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U of I System Updates

Chicago’s largest university will be home to the city’s first public law school under an agreement approved July 19 that will make the John Marshall Law School part of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Read the news release


President Tim Killeen delivered an enthusiastic, positive message about the University of Illinois System to the Chicago Tribune editorial board on July 10.

Read the editorial board's thoughts


The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), an initiative led by the U of I System to drive economic development through innovation, wrapped up its first international program on July 24.

The Israel, Digital, Arts, Entrepreneurs, and Science Immersion program connected five teams of entrepreneurs from Tel Aviv University with leading Chicago investors, business founders and corporate executives, helping the Israeli entrepreneurs to grow their networks and refine their business plans over the two-week visit.

Read the news release

University Highlights

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Legislator Spotlight

This edition provides a conversation with Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleishchman, a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the University of Illinois?

My favorite memory from my time at the University of Illinois was when my dad dropped me off for the first time when I was 17 years old. From that moment on, I was faced with challenges and experienced successes that shaped the person I am today. 

How did a University of Illinois education prepare you for your career/current role? 

Through my extensive education in the fields of political science and history, the University of Illinois helped to prepare me for the many situations I experience daily. From my meetings in Washington, D.C., to Tennessee, I constantly have the privilege to meet with thousands of individuals and engage in many discussions on a variety of topics, and I often have to reference history.

Give us your take on the state of higher education at the federal level. 

I have always believed that there should be more state and local control of higher education. Right now, there is too much bureaucracy of higher education at the federal level, and I am constantly working to address this issue to give institutions of higher learning, like the University of Illinois, more freedom to do what they feel is right for the success of their students.

Advocacy in Action

Dr. William Gropp, the director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at Urbana, spoke at press conference where Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Department of Innovation and Technology Act (HB 5611). This bill creates the Department of Innovation and Technology, a new state agency that will work with NCSA to incorporate next-generation technology into daily operations of the state government.


At the invitation of U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation Ed Seidel was in Washington, D.C. on July 25 to present to members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce during their Innovation Forum and Showcase. Each member of the committee was able to invite an innovator to share how they are addressing our nation’s challenges in education and workforce development. Seidel presented on the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI.), a U of I System-led initiative to drive innovation and economic growth in our state and nation.

Seidel also engaged with members of Congress (including Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski), Congressional staff, and the general public on DPI at the showcase. The event highlighted DPI as a top innovative model in education.  Click here to watch footage of Seidel's panel (see 1:37:00).


Leadership from Urbana’s Cancer Center were in Washington, DC this month to meet with staff from the National Institutes of Health and Illinois delegation offices to discuss the center’s overarching objective to develop transformative cancer interventions.


This month, Illinois Connection sent out a survey to Illinois state legislators regarding higher education advocacy. The goal of this survey is to better understand how legislators prefer to be lobbied on higher education. Results will help the U of I System develop advocacy strategies that best serve our interests.


President Tim Killeen spoke July 10 during the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation scholarship night, hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The event honored 62 students who earned college scholarships from the foundation, including 40 who have been accepted to one of the three universities in the U of I System. 

OGR Team Update

The Office of Governmental Relations is pleased to announce their fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year.  They will work closely with OGR staff on state and federal relations, advocating for the U of I System in the Illinois General Assembly and Congress.

Brenna Molinare, a senior at Urbana, is a political science and communications major.  Previously, Brenna has interned with state Sen. Michael Hastings, and for a political action committee.  This summer, she is interning with the U of I Alumni Alliance as the communications coordinator for Illinois Connection.  On campus, Brenna serves as president of the Urbana Student Advocacy Coalition, a group of students focused exclusively on advocating for higher education, and serves on the Political Science Advisory Board.


Marvin Slaughter, a senior at UIC, is a political science and economics major.  He also has interned with state Senator Michael Hastings, and for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. On campus, he is a member of the UIC Action Plan to Increase Civic Learning, Political Engagement, and Voting Rates, and serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Student Advocacy Coalition. He was recently awarded the Newman Civic Fellowship for his dedication to improving community life and educating students on the importance of civic and social responsibility.

Molinare and Slaughter join OGR in the second class of fellows. They will work closely with OGR staff on state and federal relations, advocating for the U of I System in the Illinois General Assembly and Congress.



Jennifer Creasey, Senior Director of State Relations

Paul Weinberger, Director of Federal Relations

Melissa Haas, Associate Director of Federal Relations

Deon Thomas, Visiting Community Relations Coordinator