UI Multi-Campus Strategic Plan aims to improve campus inclusivity

By Christin Watkins

The strategic plan aims to make an “impact on the state more broadly,” said Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson.lb

This plan focuses on integrity, engaging everyone in the institution and aims to be fully in effect in five to 10 years, said Anthony Knerr, managing director and founder of AKA Strategy, the consultant firm for the strategic plan.lb

Meeting attendees discussed the impact of the arts and humanities departments on the universities and state.

Faculty voiced concern that universities emphasize the impact of engineering and technology ahead of the liberal arts.

Killeen said he hopes to address the issue with the strategic plan. It is central to the plan to include the impact the arts and humanities have on the University, he said.

“Let’s make that not just a forefront but a center,” he said. “I think there’s a need for leadership from the arts and the humanities.”

Recent issues of racial violence on college campuses and the University’s willingness to address and fix these problems on each of its campuses was another topic presented by attendees of the meeting.

“We’re listening,” Wilson said. “This is a place where we can make a difference.”

Killeen agreed this issue is prevalent to the University of Illinois.

“It’s a wake-up call for us,” Killeen said.

The campuses would like to work together to mend this concern, but they are only able to do this through student, faculty and community support, he said.

“We’ll do it, but we need your help,” he said. “These problems we’re addressing are real problems.”

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