University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
|University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign|
|Motto||Learning and Labor|
|Type||Flagship, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, public university|
|Location||Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, United States|
|Campus||Urban 1,468 acres (594 ha)|
Illinois Industrial University (1867–1885)
|Athletics||NCAA Division I-FBS, 21 varsity teams (10 men's, 11 women's)|
|Affiliations||Big Ten Conference
Committee on Institutional Cooperation
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (U of I, University of Illinois, UIUC, or simply Illinois) is a public research-intensive university in the U.S. state of Illinois. A land-grant university, it is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is the second oldest public university in the state (after Illinois State University), and is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. It is considered a Public Ivy and is a member of the Association of American Universities. The university is designated as a RU/VH Research University (very high research activities). The campus library system possesses the second-largest university library in the United States and the fifth-largest in the country overall.
The university comprises 17 colleges that offer more than 150 programs of study. Additionally, the university operates an extension that serves 2.7 million registrants per year around the state of Illinois and beyond. The campus holds 286 buildings on 1,468 acres (594 ha) in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana; its annual operating budget in 2011 was over $1.7 billion.
The Morrill Act of 1862 granted each state in the United States a portion of land on which to establish a major public state university, one which could teach agriculture, mechanic arts, and military training, "without excluding other scientific and classical studies." This phrase would engender controversy over the University's initial academic philosophies, polarizing the relationship between the people of Illinois and the University's first president, John Milton Gregory.
After a fierce bidding war between a number of Illinois cities, Urbana was selected in 1867 as the site for the new school. From the beginning, Gregory's desire to establish an institution firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition was at odds with many State residents and lawmakers who wanted the university to offer classes based solely around "industrial education" The University finally opened for classes on March 2, 1868, with only two faculty members and a small group of students. The debate between the liberal arts curriculum and industrial education continued in the University's inaugural address, as Dr. Newton Bateman outlined the various interpretations of the Morrill Act in his speech. Gregory's thirteen-year tenure would be marred by this debate. Clashes between Gregory and legislators and lawmakers forced his resignation from his post as president in 1880, saying "[I am] staggering under too heavy a load of cares, and irritated by what has sometimes seemed as needless opposition." Today, Gregory is largely credited with establishing the University and forming it into the major interdisciplinary university it is today. Gregory's grave is still located on the Urbana campus, situated between Altgeld Hall and the Henry Administration Building. His marker (mimicking the epitaph of British architect Christopher Wren) reads, "If you seek his monument, look about you."
Following World War II, under president David Henry, the university experienced rapid growth—doubling its enrollment and significantly improving its academic standing. This period was also marked by large growth in the Graduate College and increased federal support of scientific and technological research. The state of Illinois supplied roughly two-thirds of the university's budget while the federal government funded 90% of research. In recent years, state support has declined from 4.5% of the state's tax appropriations in 1980 to 2.28% in 2011, a nearly 50% decline. As a result, the university's budget has strongly shifted away from relying on state support with nearly 84% of the budget now coming from other sources.
Evolution of name 
The original name in 1867 was "Illinois Industrial University." In 1885, the Illinois Industrial University officially changed its name to the University of Illinois, reflecting its holistic agricultural, mechanical, and liberal arts curricula. This remained the official name for nearly 100 years, until it was changed to The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1982, ostensibly to establish a separate identity for the campus within the University of Illinois system. However, after a century's use, UIUC continues to be known and referred to as "The University of Illinois", or just "Illinois"; this is true in both the media, and on many of UIUC's web pages. Starting in 2008, the university began strongly rebranding itself as "Illinois" rather than UIUC, changing the website URL from uiuc.edu to Illinois.edu as well as all email addresses.
Colleges and schools 
University of Illinois offers study through 17 colleges. Advanced undergraduate students may participate in a rigorous course of study through the James Scholar Honors Program and earn highest distinctions with University Honors.
- College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences
- College of Applied Health Sciences
- Institute of Aviation
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Fine and Applied Arts
- Graduate College
- School of Labor and Employment Relations
- College of Law
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Graduate School of Library and Information Science
- College of Media
- Division of General Studies
- College of Medicine at Urbana–Champaign
- School of Social Work
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- College of Nursing
The campus is known for its landscape and architecture, as well as distinctive landmarks. It was identified as one of 50 college or university 'works of art' by T.A. Gaines in his book The Campus as a Work of Art.
The main research and academic facilities are divided almost exactly between the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. The College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences' research fields stretch south from Urbana and Champaign into Savoy and Champaign County. The university maintains formal gardens and a conference center in nearby Monticello at Allerton Park.
U of I is one of the few educational institutions to own an airport. Willard Airport, named for former University of Illinois president Arthur Cutts Willard, is located in Savoy. It was completed in 1945 and began service in 1954. Willard Airport is home to University research projects and the University's Institute of Aviation, along with flights from American Airlines.
The campus is based on the quadrangle design popular at many universities. Four main quads compose the center of the university and are arranged from north to south. The Beckman Quadrangle and the John Bardeen Quadrangle occupy the center of the Engineering Campus. Boneyard Creek flows through the John Bardeen Quadrangle, paralleling Green Street. The Beckman Quadrangle is primarily composed of research units and laboratories, and features a large solar calendar consisting of an obelisk and several copper fountains. The Main Quadrangle and South Quadrangle follow immediately after the John Bardeen Quad. The former makes up a large part of the Liberal Arts and Sciences portion of the campus, while the latter comprises many of the buildings of the College of ACES spread across the campus map.
In October 2010, the Sustainable Endowments Institute gave the campus a grade of B for sustainability in its 2011 College Sustainability Report Card. Strengths noted in the report included the campus's adoption of LEED gold standards for all new construction and major renovations and its public accessibility to endowment investment information. The university makes a list of endowment holdings and its shareholder voting record available to the public. The weaknesses are areas such as student involvement and investment priorities. The student sustainability committee is empowered to allocate funding from a clean energy technology fee and a sustainable campus environment fee, while the university aims to optimize investment return but has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds. However the biggest weakness of the university's sustainability is its shareholder engagement, as the university has not made any public statements about active ownership or a proxy voting policy.
In his remarks on the creation of the Office of Sustainability in September 2008, Chancellor Richard Herman stated, "I want this institution to be the leader in sustainability." In February 2008, he signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, committing the University of Illinois to take steps "in pursuit of climate neutrality."
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is often regarded as a world-leading magnet for engineering and sciences (both applied and basic). Having been classified into the category comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary and very high research activity, by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Illinois offers a wide range of disciplines in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It is also listed as one of the Top 25 American Research Universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance. Beside annual influx of grants and sponsored projects, the university manages an extensive modern research infrastructure. The university has been a leader in computer based education and hosted the PLATO project, which was a precursor to the internet and resulted in the development of the plasma display.
The university hosts the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which created Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, the foundation upon which Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer are based, the Apache HTTP server, and NCSA Telnet. The Parallel@Illinois program hosts several programs in parallel computing, including the Universal Parallel Computing Research Center. The university contracted with Cray to build the National Science Foundation-funded supercomputer Blue Waters after IBM backed out in August 2012. Blue Waters will be capable of sustained performance of one quadrillion calculations per second and peak performance of more than eleven quadrillion calculations per second. The system also boasts the largest online storage system in the world with more than 25 petabytes of usable space. The university whimsically celebrated January 12, 1997 as the "birthday" of HAL 9000, the fictional supercomputer from the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey; in both works, HAL credits "Urbana, Illinois" as his place of operational origin.
In 1952, the university built the ILLIAC (Illinois Automatic Computer), the first computer built and owned entirely by an educational institution. U of I is also the site of the Department of Energy's Center for the Simulation of Advanced Rockets, an institute which has employed graduate and faculty researchers in the physical sciences and mathematics. It performs materials science and condensed matter physics research, and is home to Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory as well as the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. Two complexes for research and teaching recently opened, Siebel Center for Computer Science in 2004 and the Institute for Genomic Biology in 2006. The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, however, is still the largest interdisciplinary facility on campus with 313,000 square feet (29,100 m2). The university also conducts agricultural and horticultural research.
The Prairie Research Institute is located on campus and is the home of the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center which have been located on the campus throughout their histories, but were Illinois state government agencies until the formation of the Institute within the University in 2008. Since 1957 the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program (ITARP) has conducted archaeological and historical compliance work for the Illinois Department of Transportation. In 2010, ITARP became the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) and joined the Prairie Research Institute. Researchers at the Prairie Research Institute are engaged in basic and applied research in agriculture and forestry, biodiversity and ecosystem health, atmospheric resources, climate and associated natural hazards, cultural resources and history of human settlements, disease and public health, emerging pests, fisheries and wildlife, energy and industrial technology, mineral resources, pollution prevention and mitigation, and water resources. The Institute is a repository of specimens which serve as research collections on the Illinois environment. The Illinois Natural History Survey biological collections include insects, crustaceans, molluscs, annelids, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, algae, bryophytes, fungi, and vascular plants; the insect collection is among the largest in North America and digitization collections is currently underway with funding from the National Science Foundation. The Illinois State Geological Survey houses the legislatively mandated Illinois Geological Samples Library, a repository for drill-hole samples in Illinois, including cores drilled for mineral exploration and geologic investigations, as well as paleontological collections. ISAS serves as a repository for a large collection of Illinois archaeological artifacts now numbering over 17,000 boxes. One of the major collections is from the Cahokia Mounds, for which ISAS has over 550 boxes. An on-line database will soon be mounted for the Cahokia collection, funded by a 2008–2010 National Endowment for the Humanities grant.
In the February 24, 2004 talk as part of his Five Campus Tour (Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon and Illinois), titled "Software Breakthroughs: Solving the Toughest Problems in Computer Science," Bill Gates has mentioned that Microsoft hires more graduates from the University of Illinois than from any other university in the world. Alumnus William M. Holt, a Senior Vice-President of Intel, also mentioned in a campus talk in September 27, 2007 entitled "R&D to Deliver Practical Results: Extending Moore's Law" that Intel hires more PhD graduates from the University of Illinois than from any other university in the country.
In 2007, the university-hosted research Institute for Condensed Matter Theory (ICMT) was launched, with the director Paul Goldbart and the chief scientist Anthony Leggett. ICMT is currently located at the Engineering Science Building on campus.
Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation 
University of Illinois is a participant in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference plus former conference member, the University of Chicago. The initiative also allows students at participating institutions to take distance courses at other participating institutions. The initiative also forms a partnership of research. Engaging in $8 billion in research in 2010, CIC universities are providing powerful insight into important issues in medicine, technology, agriculture, and communities. Students at participating schools are also allowed "in-house" viewing privileges at other participating schools' libraries. They also employ collective purchasing, which has saved member institutions $19 million to date.
Student life 
According to the statistics of the 2008 admitted freshmen, 77% of incoming students had ACT score of 27 or higher, 31% had an SAT combined Math & Critical Reading score above 1,400 (excludes Writing), and 59% of the incoming students were top 10% of their high school class. Some of the university's colleges admit students at an even more competitive level. For incoming freshmen in 2008, the College of Engineering reported an ACT score interquartile range of 30–33, the College of Business reported an ACT score IQR of 28–32, and the College of Media, in 2008, the first year it accepted freshmen, reported an ACT IQR of 27–32, higher than the overall campus median (though still lower than that of the College of Engineering). Of graduates, Illinois ended up as one of the top 12 (percentage) and top 6 (numerical) feeder state colleges to elite professional schools.
University Residence Halls and University Private-Certified Housing are administered by the University's housing division. University housing for undergraduates is provided through twenty-two residence halls in both Urbana and Champaign. All incoming freshman are required to live in certified student housing their first year on campus.
All undergraduates within the University housing system are required to purchase some level of meal plan, although they are free to eat elsewhere if they choose. Graduate housing is usually offered through two graduate dormitories, restricted to those over twenty years of age, and through two university-owned apartment complexes. However, the recent record-sized freshman class has forced the housing division to convert one of the graduate dormitories into undergraduate housing. Students with disabilities are provided special housing options to accommodate their needs. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is well known for being one of the first universities to provide accommodations for students with disabilities.
There are a number of private dormitories around campus, as well as a few houses that are outside of the Greek system and offer a more communal living experience. The private dorms tend to be more expensive to live in compared to other housing options. Private, certified residences maintain reciprocity agreements with the University, allowing students to move between the public and private housing systems if they are dissatisfied with their living conditions.
Most undergraduates choose to move into apartments or the Greek houses after their first or second year. The University Tenant Union offers advice on choosing apartments and the process of signing a lease.
Registered student organizations 
The University boasts over 1,000 active Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), showcased at the start of each academic year during Illinois's "Quad Day." Registration and support is provided by the Student Programs & Activities Office, an administrative arm established in pursuit of the larger social, intellectual, and educative goals of the Illini Student Union. The Office's mission is to "enhance ... classroom education," "meet the needs and desires of the campus community," and "prepare students to be contributing and humane citizens."
Greek life 
The university has the largest Greek system in the world by membership. There are currently 59 fraternities and 36 sororities on the campus. Of the approximately 31,180 undergraduates, about 3,330 are members of sororities and about 3,370 are members of fraternities. The Greek system at the University of Illinois has a system of self-government. While there are staff advisors and directors in charge of managing certain aspects of the Greek community, most of the day to day operations of the Greek community are governed by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council. Many of the fraternity and sorority houses on campus are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Student government 
U of I has an extensive history of past student governments. A mere two years after the university opened in 1868, John Milton Gregory and a group of students created a constitution for a student government. Their governance expanded to the entire university in 1873, having a legislative, executive, and judicial branch. For a period of time, this government had the ability to discipline students. In 1883, however, due to a combination of events from Gregory's resignation to student-faculty infighting, the government formally dissolved itself via plebiscite. 
It wasn't until 1934, when the Student Senate, the next university-wide student government, was created. A year before, future U of I Dean of Students, Fred H. Turner and the university's Senate Committee on Student Affairs gave increased power to the Student Council, an organization primarily known for organizing dances. A year after, the Student Council created a constitution and became the Student Senate, under the oversight of the Committee on Student Affairs. The Student Senate would become the longest lasting student government in UIUC history, lasting for 35 years.
The Student Senate changed its purpose and name in 1969, when it became the Undergraduate Student Association (UGSA). It no longer was a representational government, instead becoming an collective bargaining agency. It often worked with the Graduate Student Association to work on various projects
In 1967, Bruce A. Morrison and other U of I graduates founded the Graduate Student Association (GSA). GSA would last until 1978, when it merged with the UGSA to form the Champaign-Urbana Student Association (CUSA).
CUSA lasted for only 2 years when it was replaced by the Student Government Association (SGA) in 1980. SGA lasted for 15 years until it became the Illinois Student Government (ISG) in 1995. ISG lasted until 2004.
The current university student government, created in 2004, is the Illinois Student Senate, a combined undergraduate and graduate student senate with 54 voting members. The student senators are elected by college and represent the students in the Urbana-Champaign Senate (which comprises both faculty and students), as well as on a variety of faculty and administrative committees, and are led by an internally elected executive board of a President, External Vice President, Internal Vice President, and Treasurer. As of 2012, the executive board is supported by an executive staff consisting of a Chief of Staff, Clerk of the Senate, Parliamentarian, Director of Communications, Intern Coordinator, and the Historian of the Senate.
The campus library system is one of the largest public academic collections in the world. Among universities in North America, only the collections of Harvard are larger. Currently, the University of Illinois' 20+ departmental libraries and divisions hold more than 24 million items, including more than 12 million print volumes. As of 2012, it had also the largest "browsable" university library in the United States, with 5 million volumes directly accessible in stacks in a single location. University of Illinois also has the largest public engineering library (Grainger Engineering Library) in the country.
The online catalog is used by over one million people monthly and each day more than 50,000 articles are downloaded from electronic journals licensed by the University of Illinois Library. In addition to the main library building, which houses nearly 10 subject-oriented libraries, the Isaac Funk Family Library on the South Quad serves the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences and the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center serves the College of Engineering on the John Bardeen Quad.
The University of Illinois Residence Hall Library System is one of three in the nation. The Residence Hall Libraries were created in 1948 to serve the educational, recreational, and cultural information needs of first and second year undergraduate students residing in the residence halls, and the living-learning communities within the residence halls. The collection also serves University Housing staff as well as the larger campus community, including undergraduate and graduate students, and university faculty and staff.
All together there are more than 20 departmental or school libraries on campus.
The bus system that operates throughout the campus and community is operated by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. The MTD receives a student-approved transportation fee from the university, which provides unlimited access for university students. In addition, the university pays for universal access for all its faculty and staff. As part of this arrangement, the MTD also runs a bus line between Willard Airport and Illinois Terminal, a multi-modal transportation facility which includes Amtrak and Greyhound – making it the focal point of Champaign-Urbana's public transportation systems.
The university maintains an extensive system of off-street bike paths and on-street bike lanes on campus. All students are expected to register their bicycles with the campus public safety department.
Athletics and sports 
U of I's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics fields teams for ten men's and eleven women's varsity sports. The university participates in the NCAA's Division I. The university's athletic teams are known as the Fighting Illini. The university operates a number of athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadium for football, the State Farm Center for men's and women's basketball, and the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis. The men's NCAA basketball team had a dream run in the 2005 season, with Bruce Weber's Fighting Illini tying the record for most victories in a season. Their run ended 37–2 with a loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the national championship game.
Illinois is a member of the Big Ten Conference.
On October 15, 1910, the Illinois football team defeated the University of Chicago Maroons with a score of 3–0 in a game that Illinois claims was the first homecoming game, though several other schools claim to have held the first homecoming as well.
The University of Illinois Ice Arena is home to the university's club college ice hockey team competing at the ACHA Division I level and is also available for recreational use through the Division of Campus Recreation. It was built in 1931 and designed by Chicago architecture firm Holabird and Root, the same firm that designed the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium and Chicago's Soldier Field. It is located on Armory Drive across from the Armory. The structure features 4 rows of bleacher seating in an elevated balcony that runs the length of the ice rink on either side. These bleachers provide seating for roughly 1,200 fans, with standing room and bench seating available underneath. Because of this set-up the team benches are actually directly underneath the stands.
Chief Illiniwek, or 'The Chief', was the university's official athletic symbol from 1926 until February 21, 2007. Use of the Chief garnered criticism for the university starting in the mid-1970s from Native Americans and others as a misappropriation and inaccurate portrayal of indigenous culture. The university officials announced the end of the Chief Illiniwek era on February 16, 2007.
Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are: Illinois Loyalty, the school song, Oskee Wow Wow, the fight song, and Hail to the Orange, the alma mater.
Academic awards and recognition 
University honors 
University Honors is an academic distinction awarded to high achieving students at UIUC. It is comparable to the Latin honors of summa cum laude. Graduating students awarded University Honors must have a cumulative grade point average of a 3.5/4.0 within the academic year of their graduation and rank within the top 3% of their graduating class.
James Scholars 
"James Scholars" are undergraduate students invited to pursue a specialized course of study for no less than two years of their undergraduate course work. James Scholars can be admitted as such, or join in later. For the Engineering College, one is admitted immediately if they either score a 33 or higher on the ACT (or the SAT equivalent), or are in the top 1% of their high school graduating class. Students can apply to be James Scholars if they hold a particular GPA at UIUC, which is dependent on the college and/or major. For the Engineering College, you can join or maintain James Scholar status if you hold a 3.30 /4.00 GPA, unless you are an ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) major, in which case you must hold a 3.50/4.00 GPA. James Scholars who graduate with "University Honors" are also awarded the Latin honors of In cursu honorum.
Chancellor's Scholars 
"Chancellor's Scholars" are undergraduate students in the Campus Honors Program, a campus-wide scholarship program which focuses on both academic excellence and leadership. Unlike James Scholars, only about 125 members may be admitted in a given year with a cap around 500 students at any given time. Chancellor's Scholars must have a grade point average of 3.3/4.0, successfully complete a total of five CHP sponsored courses, and participate in a specified number of CHP co-curricular events and activities.
Senior 100 Honorary 
"Senior 100 Honorary" is an award from the Student Alumni Ambassadors and the University of Illinois Alumni Association that recognizes outstanding seniors. Recipients of this award are honored for their outstanding achievements in leadership, academics and campus involvement throughout their undergraduate education.
Notable faculty and alumni 
As of 2007, 21 alumni and faculty members are Nobel laureates and 20 have won a Pulitzer Prize. In particular, John Bardeen is the only person to have won two Nobel prizes in physics, having done so in 1956 and 1972 while on faculty at the University of Illinois. In 2003, two faculty members won Nobel prizes in different disciplines: Paul C. Lauterbur for physiology or medicine, and Anthony Leggett for physics. Most recently, in 2007, Don Wuebbles, Atul Jain, John Walsh and Michael Schlesinger, professors in the Department of Atmospheric Science, were awarded a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for their contributions and collaboration with the IPCC.
Alumni have created companies and products such as Netscape Communications, AMD, PayPal, Playboy, National Football League, Siebel Systems, Mortal Kombat, CDW, YouTube, THX, Oracle, Lotus, Mosaic, Safari, Firefox, W. W. Grainger, Delta Air Lines, BET, and Tesla Motors.
Alumni have founded many organizations, including the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Project Gutenberg, and have served in a wide variety of government and public interest roles. Rafael Correa, President of The Republic of Ecuador since January 2006 secured his M.S. and PhD degrees from the University's Economics Department in 1999 and 2001 respectively. Nathan C. Ricker attended U of I and in 1873 was the first person to graduate in the United States with a degree in Architecture. Mary L. Page, the first woman to obtain a degree in architecture, also graduated from U of I.
Philanthropy is playing an increasingly significant role in supporting the Land Grant mission of the University of Illinois. The portion of the university's annual $1.5 billion budget which is state funds has diminished drastically over the past two decades. Currently the university receives only 16.4% of its budget from state tax dollars compared to 20 years ago when it received 44.5% of its budget from state tax dollars. Gifts, grants, and contracts to the university comprise 19% of the annual budget.
Philanthropic giving to the university comes in the form of annual giving, major gifts, and estate planning. Annual giving is generally unrestricted by the donor and can be spent by the campus to meet immediate needs to maintain basic operations. Major gifts are typically put into an endowment at the donor's wishes, where the principal of the gift is invested while the interest is distributed to the campus department in which the donor designated their gift to be used. This practice of investing the principal in an endowment and only spending the interest, is done to secure the gift in perpetuity. In some cases, major gifts are used immediately for building campaigns such as the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The Beckman Institute, or The Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science. Estate planning is another type of giving whereby a donor makes provisions in their will or estate documents which identifies the University of Illinois as a beneficiary.
Alumni play the largest role in philanthropic giving to the university. The most notable donors are Thomas M. Siebel and his wife Stacey who recently gave a $100 million estate gift to the university after they had given $36 million to build the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science, $10 million to endow the Siebel Scholars program, $2 million to endow the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in Computer Science and $2 million to endow the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science. Other notable donors include Sohaib Abbasi and his wife, Sara, who established the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Professorship to enable the CS department to maintain its stature as one of the nation's premiere departments and give students the opportunity to learn from a world-renowned computer scientist and educator. They have also endowed the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Fellowship to allow up to 5 graduate students each year, the opportunity to study computer science at one of the nation's top ranked computer science departments.
Stanley O. and Judith L. Ikenberry were the 14th President and First Lady of the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois from 1979–1995. The Ikenberrys established the Stanley O. and Judith L. Ikenberry Endowment for Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. This gift supports the presentation of guest artists at the Center as part of the Marquee Endowment.
|U.S. News & World Report||45|
In its 2012 listings, U.S. News & World Report ranked the undergraduate program 45th among nationally accredited universities and 13th among nationally accredited public universities. The graduate program had 60 disciplines ranked within the top 30 nationwide, including 23 within the top five. U.S. News & World Report ranked the undergraduate and graduate Accounting programs 2nd and 4th respectively in the United States in their 2011 rankings; both programs had been ranked 1st at the same time in previous years. The College of Business as a whole was ranked 12th nationally. The College of Engineering was ranked 5th at the graduate level, with 14 disciplines ranked within the top ten. Chemistry and Physics were also ranked within the top ten at the graduate level. The College of Education had six programs ranked within the top ten. The Graduate School of Library and Information Science was ranked 1st, with five programs ranked within the top ten. Many arts programs were ranked within the first quartile, such as Architecture and Fine Arts. The Computer Science, Material Science, Agricultural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Accounting, Finance, and Psychology are the university's most visibly distinguished departments. The School of Labor and Employment Relations is ranked consistently within the top two in the nation, behind only Cornell University.
International rankings by The Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University suggest that Illinois is the 19th best university in North America, and 25th best university in the world. The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields from the same research center in 2008 positions Illinois in 3rd for Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences in the world. It is ranked 19th for Life and Agriculture Sciences, 20th for Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and 51st for Social Sciences.
In 2012, Illinois was ranked 56th in the world by QS World University Rankings, increasing its position from the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010, Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings). However, Illinois had been ranked within the top 40 in the past. The THE-QS rankings have been criticized due to their volatility: it stressed international popularity and ranks fluctuated tens of places from one year to the next. The WSJ ranking of business schools also has this inherited anomaly, attributable to its survey method.
The Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations has been recognized consistently as one of the top three programs for Human Resources and Labor Relations studies in the United States[unreliable source?].
In the 2008 release of Webometrics Ranking of World Universities by Cybermetrics Lab, which is a research unit of the National Research Council of Spain, the University was ranked 9th. In 2006, G-Factor, another academic list trying to measure social network efficacy of universities, has ranked Illinois within the top eight. A human competitiveness index and analysis by the Human Resources & Labor Review, and published in Chasecareer Network, ranked the university 25th internationally in 2010. As of 2007, Washington Monthly ranks Illinois as the 11th best university in the nation, and 9th among public universities. The methodology of the ranking includes "how well it performs as an engine of social mobility," "how well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research," and "how well it promotes an ethic of service to country."
Newsweek International listed Illinois as one of Top 100 Global Universities, which "takes into account openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research." Kiplinger's Personal Finance also listed Illinois in its 100 Best Values in Public Colleges, which "measures academic quality, cost and financial aid."
The Princeton Review has elected Illinois one of the 366 best colleges out of nearly 5,000 degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States. Nonetheless, the university has come under criticism for its use of graduate teaching assistants in teaching undergraduate courses, including upper-level undergraduate courses. For two consecutive years, the Urbana–Champaign campus topped this review's category of "teaching assistants teach too many upper level courses." However, the Princeton Review's ranking has been scrutinized for its lack of accountability as the Review's ranking categorical data rely mainly upon student random sampling.
2005–2009 admissions scandal 
A series of investigative reports by the Chicago Tribune noted that between 2005 and 2009 university trustees, president, chancellor, and other administrators pressured admissions officials into admitting under-qualified but politically well-connected applicants into the university. Although University officials initially denied, then downplayed the existence of a "clout list", the university later announced it would form a panel of internal and external representatives to review the past admissions process and determine possible changes. The Chicago Tribune took the University to court for summary judgment, which was granted in March 2011. The University appealed, and a number of organizations, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, filed "friend of the court" briefs on behalf of both parties.
Howell firing 
In July 2010, The News-Gazette reported that Dr. Kenneth Howell, an adjunct professor teaching Introduction to Catholic Thought, was fired for teaching the Roman Catholic positions on homosexuality. The Alliance Defense Fund has taken up Dr. Howell's case, stating that his dismissal is a violation of academic freedom and the First Amendment. The University's position, as stated by Ann Mester, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is that Dr. Howell's comments "violate university standards of inclusivity, which would then entitle us to have him discontinue his teaching arrangement with us."
Dr. Howell was reinstated by the University of Illinois as an adjunct instructor for the fall 2010 term to teach "Introduction to Catholicism", resolving the situation for the time being. The university announced on July 28 that it would follow the recommendation of the Academic Senate's General University Policy Committee to begin paying the salary of instructors teaching Catholic studies courses. St. John's Catholic Newman Center previously paid instructor salaries. The matter is currently under review by the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
See also 
- Daily Illini – independent student newspaper
- Marching Illini – marching band of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
- WPGU – student-run commercial radio station
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- "Illinois, University of". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.