University system releases ‘set of guiding principles’
December 9, 2017
The University of Illinois System released a set of guiding principles on Friday. The principles address globalization and immigration, freedom of speech on campus and civic engagement.
The collaborative effort to develop the principles began over the summer when a group of University officials came together.
“In July 2017, we convened more than 100 people, including trustees, students, faculty, staff, top leaders of our universities and system officers for a day of discussion on three issues in particular,” said President Timothy Killeen in a press release.
Killeen acknowledged the issues at hand are not the only important issues in the system, but that “principled approaches to them are interrelated and undeniably essential to our operations and our future.”
The system upholds an “unyielding allegiance to freedom of speech” and promises to create safe conditions for an exchange of viewpoints, but will not tolerate force or threats.
In regard to globalization and immigration, the system reaffirmed its commitment to continued “world-class excellence” in teaching, learning, research and public engagement.
“We must remain open to the most thoughtful and creative minds, regardless of country of origin or ideology,” Killeen said.
The University System also addressed its legacy of civic engagement and its plans to continue to strive to produce graduates who will be prepared to engage in their communities.
“Our strengths as a comprehensive system — our excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship, the diversity of our University communities, and much more — provide us with the means and motivation to make a difference at every level of society,” according to the guiding principles.
Killeen said these principles are living documents that are to be adjusted as needed to accommodate change.
He also said while these principles are based on contemporary issues, they align with the fundamental values of the institution.
“While they reflect contemporary concerns, these principles are very much in keeping with the original — and fundamental — ideals of the land-grant institution: advancing society through education and knowledge and contributing to the public good,” Killeen said.