Chancellor’s 2018 State of the University Address
Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones presented an upbeat 2018 State of the University Address to a large audience at the Illini Union on November 8. Chancellor Jones stressed that Illinois had dealt thoughtfully and proactively when faced with state budget funding challenges, and that the university now is on a strong pathway to continue its path-breaking research and educational contributions. “We are a university that has taken control and we are a university that has tremendous momentum,” he said.
The Chancellor highlighted many initiatives in which the university is engaging, including new efforts to improve access to students across Illinois. Of particular importance is the new Illinois Commitment program, in which students with family incomes of $61,000 or less will be offered free tuition for four years. Chancellor Jones also pointed to ongoing expansion and improvement of Illinois online educational opportunities. More fundamentally, he called for Illinois “to move from being a university with engagement programs to being a Publicly Engaged University. We must remain anchored here in this community – but we also must have an active and visible presence throughout the state….we are going to embed public engagement as a fundamental principle in our operations.” These access and engagement emphases of course are a great fit for social work. In conclusion, the Chancellor summarized “There is an optimism about our collective ability to make a positive and measurable difference in the world around us.”