Chancellor Message 1/3/12

Message to Campus
RE highlights from previous six months

Engineering studentsDear UIC community,

I'm delighted to once again extend my greetings on behalf of the University of Illinois at Chicago and bring you news of our remarkable accomplishments, especially inspiring in the context of the nation's ongoing fiscal uncertainties.

The State's budget problems persist, and its long-term financial position remains precarious. The Institute for Government and Public Affairs estimates a continuing structural budget gap of between $2 billion and $4 billion per year between now and fiscal year 2014. This fiscal environment puts the University's state support at risk.

UIC is not alone in this fiscal reality. Across the nation, the model of a public system for education is challenged profoundly by the downward trend in public dollars. Higher education -- most especially public higher education -- is a common good to promote the welfare of the nation and its people, yet the lack of government support does not reflect this conviction. Most of the university's funds are restricted to specific purposes: research grants, hospital costs, and donor dollars directed towards specified programs.

Giving Goes Up

In light of these fiscal problems, it is particularly gratifying to report that donor giving has accelerated, even during this challenging recession. Last year is the third best year ever in a row, with a record $95 million in giving. As of June 30, we reached an astounding total of $588 million. We hope to close the campaign in January 2012 exceeding our target of $650 million. Our donors' commitment to the value of public higher education in hard times is a stimulus in the very best sense, confirming UIC's achievement of excellence and inspiring a future of the highest distinction.

International Education Week: The Chancellor on Capitol Hill

As part of International Education Week, I participated in a policy forum on Capitol Hill, where I was invited by the National Association for Study Abroad and the President of Goucher College to showcase the exemplary study abroad programs at UIC. The event, "A Global Education: No Longer Optional -- Why a Study Abroad Experience Should be Part of Every Student's Future," highlighted the value of study abroad and promoted a policy conversation about how to make study abroad the norm in the American college and university experience. The National Association for Study Abroad identified UIC as a standout among institutions for enrolling a highly diverse population in study abroad programs. I was delighted to confirm this assessment, and UIC made a significant contribution to this policy discussion. On the panel, I was joined by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, and other dignitaries.

Administrative Appointments

New Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

It's a pleasure to inform you of the appointment of Lon Kaufman to his new role as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost. Lon exemplifies the passion, intellect, and commitment that define the nature of the UIC community. His long and distinguished tenure at UIC includes serving as Head of Biological Sciences, one of the largest undergraduate programs on campus. He was Dean of the Honors College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, where he led the development of the UIC College Prep High School. He co-chaired the Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning Committee, and has been a motivating force behind many of our landmark efforts to retain students, such as the new Summer College for incoming freshman and the opening of three major learning centers. He shares my vision for our future, and I look forward to working with him.

Thank you to Dean Jerry Bauman

I also extend my admiration and deep gratitude to Jerry Bauman, who served as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost over the past nine months. Jerry has returned to his position as Dean of the College of Pharmacy, which under his leadership is ranked third nationally in total federal research funding and remains among the best in the country, always building and adapting to the times. UIC was very fortunate to have had such an excellent and well-respected member of our community step in as Interim Provost during what can only be characterized as a challenging environment.

New Dean at the College of Applied Health Sciences

Bo Fernhall assumed his role as Dean of the College of Applied Health Sciences October 1. This appointment follows Dean Charlotte "Toby" Tate's return to the faculty after ten years of leading the college to its position of national prominence. Dr. Fernhall is a recognized expert in exercise physiology, especially for persons with disabilities. He has almost three decades of experience directing cardiac rehabilitation programs and conducting research on cardiovascular function and lifetime health. We owe Dean Tate our gratitude for her excellent stewardship of the college as we welcome Dr. Fernhall.

New Vice Provost for Enrollment Services

Kevin Browne is our new Vice Provost for Academic and Enrollment Services. He will spearhead our efforts to be even more strategically proactive as we launch a Student Recruitment Plan that will target the greater Chicago metropolitan area and our national and international partners.

New UIC Representative to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium

Our thanks go to Brenda Russell, former Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, who retired in June after seven years as UIC's representative to the Chicago Biomedical Consortium. Brian Kay, Professor and Head of Biological Sciences, has assumed this role. Dr. Kay will chair a search committee to recruit a senior researcher in systems biology, using a $1 million gift for recruitment. He organized a Catalyst Grant application workshop at UIC, which resulted in ten UIC faculty members applying for funds, each potential grant totaling $200,000 per year for two years. The Biomedical Consortium supports a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry facility in the College of Pharmacy and provides funds for a summer workshop. Last year, two junior consortium faculty fellows were recruited to the College of Pharmacy and the Department of Bioengineering.

Expansion of our Research and Service Agendas

Improving Health Care for Minority Populations Chicago has some of the best health care facilities in the world, but there are communities near UIC and across Illinois where people don't receive the care they need. Eliminating these disparities in health care and improving the lives of vulnerable populations are initiatives at the core of the University's community service mission, critical to the success of the broader health care enterprise in our state. By addressing and alleviating health disparities, we can deliver personalized medicine to a racially and ethnically diverse patient population and gain a better understanding of the basic underpinnings of disease. The result is higher quality and more affordable care for our patients and the citizens of Illinois.

Central to our efforts in addressing health disparities is the new Institute for Minority Health Research with Dr. Martha Daviglus as its first Director. She will join UIC from Northwestern University, where she is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine (Geriatrics) and Principal Investigator of the Hispanic Community Health Study, a multidisciplinary study of health and disease among Hispanic populations.

UIC has a number of outstanding researchers already working on this significant health issue. The Institute will be a focal point for research on the epidemiology and prevention of asthma, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other high-risk health factors among racial and ethnic minority groups with a higher prevalence of disease.

Engineering and Medicine Join Forces

This year marks an important milestone for the historically strong partnership between the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine. After two years of intensive planning, we have strategically repositioned our Department of Bioengineering within both colleges. This realignment, modeled after Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University, is a first for Illinois universities. It will integrate engineering and biomedicine, building on the strengths of both colleges. With translational research as part of the "big picture," researchers will target thematic areas such as imaging, cancer, heart and lung, regenerative medicine, and neuroscience.

Research Updates

  • The City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications chose UIC for a project funded by a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. The project will focus on an area that includes Chicago and counties in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
  • The Artificial Intelligence Lab received a $4.2 million contract from the Illinois Department of Transportation for ongoing work on the Gateway Traveler Information System, which covers highways in the Gary, Chicago, and Milwaukee area. The project has received over $15 million in funding since it developed the first real-time traffic information map on the web in the 1990s. The site receives over 500 million hits a year.
  • Researchers in the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology received a federal contract for nearly $14 million to develop antibiotics to treat anthrax, tularemia, and plague. The five-year contract was awarded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense combat-support agency for countering weapons of mass destruction.
  • The Institute for Health Research and Policy and the College of Medicine received a $3 million federal grant to improve diabetes management in minority patients. The grant will fund a five-year study of a new intervention to improve lifestyle behaviors, medication compliance and intensified therapy for minority patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. This research helps UIC meet its mission to remedy health disparities among our underserved minority populations.
  • Computer science researchers received a $3.2 million grant to combat computer viruses, identity theft, and other online security and privacy threats. The five-year National Science Foundation grant will also fund a unique doctoral-level training program on cyber crime. Graduates will be prepared to lead the critical effort to safeguard users and halt the enormous economic costs associated with cyber attacks.
  • The Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award will be funded again this year, as a result of its overwhelming success, at three times the initial investment. This integration of undergraduate students into our research activities pays off in many ways. The program increases undergraduate research, supports creative and scholarly experiences across campus, and raises awareness of Federal Work Study as an option for compensating undergraduate research assistants. This year, up to 120 undergraduates who are eligible for Federal Work Study funding will work as research assistants at no cost to faculty or departments, since my office will pay the campus portion of the work study award (currently 25 percent). This incentive fosters partnerships among colleges, schools, and programs as we expand research opportunities for undergraduates. I want to extend my appreciation to Bette Bottoms, Dean of the Honors College and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, for helping to facilitate this program.

Select News from our Outstanding Faculty

  • Michael J. Anderson, Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, was elected president of the International Federation for Choral Music. During his three-year term, he will help organize global events like the first World Choral Summit in Beijing, China, the World Youth Forum in the U.S., and the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music in Seoul, Korea.
  • Judy Bolton, Professor and Head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, and Michael Trenary, Professor of Chemistry, were elected fellows of the American Chemical Society. ACS fellows are chosen from universities, industry, and government.
  • Orbert Davis, Clinical Associate Professor of Jazz, was artist-in-residence for this year's Chicago Jazz Festival for his contributions to jazz and music culture. It is the second consecutive year a UIC jazz faculty member has been honored as artist-in-residence for the four-day festival.
  • A firm started by Alan Feinerman, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized by the nonprofit Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization as one of its 2011 Top 10 Defense Energy Technology Solutions companies.
  • Jason Leigh, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, was profiled on the PBS "NOVA ScienceNow" program. The show highlighted his pioneering work in creating intelligent human avatars that may be programmed to live well after mortals pass on.
  • Emily Minor, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, and Kevin Matteson, Visiting Research Assistant Professor, received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how different city landscapes and neighborhoods affect the variety and quantity of insect pollinators, particularly bees.
  • Luisa DiPietro, Professor of Periodontics and Director of the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report magazine. Earlier this year, she received the Faculty Mentor Award from the American Association of Dental Research National Student Research Group.
  • Shannon Zenk, Assistant Professor in Health Systems Science, was selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program. Only 12 nurse educators from around the country are named each year. She also won the Midwest Nursing Research Society's Young Investigator Award. And let me also to bring to your attention the fact that our College of Nursing is ranked sixth in the nation in funding from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Lenore Zuck, Associate Professor of Computer Science, is among scientists working to develop networked satellites, which have advantages of cost, effectiveness, and security over traditional single satellites. She is a principal investigator, with University of Pittsburgh researchers, in a project funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Focus on our Students

Record Enrollment Continues Total enrollment for Fall 2011 was the largest in UIC history: 27,580, including 16,911 undergraduates, 8,012 graduate students, and 2,657 professional students. This is the second year in a row for record-breaking enrollment (last year's total was 27,309) and the highest undergraduate head count since 1985. As in previous years, there was no racial or ethnic majority among students. Undergraduate figures are 42.4 percent Caucasian, 21.9 percent Hispanic, 21.3 percent Asian, and 8 percent African American. Student figures for the total campus are 45.8 percent Caucasian, 18.1 percent Asian, 16.7 percent Hispanic, and 8.2 percent African American. Another significant statistic: UIC welcomed 3,400 students into our residence halls this fall.

New Undergraduate Policy Council

Provost Lon Kaufman and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Barbara Henley jointly convened the first official meeting of the Undergraduate Policy Council, primarily composed of deans with undergraduate programs in their colleges. While many existing committees work hard to improve the success of our students, this Council elevates the goal of student success to the highest level by establishing a centralized and focused process and directly engaging deans in policy decisions.

Select News from Our Outstanding Students

  • Anushka Anand, a Ph.D. student in Computer Science, was invited to serve a one-year term as a student member of the board of trustees of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.
  • Michael Lewis, a Ph.D. student in Computer Science and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, is the only computer science student in Illinois to receive the 2011-2012 Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship. Lewis, a former community organizer who has worked in scientific visualization and virtual-reality programming, believes under-represented groups must become active in their communities as mentors and role models.
  • As of January 2011, UIC graduate students brought in over $2 million in stipend funds from external agencies. This includes 26 international Fulbrights and 15 individual predoctoral awards from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Six of our undergraduate students were awarded Gilman Scholarships for study abroad, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Since 2006, UIC students have received 49 Gilman scholarships totaling about $207,000. The scholarship program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they travel. The UIC recipients, their majors and destinations are: Raquel Hernandez, sociology, Salvador, Brazil; Annie Lin, psychology/pre-nursing, Taipei, Taiwan; Paulina Makuch, studio arts/anthropology, Shatin, Hong Kong; Sarai Redmond, anthropology, Dakar, Senegal; Carlos Sorto, civil engineering, Tokyo, Japan; and David Sorto, electrical engineering, Tokyo, Japan. Ms. Redmond is one of five Gilman Global Blog correspondents.

Great News for Sports at UIC: NCAA Accreditation

Our Division I Intercollegiate Athletic Program has been recertified by the NCAA with no need for a site visit. For this success, my thanks go to Jennifer Woodard, the Steering Committee Chair, and to Jim Schmidt, Tonya McGowan, Denny Wills, Sam Rush and the rest of the athletics support team; to Michael Crumbock for writing and coordinating our online reporting; and to subcommittee chairs Donna Williamson, Caryn Bills, and Emanuel Pollack.

Notable Recent Events

The Annual UIC Leadership Retreat The Annual UIC Leadership Retreat was held on campus in August. Provost Kaufman and I spoke on the state of UIC; we also thank President Hogan for participating. Keynote speaker was James Duderstadt, President Emeritus of the University of Michigan and Director of the Millennium Project. Dr. Duderstadt, an international thought leader in higher education, spoke about the profound changes affecting public universities. He was adamant about UIC's exceptional potential and, along with guest panelist Al Bowman, President of Illinois State University, encouraged us to pursue membership in the Association of American Universities.

Screening of "The Interrupters"

"The Interrupters," a documentary on the CeaseFire Violence Prevention Program founded by UIC Professor Gary Slutkin and based in the School of Public Health, has been screened in cities across the nation to sold-out crowds and outstanding critical reviews. The film follows the work of three "interrupters," community workers who attempt to intervene to prevent impending violence, during a year when Chicago drew national headlines for violence and murder. Highly praised at its 2011 Sundance Film Festival premiere, "The Interrupters" is scheduled for broadcast on the PBS series "Frontline." CeaseFire has been proven to reduce violence on the streets of Chicago and serves as a model for similar efforts worldwide.

UIF at UIC Day

At our annual UIF at UIC Day, the University of Illinois Foundation invited donors, partners, and friends to see first-hand the amazing outcomes of their generosity. The program featured students telling their own stories to illustrate how philanthropy profoundly affects their lives. Students were passionate, gracious, and filled with gratitude for the opportunity to succeed at UIC.

UIC in China

As part of his trade mission to Asia, Governor Pat Quinn participated in a luncheon on September 20 with Chicago and Urbana campus alumni at SINOMACH, China's third-largest construction company. The Governor and his delegation met with more than 60 alumni (25 from UIC) and many high-level corporate and government officials. The Alumni Association estimates there are nearly 3,000 UIC alumni in China.

UIC Pediatric Fundraising Event

UIC Pediatrics hosted a fundraising luncheon October 1 for the Children's Hospital of the University of Illinois. The "Fantastical Fall Festival" featured a costume fashion show sponsored by Disney.

Bringing Fun to Hospitalized Children

Being in the hospital is no fun for kids, but a gift from two alumni helped by providing two "Starlight Fun Centers" -- each with a LCD television, DVD player, and Nintendo Wii gaming system. Carol and Roger Shiffman of Highland Park made the donation to the Children's Hospital at the University of Illinois. Roger Shiffman is the global board chairman of the Starlight Children's Foundation and a member of the UIC Alumni Leadership Academy.

Hispanic Center of Excellence Anniversary

The Hispanic Center for Excellence celebrated its 20th anniversary October 15. The Center was established in 1991 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help address the shortage of Hispanic physicians. UIC, home to the largest medical school in the nation, is among the top institutions in the country graduating underrepresented minority physicians and other health care specialists who often return to serve their communities.

Sustainability in Action

Open Source Textbook on Sustainability The University of Illinois Open Source Textbook Initiative is a prime example of sustainability in action. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, a grant secured by Senator Dick Durbin, the university recently completed an introductory open source "textbook" online, Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation. The text, which includes input from scholars on all three campuses, explores the expanding field of sustainability from the perspective of multiple disciplines. It will be available for free this spring.

College of Business Administration and the Renovation of Douglas Hall

Douglas Hall, the new home of the College of Business Administration, reopened in time for fall semester with a completely renovated interior that features collaboration hubs, break-out areas, and conference rooms equipped with the latest technology.

Douglas Hall showcases the work of a devoted group of alumni, friends, and corporate partners, including the CME Group Foundation, in creating a state- of-the-art classroom and teaching environment. The CME Group sponsored the building's centerpiece, the Market Training Laboratory, which gives students a realistic and functional training floor similar to brokerage and prosperity trading firms. This ingenious space employs workstations linked to financial databases, allowing students to analyze data in the context of a trading environment. The laboratory will prepare students for successful careers in the field of futures, derivatives, and financial markets.

The Douglas Hall renovation incorporates environmentally green features, such as geothermal wells, solar panels, automated interior lights, water savers, and an automated cooling and heating system. The University will apply for LEED Gold certification, a rating system for energy-efficient construction. We hope Douglas Hall will join Lincoln Hall as another LEED-certified building on campus.

Governor's Sustainability Award

UIC received two honors for its efforts toward a greener campus: the Governor's Sustainability Award, and the Illinois Recycling Association 2011 Award for Outstanding College and University Recycling Program. Making UIC green through energy-efficient upgrades, fuel savings, pollution and waste reduction, and other sustainability improvements requires vision, strong leadership, and the dedication of our entire community. Congratulations to Associate Chancellor Cindy Klein-Banai and her staff in the Office of Sustainability, and the Chancellor's Committee on Sustainability and Energy, for this remarkable achievement.

Upcoming Events

Chancellor's Lecture and Event Series Scott Page, Director of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan, will speak on "The Value of Diversity in a Complex World" on February 21 in the UIC Forum. His research focuses on the roles that diversity plays in complex systems like corporations, schools, and societies. We look forward to this thought-provoking and challenging discussion.

UIC Turns 30

We will celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2012, marking the merger of the west side medical campus with the east side formerly known as Circle Campus. UIC is ideally positioned to excel at an extraordinary pace well into the future. Our location in Chicago; our signature programs and institutes, including the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, a national landmark; the Great Cities Institute; the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Care System, with the state's primary public hospital; and a full complement of colleges in the health sciences, humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences all come together to make us the most comprehensive public research university in the Chicago area.

Mayor Rahm EmanuelSpring 2012: World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at UIC

UIC will be the setting for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates this spring -- the first time the summit has been held in the United States. Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement at UIC during a press conference at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. I cannot overstate the significance of this honor -- the historic privilege of welcoming to Chicago and to the UIC campus the world's leading proponents of human rights and global peace.

Please visit my website regularly for current news about the campus, our alumni and friends, as well as the Chancellor's Lecture and Event Series.

Thank you for remaining a devoted supporter and friend of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each of us in some way impacts the whole. In 2012, may we all strive together to serve UIC's greatest purpose: to continue the discoveries that transform lives, to educate our next generation of leaders, and to contribute to the greater good of our city, state, nation, and world.

I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and productive 2012. GO FLAMES!

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Vice President of the University of Illinois
Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago
John Corbally Presidential Professor