Chancellor Message 2/26/09

Message to Campus
RE update on activities and accomplishments

Dear Colleagues,

After a very active first month on the job, I am pleased to share another brief update on activities and accomplishments across campus.

Izzet Coskun and Alina Marian, assistant professors of mathematics, statistics and computer science, are among the 118 scholars named 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. Both work in the area of algebraic geometry, a field which connects to almost every area of pure mathematics, particularly number theory. The award, which includes a two-year, $50,000 grant, often is cited as an indicator of future distinction in science, mathematics and economics; 38 Sloan Fellows have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. UIC’s department of mathematics, statistics and computer science currently has 15 faculty members (including one emeritus) who have won Sloan fellowships.

Robert Klie, associate professor of physics, has been awarded a five-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award to further his research on cobalt oxides, a promising class of ceramic materials. The Career award is the National Science Foundation’s highest honor, given to junior faculty members in the sciences and engineering who demonstrate a commitment to research and education.

A new survey by Peter Doran, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and former graduate student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman finds consensus among scientists about the reality of climate change and its likely cause. More than 3,000 earth scientists surveyed around the world overwhelmingly agree that in the past 200-plus years, mean global temperatures have been rising, and that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures. The findings appeared in Eos, the newspaper of earth and space sciences published by American Geophysical Union, and have garnered significant news media attention in this country and overseas.

UIC and Northern Illinois University have entered into an agreement guaranteeing admission for NIU students in the UIC College of Pharmacy, one of the top pharmacy programs in the United States. Beginning in the 2009-10 school year, 10 places will be reserved in the College of Pharmacy for qualifying NIU students, who will be able to choose between pharmacy programs in Chicago or Rockford. As Dean Jerry Bauman notes, this program is an excellent example of cooperation among public universities.

Tanera Marshall, assistant professor of performing arts, has served as dialect coach to Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard among many other distinguished actors of stage and screen. Her work recently was cited in the Chicago Tribune and there’s a longer profile of her in UIC News that I think you’ll find very interesting.

Recently, I met with the Graduate Student Council, and plans are underway for me to meet with other student groups on campus. In my short time at UIC I have become so impressed with our students’ commitment and achievements. For example, five Honors College students won an international competition for a short video illustrating how online open-access publishing can spur innovation. Danaya Panya, Jaymeni Patel, Sebastian Rivera, Uriel Rotstein and Hemanth Sirandas produced “To Infinity and Beyond,” a one-minute video that can be viewed online. The competition is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, an international alliance of academic and research libraries established 11 years ago with assistance from Mary Case, now head of the UIC Library.

I thank Governor Quinn for his commitment to hold the FY09 rescission for universities to the 2.5% set earlier by the state and the IBHE. Meanwhile, I have begun actively working to secure public and private funds to advance our missions of teaching, research and service. At the University of Michigan, I made this effort a priority and I intend to devote energy to obtaining financial support for UIC students and faculty and to address some of our deferred maintenance issues. In order to fulfill our aspirations to become a premier public urban research institution, we will need to engage in value-added entrepreneurial activities.

Thanks to everyone at UIC for their hard work and dedication in support of our students, patients, and many members of our community whom we serve daily.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor