Within the limits of authority fixed by the Illinois constitution and laws, the Board of Trustees exercises final authority over the University. 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 responsible to the people of Illinois.
As the governing body of the University, the Board of Trustees exercises jurisdiction in all matters except those for which it has delegated authority to the President of the University, other officers, or agencies of the University.
Membership of the Board
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois consists of thirteen members, eleven who have official votes. Nine are appointed by the Governor for terms of six years, and three student trustees (one from each campus: Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield) are elected by referenda on their campuses for one-year terms. One of these student trustees is appointed by the Governor to have an official vote. The Governor serves as an ex officio member.
In 1995, by an act of the Legislature and approval by the Governor, the method for selecting trustees for the University of Illinois was changed. By this act, the trustees are to be appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate of the State of Illinois. The effective date for this appointed board to be seated was to be January 1995. However, litigation concerning the constitutionality of this Act was settled in March 1996. The decision stated that the current elected Board of Trustees would continue to serve as trustees of the University of Illinois until each term expired. Thus, at the conclusion of each term the Governor will appoint a trustee to serve for a term of six years.
In 1998 another statute was enacted concerning the three student trustees. The Governor was given the responsibility for appointing one of these three to have an official vote. After each campus student body elects its student trustee, the Governor chooses one to have an official vote. The other two student trustees continue to have an advisory vote.
The officers of the Board of Trustees are chair, secretary, comptroller, and university counsel; each is elected for a term of one year; and a treasurer, elected for a term of two years.
Committees of the Board
The Board Chair appoints one trustee to chair each of the committees for a term of one year, and one vice chair to serve for a one-year term. Standing committees of the Board of Trustees are appointed by the Chair of the Board, and they include the following:
- Academic and Student Affairs
- Audit, Budget, Finance, and Facilities
- Governance, Personnel, and Ethics
- University Healthcare System
The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees is composed of the Chair of the Board (who serves as chairman ex officio) and two elected members. The Executive Committee meets on call of the chair or of any two members for the transaction of business that is urgent and cannot be postponed until the next regular meeting of the full board. The Executive Committee has all the powers of the Board of Trustees.
As a function of their role trustees also serve on boards of organizations related to the University.
- University of Illinois Foundation — 1 trustee
- University of Illinois Alumni Association — 1 trustee
- State Universities Civil Service Merit Board — 3 trustees
- University of Illinois Research Park, LLC, Board of Managers — 1 trustee
- IllinoisVENTURES, LLC, Board of Managers — 1 trustee
- UI Singapore Research, LLC — 1 trustee
- Prairieland Energy, Inc. — 1 trustee
The Statutes provide for a University Senates Conference, a body that in addition to its other duties may act as an advisory group to the Board of Trustees, the President of the University, other administrative officials, and the campus senates on matters of University-wide concern.
Acting on the recommendation of the campus senates, as transmitted to it by the President of the University, the Board of Trustees has established a set of formal Statutes which provide a detailed framework for the following aspects of governance of the University: (a) administrative organization and responsibilities; (b) legislative organization and functions; (c) conditions of appointment and tenure for faculty members and administrative officers; (d) conditions relating to sponsored research, gifts, grants, patents, and copyrights. Amendments to the Statutes may be proposed by the senates of the University or by the Board of Trustees, but in no case will an amendment be adopted without consultation with the senates.
In addition to the Statutes, the Board of Trustees has adopted a body of regulations published under the title The General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure. Those regulations describe the organization and responsibilities of administrative offices that provide supporting services, outline in greater detail various business procedures mentioned in the Statutes, specify the conditions governing the use of University property, and describe in some detail employment policies and employee benefits.
Changes in the General Rules may be made by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the President of the University after consultation with the University Senates Conference. The Board of Trustees delegates to the President of the University the authority to promulgate regulations and rules implementing the General Rules.