B. Joseph White is the current president of the University of Illinois system. The governing body of the three campuses is the Board of Trustees. The Board consists of thirteen members: nine are appointed by the Illinois Governor, three are students (one from each campus, elected by referendums), and the Illinois Governor serves as an ex officio member.
The Urbana-Champaign campus began in 1867 as The Illinois Industrial University. It was one of the thirty-seven public land-grant institutions created shortly after Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862. The university changed its name to University of Illinois in 1885, and then again to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the largest and most prestigious of the three. UIUC, or more commonly U of I, is the flagship state university campus. It is home to 16 colleges and instructional units including the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, College of Applied Health Sciences, Institute of Aviation, College of Business, College of Media, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine and Applied Arts, Graduate College, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, School of Social Work, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
It is also home to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, NCSA, where Marc Andreessen (of Netscape fame) and others helped develop the Mosaic web browser, the first HTML browser capable of rendering images. In addition, in 1987, NCSA created NCSA Telnet, a program which permitted users access to the supercomputer's resources remotely. Also, in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the ship's computer, HAL, was said to have been built in Urbana.
UIUC is also famous for its contributions in Electrical Engineering, and is the birth place of world's first light-emitting diode (LED). It is generally viewed that a UIUC professor, or alumnus, will win a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize at least every three years, speaking to the research quality at the institution. The library is notable for both being the largest public academic library in the country, including over forty departmental libraries, as well as possessing over ten million volumes. With regards to the library, it circulates about 1.2 million items per year and answers about 293,000 reference questions per year. It is highly ranked in engineering, law, library and information science, chemistry, computer science, labor and industrial relations, educational psychology, finance, accounting, business administartion, communication, and music. Physics professor John Bardeen won the Nobel Physics Prize twice in his lifetime, an honor no other researcher has received. The school's marching band, named the Marching Illini, also enjoys a superb reputation. Until recently, the symbol of the University's athletic teams was a Native American figure, Chief Illiniwek, which had sparked significant controversy. Chief Illiniwek completed his last performance on February 21, 2007 and has since been retired from performing and as the official symbol of the school.
Currently the campus boasts the world's most technologically advanced Computer Science building, Siebel Center.
The largest university in the Chicago area, UIC serves approximately 25,000 students within 15 colleges & schools including Applied Health Sciences, Architecture and the Arts, Business Administration, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Graduate, Honors, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Social Work, Urban Planning & Public Affairs, and the nation's largest College of Medicine. With annual research expenditures exceeding $290 million, UIC is one of five doctoral research universities in the State of Illinois. Playing a critical role in Illinois healthcare, UIC operates the state’s major public medical center and serves as the principal educator of Illinois’ physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
The modern UIC was formed in 1982 by the consolidation of two U. of I. campuses: the Medical Center campus, which dates back to the nineteenth century; and the comprehensive Chicago Circle campus, which in 1965 replaced the two-year undergraduate Navy Pier campus designated to educate returning veterans. This consolidation and expansion is why "UIC" is the preferred shortened name today.
UIC’s student body is recognized as the nation’s fourth most diverse, and they reflect the global character of Chicago.
UIS serves almost 5,000 students in 20 master's degree, 20 undergraduate programs, and a doctorate in Public Administration. The academic curriculum of the campus emphasizes a strong liberal arts core, an array of professional programs, extensive opportunities in experiential education, and a broad engagement in public affairs issues in its academic and community service pursuits.
The 2008-2009 sports seasons will be the last for UIS as a member of the NAIA. UIS is becoming an NCAA Division II program and will know by the end of October 2008 if they will be getting a formal invitation to join the GLVC athletic conference starting in the fall of 2009.