In the fall of 1995, the 89th General Assembly of the State of Illinois passed Senate Bill 241 which was sent to and signed by the Governor to become Public Act 89-0004. This new legislation established autonomous governing boards for seven state universities as part of a continuing reform of the state's higher education system. With the reorganization of Illinois' higher education system, state universities will be governed by boards whose duty is to assure their students are receiving the highest quality education possible and that tax and tuition dollars are being used wisely. The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University began operation on January 1, 1996. The Board consists of seven members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Illinois Senate for overlapping six-year terms. The eighth member of the Board is a student selected annually by the University. The President of the University serves as the primary liaison, linking the Board's responsibilities for policy direction to the University's operational responsibilities for carrying out its mission.