Announcement from UIC Chancellor and Provost: Transition from Diversity Strategic Thinking to Planning
(February 2, 2010)

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Before the winter break, Provost Tanner delivered an announcement on the status of the Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning (DSTP) process.

As you may remember, phase one of this initiative was the Diversity Strategic Thinking exercise in which input from a broad range of constituencies on campus was sought regarding diversity at UIC. As a result, more than 200 people have been directly involved with a campus DSTP Committee and committees within Colleges and Vice Chancellor units where parallel strategic thinking processes are ongoing. Based on the input received, the campus DSTP Committee has developed diversity strategic thinking reports in six subject areas: Climate/Environment, Faculty, Research, Staff, Students, and Teaching and Learning. These reports form the foundation of the Diversity Strategic Thinking Document, which will be shared with the campus in February.

Additionally, the DSTP Committee will convene campus town hall meetings in the next few weeks, to solicit more input from you. The Diversity Strategic Thinking Document and upcoming related campus conversations will then lay the groundwork for phase two: UIC's Diversity Strategic Plan. The Diversity Strategic Plan will seek to build upon existing programs and explore the prospects for new programs, training and assessment to enhance the success of our institution.

As you are no doubt aware, Interim President Ikenberry recently announced a major austerity program to deal with the cash crisis in our university budget. We recognize the hardship of the recent budget news and the challenges it places upon every single program and activity at UIC. However, we would like to take this opportunity to express our continued commitment to diversity and our goal of completing the Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning process and the development of a campus Diversity Strategic Plan over the course of spring 2010. Even during this very challenging period, we will continue our leadership in diversity and continue to provide a world-class education here at UIC.  Diversity is and shall remain one of UIC’s outstanding strengths and a fundamental part of our identity.

The Diversity Strategic Plan will further advance UIC's ability to offer an outstanding education to a diverse student body and insure that the continued excellence of our research and educational programs is enriched by the diversity of the people engaged in these activities. We will have to demonstrate patience and persistence. Not every good idea can be acted upon at once, particularly given our current budget situation and a faltering economy, but there is much that can be done to achieve an improved climate, a clear understanding of values, and the cultural changes that will help make UIC more inclusive. The plan will offer an opportunity to emphasize the value of our current partnerships and to be more creative in building additional collaborations on campus. With an appreciation of what our current situation is, priorities can be set and addressed with leadership, accountability and assessment.

Please continue as our partners in this planning effort by offering your individual commitment to equality of opportunity and to achieving true diversity and inclusion here at UIC.

Paula Allen-Meares

R. Michael Tanner
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs