In 1919, a special committee of the Board of Trustees "recommended establishing a 'Bureau of Publicity' whose duties would be along 'University publicity and propaganda lines'1. On August 15, 1919 the Board of Trustees appointed Joseph F. Wright as Director of Publicity, effective September 1, 19202. On July 25, 1956 the Board of Trustees approved a change of title to Director of Public Information3.The Office of Public Information is charged with the responsibility "for interpreting the University to the public" and with "the task of collecting University news and making it available to the communications media"4. The Director of Public Information advises the President on University matters "in which the public is interested" and assists "in interpreting University policies and activities" through the media5.
In September 1967, the Director became University Director of Public Information and Assistant to the President for institutional relations and development6. On January 17, 1980 the Board of Trustees authorized the position of Special Assistant to the President and university director of public information and communication activities7.
1. Jerome Rodnitzky, "A History of Public Relations at the University of Illinois, 1904-1930" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1967), p. 193.
2. Board of Trustees Transactions, 30th Report, August 15, 1919, p. 505.
3. Ibid., 49th Report, July 25, 1956, p. 20.
4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Academic Staff Handbook, p. 33.
5. University of Illinois Statutes, Section 50(b), June 1958.
6. President's Faculty Letter, No. 174, April 7, 1969, p. 5.
7. Board of Trustees Transactions, 60th Report, January 17, 1980, p. 506-07.