About the Center

James McGregor Burns, considered by many to be the father of modern leadership practices, once famously stated that "Leadership is the most observed, yet least understood, phenomena on earth."  A generation later, we find this still rings true today.


In a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, the Illinois Leadership® Center (ILC) opened its doors in September 2002 as a campus resource hub designed to provide comprehensive leadership education and training to all students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Our work is to study about leadership and teach our students the relevant skills to be effective leaders so that they can make positive impacts for society!


At the ILC, our work is also guided by a couple of overarching principles...

We believe leaders need to be able to work well with others leaders. Leadership, at its essence, is about working with others to create positive change, and should be based in a fundamentally service-focused and ethical foundation of values. It is about practicing global citizenship. In our global society, the skills necessary for effective leadership are more complex and multi-faceted now than they have ever been. We believe Illinois students need to develop these skills now while they are in college...

In addition, we believe that leadership can be taught. While some may have more inherent skill at the practice of leadership than others, we believe everyone can enhance and refine their abilities to lead others. We have created a set of Core Competencies that we believe all effective leaders should possess. All of our programs and initiatives are designed to help students learn and develop in these areas.

Our Vision

The Illinois Leadership® Center at the University of Illinois seeks to be an internationally acclaimed provider of leadership education, research, and experiential opportunities for students. 


Our Mission

The Illinois Leadership® Center is committed to developing and enhancing the leadership skills of all students through assessment, learning, and experiential opportunities. In addition, the Center supports faculty and staff who are pursuing leadership-related teaching, research, and student engagement activities. 


Our Core Values 

Student Learning- We believe life-long learning and personal growth are essential to effective leadership.  We provide purposeful programs and services that allow students to engage in self-discovery, learn essential skills, and apply them to their daily lives and classroom learning.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion- We strive to create brave inclusive environments that are accessible and welcoming to all students.  Our programs are designed to engage students about and across difference, promote respectful dialogue, and create change for a greater good.  We value the voices of marginalized communities and aim to challenge systemic oppression.

Collaboration- We strive to develop collaborative relationships with campus stakeholders and alumni to create effective learning environments and achieve common goals.

Integrity- We are committed to practicing and teaching ethical leadership by aligning our values and actions, our Illinois Leadership Competencies, and being a good steward of resources.

Innovation & Continuous Improvement- We utilize assessment, current theories, and research to provide innovative programs and services to help students address local, national, and global issues.


Our Location & Hours of Operation

The Illinois Leadership Center is located in the Illini Union on the second floor in the southwest corner of the building, above the Quad Shop and across the hall from the Student Engagement (or RSOs) office.

Our office space is normally open Monday-Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

Mailing/Physical Address

Room 290 Illini Union | M/C 384

1401 W. Green Street | Urbana, IL 61801-1401