University Organization and Government
1. 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. The Board is responsible to the people of Illinois 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 the governing body of the university and exercises jurisdiction in all matters except those for which it has delegated authority to the president, other officers, or bodies of the university. The Board is composed of thirteen members: nine appointed by the governor; three students, one elected from each campus for a one-year term; and the governor, ex officio. One student trustee, selected by the governor, has an official vote.
The Board of Trustees meets on a bi-monthly schedule (except in August and December), and installs trustees and elects officers in January. Regular meetings of the Board and board committee meetings are open to the public. The only business conducted in executive session is related to certain personnel matters, acquisition of real property, pending litigation, collective negotiating matters, campus security, or safety of the staff and students.
2. President and Vice Presidents
The president of the university, its chief executive officer, is elected by the Board of Trustees and serves at the board’s pleasure. The president is responsible for the internal administration of the university and is an ex officio member of the faculty of each college, school, institute, division, and academic unit. The president also serves as the chief spokesperson for the university with external agencies and individuals.
Other university-wide administrative officers include the vice president for academic affairs, vice president and chief financial officer, vice president for administration and comptroller, and vice president for technology and economic development. The president, on the advice of the University Senates Conference, may recommend to the Board of Trustees the appointment of additional administrative officers with university-wide responsibilities and duties.
The president has the power to appoint ad hoc or standing councils and committees to study and report or to offer continuing counsel. These university-wide councils and committees represent the campuses. Their primary functions are to facilitate intercampus coordination and communication and to serve the president in an advisory and consultative role.
3. University Senates Conference
The University of Illinois Statutes provide for a legislative body of the university, which is the University Senates Conference. The Senates Conference provides a major link between the faculties of the Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield campuses. The Conference is charged with reviewing “all matters acted upon by each Senate” and with determining “whether senate actions requiring implementation or further consideration” are being referred to appropriate officers. The Conference helps to maintain harmonious relations and promotes agreement or consistency among the three senates. In addition to its other duties, the Conference advises the Board of Trustees, the president of the university, other administrative officials, and campus senates on matters of concern to the university.