Student Life at Illinois: 2000-2009



  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools issued report expressing concern about the University’s handling of the Chief Illiniwek issue.
  • Year-long dialogue on Chief Illiniwek conducted.
  • Binding vote of student trustees made permanent.
  • Phi Kappa Tau fraternity suspended for at least two years.
Personal reflections from the University community on September 11, 2001.
Personal reflections from the University community on September 11, 2001.


  • Fire at Abbott Power Plant left most of campus without power, causing cancellation of classes.
  • First Paint the Hall Orange held.
  • First Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day held.
  • Men’s basketball team shared Big Ten title.
  • Students held memorial services in wake of events of September 11th.
  • New ACES Library dedicated.
  • Irwin Indoor Football Facility completed.
  • GEO members conducted strike.
  • Football team won Big Ten title outright.


  • Illini lost to Lousiana State University in Sugar Bowl, 34-47.
  • GEO staged sit-in at Swanlund Administration Building.
  • City of Champaign completed Green Street section of the Campustown Infrastructure Reconstruction and Streetscape Project.
  • Men’s basketball team again won Big Ten, advanced to Sweet Sixteen.
  • Chicago Bears played season at Memorial Stadium.
  • Spurlock Museum dedicated.
  • Native American House established.
  • GEO won unionization election. Shortly thereafter, the GEO received certification from Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.


  • Budget cuts led to decrease in number of courses offered. Library cut staff, canceled 400 journal titles, and reduced hours.
  • Bruce Weber named men’s basketball coach.
  • Tennis team compiled 32-0 record, won NCAA title.
  • Largest freshman class enrolled in fall semester with 6,801 students.
  • Thirty student organizations sponsored a rally opposing the Iraq War.
  • Infrastructure replacement on Sixth Street between Healey and John streets completed.
  • Daily Illini returned to broadsheet design.
  • University implemented Banner financial system.
  • University commemorated U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Chief Illiniwek Protest, 2004
Chief Illiniwek Protest, 2004


  • New online registration system UI Integrate Web Self Service implemented, replacing UI Direct.
  • Men’s basketball team won first outright Big Ten title since 1952.
  • Demonstrators against Chief Illiniwek occupied Swanlund Administration Building for 32 hours.
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools issued report saying the University’s handling of the Chief Illiniwek issue showed failure of leadership.
  • Twenty-eight current and former Illini athletes took part in Athens Olympics. The Olympians brought home 20 medals, 14 of which were gold.
  • Illinois Student Government (ISG) and the Student Senate Caucus merged to form the Illinois Student Senate.
  • Junior Josh George took 2 bronze track and field medals at Paralympics.
  • University and GEO reached agreement on wages, hours, and terms of employment.
  • The I-Clicker–an interactive handheld device– was introduced, permitting students to query professors during lectures.
  • Joseph White named University president.
  • Facebook craze hit campus.
  • Engineering Quad dedicated as John Bardeen Quadrangle.
  • Ground broken for Asian-American Cultural Center.


  • Men’s basketball team lost only one game in the regular season. The team reached the Final Four, defeated by North Carolina in championship game, 75-70.
  • Wrestling team took Big Ten title.
  • Student died after being hit by bus.
  • Sherman Hall opened to undergraduates.
  • NCAA announced ban on certain universities–including Illinois–from hosting postseason competition because of use of Native American imagery.
  • First Oktoberfest held.
Habitat for Humanity Shantytown fundraiser, 2003-04
Habitat for Humanity Shantytown fundraiser, 2003-04


  • Library began collecting video games.
  • Illini Media Company Building completed.
  • Undergraduate Library interior underwent renovation.
  • Student died after fall from WILL tower outside Campbell Hall.
  • Institute for Genomic Biology dedicated.


  • Blizzard on February 13th dumped 15 inches of snow on area, causing classes to be canceled for two days.
  • University announced that Chief Illiniwek would no longer perform. The Chief’s last dance occurred on February 21st at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Michigan at  Assembly Hall.


  • Football team played in Rose Bowl, lost to USC 49-17.
  • Newly renovated IMPE opened after years of construction.
  • College of Business Instructional Facility and Sally McFarland Carillon completed.


  • The Board of Trustees voted to phase out the failed “Global Campus” program, an initiative started in 2006 to expand online education at the University.
  • In May, the Chicago Tribune revealed that University administrators helped admit under-qualified students with political connections. This scandal resulted in the resignations of President Joseph B. White, Chancellor Richard Herman, and all but two members of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
  • In November, the GEO went on a 2-day strike, eventually winning concessions  on wages, benefits, grievance procedures, and tuition waiver security.

Return to 1990-1999 | Continue to 2010-2019