The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Chancellor Jones releases annual State of the University report

Sofi Klein
Chancellor Robert Jones passionately speaks at the Illini Chabad grand opening Oct. 19. Chancellor Jones discusses the State of University Annual Report as the year comes to its end.

In the State of the University Annual Report, Chancellor Robert Jones discussed key accomplishments and achievements of University faculty, students and staff in 2023. 

“For 156 years and counting, we have been proud to be the home of those who honestly believe that, working together, we can make our state, our nation and our world a better place for generations to come,” Jones said in a video message. 

Below are some key insights discussed in the report. 


Access to Education and Post-Grad Opportunities 

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The matriculation of the class of 2027 marked the largest new class size in Illinois history at 8,325 while also containing the highest number of in-state students in almost two decades. 

The class of 2027 is also the fifth class under the Illinois Commitment scholarship program, which guarantees four years of free tuition to in-state students with a family income under $67,100. 

The report estimates one out of three in-state freshmen qualify for the Illinois Commitment and more than half of undergraduate students will graduate with zero debt. 

Additionally, more than one-fifth of matriculated freshmen “identify as African American, Hispanic or multiracial” and “24% of the new members of this class are the first generation in their families to attend college.”

For alumni, within six months of graduation, 95% of 2021-22 graduates found employment, entered into a graduate program or accepted a volunteer opportunity. Out of those who entered the job market, the average full time starting salary was over $74,000. 


Faculty Achievements 

According to the report, a dozen faculty members were recognized by professional organizations at the highest level in their fields, including organizations such as the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The University plans to grow academic talent through extensive measures to both retain and recruit faculty. 

“We are investing more than $50 million in the next five years for new faculty hiring.” the report said. “We are moving quickly and strategically towards a goal of 2,000 tenure track faculty members.”


Campus Community 

Over the past year, the University has also introduced multiple initiatives such as the All Campus Climate Assessment to understand and examine the effects of diversity policies. Additionally, the opening of the Salaam Middle East and North African Cultural Center serves as a resource for Middle Eastern and North African students. 

In the public safety space, the Office of Threat Assessment was established and a new agreement with the City of Champaign led to the expansion of the University of Illinois Police Department’s jurisdiction in Campustown. 

The University also improved in the U.S. News & World Report ranking compared to last year, nationally ranking 35th among all universities and 12th among public universities. 



Notably, the state of Illinois won the competition for a new $250 million Biohub project in Chicago funded by the Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation. The Biohub’s main research initiative is the advancement, understanding and measuring of human biology. 

The University of Illinois, along with the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, will co-lead the project.

Furthermore, the University leads three out of the country’s 22 federally funded artificial intelligence institutes and has seen an increase in funding from the National Institute of Health by almost 40% over the past five years. 

Additional research areas receiving funding include the Humanity Without Walls initiative, Center for Quantitative Cell Biology and the Illinois Kids Developmental Study


Boldly Illinois

Moving forward, the University will introduce the Boldy Illinois: Strategic Plan 2030 next spring. 

Building off the Next 150, the Strategic Plan from 2018-23, Boldly Illinois main goals include advancing scholarship, providing life-changing educational experiences, serving society and stewardship of resources while generating new investments. 

According to the Strategic Plan website, the University is “currently in the planning stages of a collaborative and comprehensive process to create this plan.”


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Jessie Wang
Jessie Wang, Senior News Reporter
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