Chancellor Rita Cheng!

Chancellor Rita ChengWelcome!  This is an exciting time on our campus, with many new programs and initiatives designed to help our students meet the challenges of the 21st century global society.  Our students enjoy the many benefits of a complete university experience.

Essential to that experience is the support of and appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity.  In fact, the commitment to diversity dates to SIUC’s founding and is one of our core values.  We welcome students – many of them first-generation college students – from all 50 states and from more than 100 foreign countries; international students and students of color make up 23.5 percent of our total enrollment. 

We are proud of our history and excited about our future – a future that we hope will include you.  Here is a sampling of what you will find at SIUC:

Excellence in Academics

  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies SIUC as a Research University: High Research Activity.  The National Science Foundation ranks SIUC #101 among public universities in the U.S. for total research and development expenditures, and #142 among all U.S. universities.  This places SIUC among the top 4 percent of U.S. higher education institutions for research.
  • World-class faculty who earn prestigious honors for their research and teaching.  Our faculty members receive National Institutes of Health Challenge Grants, National Science Foundation CAREER Grants and Fulbright Scholar designations, just to name a few.  Many of our faculty members have achieved the distinction of “fellow” in their respective fields.
  • Research that matters.  Our scholars and researchers make significant contributions in a wide variety of areas, including autism spectrum disorders, cancer, aging, diabetes, energy and the environment, rehabilitation, materials technology, biotechnology and mine safety.
  • More than 200 undergraduate majors, minors and specializations.
  • Extensive research and creative opportunities for undergraduates – including freshmen.
  • The University Honors Program rewards our best undergraduates for their high academic achievements. 
  • Thirty doctoral and more than 60 master’s degree programs; law and medical degrees.
  • New programs designed to meet our students’ career goals and society’s needs.  For example, we now offer a professional science master’s degree in advanced energy and fuels management, and a prestigious doctoral program in watershed science and policy.
  • SIUC students achieve national recognition, including: Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C.; USA Today All-USA College Academic Team; and Fulbright, Goldwater and Udall Scholar honors, among many others; Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship, NSF International Research Fellowship.

A Vibrant and Supportive Environment

  • Our campus and the surrounding region are natural playgrounds.  SIUC, which is pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, is a short drive from five lakes, multiple state parks and the Shawnee National Forest.
  • There are more than 450 Registered Student Organizations, ranging from the professional to the recreational.
  • Saluki First Year guides our new first-year students through the transition to college life.
  • Saluki Cares is a University-wide system that provides care and support for students by connecting them with appropriate resources.
  • A special focus on meeting the often-unique needs of our military veterans.  In 2010, SIUC received Illinois’ inaugural Governor’s Award for Excellence in Veterans Education.
  • Disability Support Services helps students with physical and/or learning disabilities achieve their educational goals.
  • A full-service Student Health Center.

Opportunities to Grow

  • We offer a rich assortment of study-abroad programs.  For example, SIUC students have studied business in New Zealand, Germany, France and Japan; natural resources in Ireland; and social work in Egypt, India and Ecuador.
  • Internships, externships and campus jobs enhance the educational experience and career prospects.
  • Members of the Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps chapter serve as tutors and mentors to children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in four school districts.
  • The Saluki Volunteer Corps works with more than 70 non-profit organizations in our region.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

  • Our main academic library, Morris Library, recently underwent a $64 million renovation and 50,000-square-foot expansion.
  • Major renovations and technology upgrades have improved the learning environment in 16 auditoriums and 50 classrooms.
  • Upgrades to campus buildings totaling $100 million will take place over the next 10 years.
  • Saluki Way is transforming a portion of our campus with construction of a new football stadium and major renovations to the SIU Arena, home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

I appreciate your interest in SIUC, and invite you to explore our website.  Better yet, pay us a visit.  I look forward to welcoming you to our campus, the home of the Salukis!


Rita Cheng Signature

Rita Cheng, Chancellor