of Trustees approves the University system budget, appointment of academic staff and administrators, selection of architects and construction of facilities, and policies of the institution.

President, Vice Presidents, and Other University Officers

The president is the chief executive officer of the University system and a member of the faculty of each college, school, institute, division, and academic unit therein. The president is elected by the Board of Trustees. The president is responsible for the enforcement of the rules and regulations of the University; shall make such recommendations to the board and to the senates as the president may deem desirable for the proper conduct and development of the University; and shall issue diplomas conferring degrees, but only on the recommendation of the appropriate senate and by authority of the Board of Trustees.

In addition to the president, the system officers are the vice presidents, including the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for health affairs, the vice president for research, the vice president/chief financial officer & comptroller, the vice president and chancellor of each of the three universities, the university counsel, and the secretary of the University system, all of whom report directly to the president. Additional administrative officers may be designated by the president after consultation with the University Senates Conference.

University Senates Conference

The University Senates Conference is composed of members elected by each university senate from its own membership. The conference reviews all matters acted upon by each senate and determines whether senate actions that require implementation or further consideration by officials or other groups within the University system have been referred to the appropriate officials or groups. Should the conference find a matter acted upon by one of the senates to be of concern to the other, it refers the matter to the other senate. If the senates have acted differently on a subject, the conference attempts to promote agreement or consistency.

The conference may authorize its executive committee to act as an advisory group to the Board of Trustees (through the president), the president, other administrative officials, and the senates on matters of University-wide concern. A special concern of the University Senates Conference is to promote cooperative relations among the universities.