Board of Trustees

Kirk Dillard

WIU B.O.T. Trustee Kirk DillardHinsdale; Appointed March 2023

Dillard currently serves as the chair of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the nation’s second largest mass transit system, serving over 1 million daily riders, with assets over $150 billion, chair of the country’s first privately owned tollway, the iconic Chicago Skyway, connecting Chicago to northwest Indiana.

Dillard served in the Illinois Senate for nearly 20 years, representing Chicagoland’s western suburbs. He chaired the Judiciary Committee and the Senate’s High Tech Technology Task Force. 

Prior to that, Dillard served with distinction as former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar’s Chief of Staff and the late Gov. James R. Thompson’s director of Legislative Affairs. Dillard has served as a judge on the Illinois Court of Claims and is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission. He has served as an instructor of legal research, writing and moot court at the DePaul University College of Law, where he serves on its Dean’s Advisory Council. He also served as a lecturer on legislation and statutory interpretation at Loyola University in Chicago and DePaul’s law schools, as well as a mentor to the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Dillard has been a longtime member of the College of DuPage Foundation Board, raising scholarship funding for students.

Dillard was named to Who’s Who in Chicago Business by “Crain’s Chicago Business,” and awarded an Illinois Super Lawyer designation by his peers. The Illinois Farm Bureau awarded him the Friend of Agriculture award, and he was inducted into the Legislative Staff Hall of Fame by the University of Illinois and “Illinois Issues.”

He served multiple terms as president of Western’s Alumni Council and was the student trustee on Western’s Board of Governors as an undergraduate.

Dillard received his Bachelor of Arts degree and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Western. He received a Juris Doctorate from the DePaul University College of Law, where he was awarded the American Bar Association Award for Urban, State and Local Government.