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University of Illinois President to receive a contract extension

Tim Killeen
University of Illinois
Tim Killeen

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is expected to extend the contract of President Tim Killeen at its next meeting.

“The proposed extension reaffirms the board’s confidence in President Killeen’s continued leadership of the university system and its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield,” Board Chairman Don Edwards said.

Killeen is the 20th president in the system’s history. He began in May 2015 and received a new contract in 2020. His current contract runs until this June.

The Board issued a statement praising Killeen, saying his tenure has been marked by significant sustained progress in student enrollment, affordability, diversity, financial aid, research and statewide economic development.

Enrollment across the system reached a record high for the 10th consecutive year last fall, with representation from all 102 Illinois counties. Also, 79% of all undergraduates are from Illinois. Tuition for Illinois undergraduate students has been frozen across the system in six of the last nine years, while the availability of financial aid has increased significantly.

The university system also saw research funding grow to over $1 billion under Killeen’s presidency and fundraising campaigns have brought in $3.6 billion, surpassing the goal of $3.1 billion.

“The U of I System under Tim Killeen’s leadership has navigated a period of extraordinary challenge and emerged stronger and more committed to serving our students and the state of Illinois,” Edwards said. “His unwavering dedication to the system’s mission and core values is transforming the landscape of higher education within our community and state and has set a benchmark of excellence with inclusive growth for others to follow.”

Other accomplishments listed include economic and workforce development through the creation of the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). The U of I also created a novel saliva test, and developed a testing network: SHIELD Illinois and Shield T3, that served as a model for the country while helping the state of Illinois navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Killeen said he looked forward to continued collaboration with the board.

“The board’s leadership and results-driven focus have been instrumental in bringing their vision for the future to fruition, and I am immensely grateful for their efforts,” Killeen said. “Our students deserve transformative experiences, and it is our responsibility to address the fundamental needs of our state. I am tremendously excited to build upon the momentum we have already established, with full confidence that we will seize opportunities to support and propel our great state forward, growing our impact here and around the world.”

The Board will vote March 28 on the Springfield campus.

The proposed extension will take effect July 1. Killeen’s current salary of $916,770 will remain the same. According to the university, he will be eligible for any merit-based salary program not to exceed what is available for all system administrators. The amount of deferred compensation will also remain unchanged.

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