In 2001 Sergey Zhilkin headed the newly founded Togliatti State University.

In November 2001 the Academic Council and the Board of Trustees were elected. Aleksey Nikolayev, an Honored Citizen of Togliatti and the Ex-president of AVTOVAZ Company, became the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the Mayor of Togliatti Nikolay Utkin became the Deputy Chairman.

In summer 2002 Sergey Zhilkin was elected the rector of the university for a 5-year term.

On June 27, 2002 the first 1643 graduates of Togliatti State University were awarded their diplomas.

During the period from January 2002 to May 2004 25 national conferences were held at the University. The University also took an active part in national and international exhibitions, and its representatives were highly praised by organizers and judges. In February 2003 TSU research projects headed by Professor O.I. Drachev were awarded gold and silver medals at the III International Salon of Innovations and Investments.

The University took part in the Annual Exhibition “PROMEXPO” where the works of Togliatti State University scientists received diplomas and awards of the National Exhibition Center, and in 2004 they were awarded “The Best in Russia” Diploma.

TSU students won a number of various competitions: Russian Open Championship in Computer-Aided Design was held at TSU in May 2003. TSU students achieved distinguished results: M.V. Nesterov – two first places, A.V. German – the second place; and in January 2003 a Togliatti State University student I.G. Verkhovinsky was the first in the DELCАM Company Student Projects Contest and received a personal prize.

In 2002 the DELCAM Center of Computer-Aided Design opened at Togliatti State University, and the British Ambassador to the Russian Federation Sir Roderic Lyne was present at the opening ceremony.

In 2004 Togliatti State University became one of the Quality Institute co-founders in Togliatti.

During the period 2002 – 2004 twenty-one new education programs were licensed.

In 2004 Togliatti State University became a laureate of the competition “Gold Medal “European Quality” and was awarded a gold medal “European Quality” in “The Hundred Best Higher Education Institutions” nomination.