Letter From the Director

May Berenbaum

The Center for Advanced Study was founded in 1959 with the mission to encourage "creative achievement and scholarship by providing recognition to scholars of the highest distinction and providing incentives for the highest level of scholarly achievement.” After being elected through a rigorous competitive process by current members and appointed by the Board of Trustees, CAS Professors are members for the duration of their UIUC careers; since its founding, CAS Professors have included within their ranks scholars and practitioners who have received external recognition for excellence by a broad range of national and international honorific societies, reflective of the tremendous intellectual diversity and outstanding achievements of our campus faculty.

Beyond its honorific mission, CAS has hewed to the service component of its mission—providing opportunities for advancing scholarly excellence across the campus. Every year, CAS awards, on a competitive basis, research appointments providing release-time to outstanding junior and senior colleagues pursuing innovative research, writing, and performance projects. Faculty from all units across the campus are eligible for these appointments. The Center also contributes to supporting a culture of learning across the campus and community by offering a variety of integrative programs throughout the year by sponsoring public lectures, long-term visits by world-renowned scholars, interdisciplinary symposia, and wide-ranging educational programs and special events.

As a land grant university, UIUC is configured to meet the needs of our state and society at large; few if any other US-based centers of academic excellence span as broad a range of disciplines. As UIUC tackles the global challenges of the 21st century, our knowledgeable and integrated group of scholars is dedicated to fostering and sustaining on our campus the academic excellence that will be needed to address our current global challenges and those that will arise in our future.

May Berenbaum