Governors State University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Governors State University
Governors State University Logo.jpg
PresidentElaine P. Maimon
ProvostElizabeth Cada
Administrative staff
1 University Parkway
, , ,
ColorsBlack      White     
Sporting affiliations
NAIAChicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
Governors State University.png

Governors State University is a public university in University Park, Illinois. The 750 acres (3.0 km2) campus is located 30 miles (48 km) south of Chicago, Illinois. GSU was founded in 1969. GSU is a comprehensive public university with a broad curriculum, offering degree programs at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. GSU has four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Health and Human Services.


Governors State University was officially established as a state-supported institution of higher education on July 17, 1969, when Illinois Governor Richard B. Ogilvie signed into law House Bill 666. The university was to have opened with its first class of students in September 1973. However, the four year planning period was reduced to two years and GSU received its first class of students in September 1971. GSU was one of the original "Universities without Walls" as well as a university that did not offer grades, but competencies. In place of departments, it had interdisciplinary studies, and all professors held the rank of University Professor.

GSU has developed into a more traditional university, with divisions and departments, professors with rank (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor), and classrooms with smart technology. The first doctoral program was created in 2007 as a professional doctoral degree in Physical Therapy. GSU has the following colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Health and Human Services. The university as a whole is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the public administration program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The university is also a member of the Illinois Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs.


Governors State University was awarded the 2015 American Council on Education/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation. It is given to "colleges or universities which, in a period of great change in higher education, have responded to challenges in innovative and creative ways that allows the institution to thrive."[2]

In 2014, GSU's Dual Degree Program was honored with the Student Success and College Completion Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.[3] In 2014, the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition also recognized the Dual Degree Program at GSU with an award during its annual conference. The NRC launched the new award for "...institutions that have designed and implemented outstanding collaborative initiatives enhancing significant transitions during the undergraduate experience. Award recipients ... have demonstrated the effectiveness of the initiative in supporting student success, learning and development at a variety of transition points beyond the first college year and in responding to unique institutional needs."

The university also received the 2010 Governor's Sustainability Award for significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. The awards were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) during a luncheon in Champaign.


Located 30 miles (48 km) south of Chicago, GSU is situated at the intersection of city neighborhoods, suburban villages, and rural towns. It is also less than 30 minutes' drive from cities like Kankakee and Joliet as well as northwestern Indiana. The main campus is located on a 750-acre (3.0 km2) wooded landscape with several lakes and natural trails.

Points of interest[edit]

  • The Family Development Center (FDC) provides university-quality programs for children and their parents.The Family Development Center will be the Model Early Education Center for the South Suburbs. GSU Family development center programs model the best practices in Early Childhood Education and draw extensively on the expertise of university faculty and staff in Early Childhood Education, Nursing, Communications Disorders (speech and hearing), Psychology and Counseling. University students in these programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are active participants in the Family Development Center.The Family Development Center has been nationally recognized for meeting the highest standards of early childhood education. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's leading professional organization working on behalf of young children, has awarded accreditation to the FDC.
  • GSU is also home to the Center for Performing Arts, which draws entertainers and artists from around the world, as well as the local community. The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra held monthly concerts on a fall through spring seasonal schedule throughout the 2007–2008 season.[4]
  • Ethnographic Arts Collection, owned by the University Foundation of Governors State University, the beginning of the Ethnographic Collection dates nearly from the beginning of the University. Objects were generously donated by former faculty, students, and patrons for the purpose of direct instruction in art history classes and ethnic studies so that students might know first hand and be able to study and handle examples from various regions of the world. Initially, some examples were accepted that are not of prime "museum quality" but retained value as teaching objects. Yet over the years donations from generous collectors increasingly included objects of the highest quality and included multiple examples from certain ethnic contexts.


Governors State University Solar-thermal Systems

In 2008, GSU renovated several parking lots, replacing asphalt with permeable pavers—interlocking bricks that allow rainwater to seep down, trapping heavy metals and pollutants before they enter storm sewers. GSU is also home to one of the state's largest solar-thermal systems, which preheats water for the campus swimming pool and provides about one-third of the domestic hot water for the university's main building.

Governors State University's Wind Turbine

In October 21, 2010, Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, announced a $153,000 grant for the 50-kilowatt wind turbine to be located on the University Park campus. With the installation of an on-campus wind turbine, Governors State University will continue reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and move toward its goal of becoming Illinois’ "greenest" university. The wind turbine will give Governors State a clean, renewable source of energy, and also be incorporated into the university's academic programs.

On October 18, 2011, GSU held a groundbreaking ceremony for the beginning of the renovation of the university's science facilities. The $22.6 million, three year renovation project will create state-of-the-art education facilities while providing more than 130 construction jobs. In addition to the positive impact the renovation project will have on the region's economy, the building renovation will better equip GSU to educate students for regional jobs in healthcare, computer science, scientific, and mathematics research, and science and math education. The area to be renovated comprises approximately 76,000 square feet (7,100 m2) of space. During the renovation, crews will replace HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and lighting systems. Outmoded infrastructure and equipment will be replaced with modern facilities and equipment that will be energy-efficient and meet current codes and regulations. The project design calls for structural infill of existing atrium space, adding about 9,000 square feet (840 m2) of additional usable space. The renovated facilities will serve students and faculty in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, nursing, communication disorders, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.


Students can choose from 22 bachelor's, 27 graduate, and 4 doctoral degree programs. The university also offers 22 certificate programs. The most popular majors at Governors State University include: Accounting; Business Administration and Management; Liberal Arts; Biology; Criminal Justice; Computer Science; Information Technology; Elementary Education and Teaching; Psychology; Health Administration; and Social Work. All of the university's programs have earned appropriate professional accreditation (if such accreditation exists), and are recognized by their respective professions. The university itself is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Eighty-five percent of the faculty members at this school hold a Ph.D. or the highest degree in their discipline, and most of the classes have fewer than 30 students.


University rankings
Forbes[5] Not Ranked
U.S. News & World Report[6] Not Ranked
Washington Monthly[7] Not Ranked
U.S. News & World Report[8] in 128-165 Regional Universities Midwest
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[9] Not Ranked

Governors State University has been:

  • Ranked 67th among the best Health Administration Schools (US News 2008).
  • Ranked 100th among the Best Occupational Therapy Schools (US News 2012).
  • Ranked 154th among the best Physical Therapy Schools (US News 2012).
  • Ranked 181th among best Speech-Language Pathology Schools (US News 2012).

Governors State University is ranked 14th among universities nationwide in the number of graduates from its Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry program, according to the August 23, 2010 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. It placed ahead of institutions like Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University.


  • 51% of Governors State's students are minorities[10]
  • The average student is 32.4 years old[10]
  • 69.9% of Governors State students are women[10]—many are single working mothers


Students at Governors State University can participate in a number of intramural sports. All students are encouraged to participate. Available athletic programs include men's and women's intramural basketball, handball, racquetball, soccer, softball, table tennis, men's and women's cross country, and women's intramural volleyball. GSU was accepted into membership by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for the 2015-16 school year.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

The university has more than 40,000 graduates who live in the United States and elsewhere.

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fast Facts - Fall 2015" (PDF).
  2. ^ Denk, Angela. "GSU gets national award". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Governors State University in Chicago Illinois". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "2019 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "2019 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "Welcome to Governors State University in Chicago Illinois". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  11. ^ "NAIA Approves New Members at 74th Annual National Convention". Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  12. ^ "In Memoriam: Jon D. Carlson, Ed.D., Psy.D. 05.08.17". Adler University. 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°26′55″N 87°43′00″W / 41.448645°N 87.716689°W / 41.448645; -87.716689