UI President Killeen’s Message of Hope

By Connor Ciecko

“I find I don’t even have the words to express my reverence for our University of Illinois System.”  That was part of the message of pride that UI President Tim Killeen shared in a video released on Friday.  Sitting on his couch, he addressed the students, staff and faculty with resounding hope.

“Our nearly 90 thousand students have transitioned to online and distance learning, some of the classes developed over just a short few weeks by our creative and committed faculty and staff,” Killeen said.  The University of Illinois helped to pioneer some of the first user-friendly internet browsers, chatrooms and software that laid the framework for the tools that instructors are using to continue their commitment to education. He stressed that now, more than ever, the University’s technological innovation continues to move forward.

The University of Illinois at Chicago is currently running two clinical trials for coronavirus treatments that could have potential benefit for patients affected and the Grainger College of Engineering developed the Illinois RapidVent, an emergency ventilator that uses oxygen already freely available in hospitals, in just a week.

Killeen also shared his thanks to all the essential employees – healthcare workers and experts, cleaning staff, and university housing and dining employees, among many – that are going to work every day to help others.  He called them what they are: heroes.

“Across our universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, our faculty, staff and students have responded just magnificently,” Killeen said. “I am filled with pride and respect for our people.”