Universities have a duty to help create a more effective republic. While this purpose has remained constant over the centuries, the means and methods necessary to accomplish that purpose must continually evolve to keep up with an advancing society. In the twentieth century, universities were increasingly seen as extensions of state government. This view is stifling. Universities, public and private, serve people, not politics.
The university is not the kind of place that one can or should try to rule by authority external to the university. The best and only traditional authority in the university is intellectual competence: this is the coin of the realm.
Father Theodore Hesburgh, CSC STD, President Emeritus of Notre Dame
Higher education has been important to Illinois since Illinois State University was established in1857. The first private institution, McKendree University, was founded in1828. A republic succeeds for many reasons, but among the most important is an engaged, educated populace. Four ideas follow that will allow universities in Illinois to flourish.