Chancellor Message to Campus
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
As we welcome the spring season, and begin to count down the days towards our commencement ceremonies, I have news to share.
Bob Easter Appointed University of Illinois President Designate
Bob Easter, former Provost and Interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was appointed President Designate March 23 and will become President July 1. In his 36-year career with the University of Illinois, Bob Easter has been a graduate student, teacher, researcher, department head, dean, and top administrator. I have no doubt that as President, he will steer us on a steady course that fosters our worldwide strengths and our core mission.
Dr. Easter visited UIC March 29. I had the pleasure of escorting him around campus, where he met some of our students, faculty, and staff. I look forward to many more visits as he familiarizes himself with the UIC Flames.
I want to thank President Michael Hogan for his efforts in leading this outstanding university through a period of economic challenges. We wish him and Virginia the best in all their future endeavors.
Further Appointments and Ongoing Searches
New President of the Illinois Medical District Commission (IMD)
Jennifer Woodard, Associate Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, was named to the Illinois Medical District Commission by Governor Pat Quinn. The commission develops and manages the Illinois Medical District in Chicago, a 560-acre area that includes UIC's west campus, Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, plus a number of schools, youth and senior service agencies, public safety agencies and the Chicago Technology Park.
New Dean of Graduate College
Karen Colley, a researcher, educator and administrator in the College of Medicine, is new Dean of the Graduate College. Colley is professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Medicine. Since joining UIC in 1991, she has made students and graduate education a major focus while maintaining an active NIH-funded research program and serving in several administrative roles in her college and across campus.
Vice Chancellor for Research Search
Mitra Dutta, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and former senior executive with the U.S. Army Research Office, is serving as Interim Vice Chancellor. Four finalists are under consideration for the position of Vice Chancellor for Research.
Finalists for the positions of Dean of the College of Business Administration and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are currently visiting the campus. I encourage you to meet the candidates and let us know what you think.
The Brilliant Futures Campaign concluded on March 31 with a total of $675 million in philanthropic commitments. This is an extraordinary accomplishment, and we couldn't have done it without the hard work and dedication of deans, faculty and development staff across the campus. I will share more information about the outcomes of this campaign in a separate communication.
UIC Buildings and Operations
Campus Security News
The UIC Police Department is the first university police force in Illinois to receive full accreditation from the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, a national credentialing authority for municipal, county, and state agencies. The three-year accreditation came after years of preparation by the Department and a lengthy evaluation that included a site visit by inspectors last fall. Congratulations to Chief John Richardson and to the UIC Police Force.
Beautification and Improvement Efforts
UIC moves forward this spring with one of its strategic objectives: making the campus a more beautiful place. Several projects are underway as part of the 2010 UIC Master Plan, from enhancing green spaces and improving building cleanliness, to the renovation of buildings and classrooms.
UIC was recently designated a 2011 USA Tree campus by the Arbor Day Foundation, and 40 new trees were planted by volunteers from the campus community on April 12.
An after-hours immediate care clinic staffed and run by the Emergency Department of the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System recently opened in University Village. The facility treats patients who need non-emergency medical attention for minor injuries, illnesses, and immunizations.
Partnership Between Jesse Brown VA and UIC
UIC and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center near campus are developing an outreach program for students who are veterans, funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as part of the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership Initiative (VITAL) Program. The VITAL project will serve veterans on campuses across the nation and educate university staff about military culture and veterans' mental health needs.
Our Outstanding Faculty
UIC Rises in Research Rankings
UIC's national ranking for total research expenditures rose two places in the latest survey by the National Science Foundation. Based on fiscal year 2010 data, UIC is ranked No. 55 nationally, compared with all other universities, public and private, in total research expenditures.
The NSF also ranks institutions by research expenditures that are federally funded. In that ranking, UIC also moved up two spots — to No. 52 — with more than $232 million in research funding from federal sources. When compared to other public universities, UIC was ranked 37 in 2009, the most recent published ranking.
More than 75 percent of UIC's federal research dollars in 2010 came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with 9 percent from the NSF and 7 percent from the Department of Defense.
- A new study of the use of social media by big city governments reported that more than six times as many city governments reached citizens via Facebook in 2011 compared to 2009. The research by Karen Mossberger, Head of Public Administration, and Associate Professor Yonghong Wu analyzed the online activities of the country's 75 largest cities.
- A research group led by chemistry professor Wonhwa Cho discovered a new role for lipids in regulating cellular protein interactions, which have an important role in the cellular signaling pathways that cause cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory and metabolic diseases.
- Researchers in the College of Pharmacy's Institute for Tuberculosis Research received three new federally-funded grants to discover new treatments for tuberculosis, a still-common infectious disease that was once the leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Timothy Shanahan, director of the Center for Literacy in the College of Education, received a grant from the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services to teach low-income adults how to help their preschool children develop early language and literacy skills.
- Benjamin Van Voorhees, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine, received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to test a "behavioral vaccine model" to prevent common mental disorders such as depression.
Jakob Eriksson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, received a five-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Award to create a traffic model that provides a complete, bird's-eye view of real-time traffic, helping motorists bypass traffic jams.
Engineering researchers Krishna Reddy and Jean Bogner received a $350,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation to test a new material that would contain dangerous leaks of methane in landfills.
Diana Wilkie, Professor and Harriet Werley Endowed Chair in the College of Nursing, was awarded a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to study the effectiveness of multimedia, online education in teaching young people about sickle cell disease prevention.
- Suresh Aggarwal, Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, was named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Jennifer Brier, Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and History, is co-winner of the 2012 Allan Bérubé Prize from the American Historical Association's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. Brier, Acting Director of Gender and Women's Studies, was co-curator of the Chicago History Museum exhibit "Out in Chicago," which traced 150 years of LGBTQ life in Chicago.
Our Outstanding Students
Student Recruitment and Enrollment
- Guaranteed Admissions Transfer: UIC is admitting its second cohort of students to the Guaranteed Admissions Transfer (GAT) program between UIC and the City Colleges of Chicago. The partnership fosters retention and four-year graduation and is consistent with the "Public Agenda," a vision of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).
- President's Award Program: We are seeing positive results to our strategic outreach to Chicago-area high schools for the President's Award Program. Fifty students have already accepted admission to UIC with the program's honors award, along with 185 UIC Scholars.
- African American Recruitment and Enrollment Initiative: This initiative, developed by Academic and Enrollment Services, will improve our outreach to African American students by building on our partnerships with high schools and community organizations. Upcoming activities include brunch for African American faculty and African American students admitted to UIC for next fall, and a meeting with high school principals to identify new areas for partnership.
UIC College Prep: In the school's first graduating class of 155 students, 102 have been admitted to UIC for fall 2012. More than 30 students who are eligible for the President's Award Program were honored at a dinner March 7.
Afternoon Break: Conversation With the Chancellor
About 90 students came out for an informal Q&A session March 28 with student trustee Ken Thomas, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Barbara Henley and myself in Student Center East. The questions were submitted via email or in person, and they ranged from topics like advising and textbook costs to customer service and shuttle buses. Everyone who asked a question was promised an answer, either at the session or later in a follow-up email.
UIC's mock trial team advanced to the American Mock Trial Association's National Championship Tournament after winning the Super-Regional tournament. The team finished 7-1, besting 23 other teams, including Northwestern, Notre Dame and Urbana-Champaign. Forty-eight teams will compete in a four-round tournament for the national championship.
The following students received Goldwater recognitions:
- Wenji Guo was awarded a Goldwater Fellowship and Daniel Wang was recognized as a Goldwater Honorable Mention.
The following students were awarded Fulbright Fellowships:
- Sarah Cole Kammerer, Fulbright to India, professional, public health, SPH
- Edleda James, Schweitzer Fellow, undergraduate, nursing, CON, Honors College
- Susan Klosterman, DAAD Research Grant, graduate, neurobiology, LAS
Other Distinguished Awardees:
- Tomasz Glizewski, Fulbright, undergraduate, marketing, CBA
- Melissa Hibbard, Fulbright, graduate, history, LAS
- Laura Hawbaker, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, linguistics, LAS
- Heather Christie, Fulbright Fellowship to Indonesia, graduate, anthropology, LAS
The following students were awarded Critical Languages Scholarship:
- Hugh Vondracek, Critical Languages Scholarship, undergraduate, political science, LAS, Honors College and
- Marielle Newman, Critical Languages Scholarship, professional, public health, SPH
The following students were awarded National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships:
- Xing Zhang is a current undergraduate in economics and the Honors College and she will be using her NSF at Cornell.
- Heather Christie is a current graduate student in archeology and she will be using her NSF at UIC.
- Pamela Pimental is a UIC graduate currently studying psychology at Florida International University and she will continue her studies there.
- John Goes is a UIC graduate currently studying math at the University of Minnesota and he will continue his studies there.
Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award
The Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Experience gets students involved with faculty research and exploration in sciences, humanities and the arts. The award, available to students with Federal Work Study, pays them to participate in research with faculty mentors. This year we had 109 recipients of the award.
Dia del Niño Family Festival
Parents and children from over 35 Chicago Public schools throughout the city attended the 16th annual Dia del Niño Family Festival at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday, April 14. LARES, Hispanic Center of Excellance, Athletics, and more than 25 cultural organizations offered hands-on activities to participants. Over 4,000 community members were in attendance.
Enough Is Enough — Anti Bullying Rally
The About Face Youth Theatre performed April 3 and led a discussion against violence on college campuses at "Take a Stand Against Bullying." The event, sponsored by the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues and the Wellness Center, was part of the Wellness Center's weeklong "Enough Is Enough" program.
Dr. Rosemarie T. Nassif visited UIC
We welcomed Dr. Rosemarie T. Nassif on April 2, the special advisor to the assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, where she is a senior advisor working on reform, improvement, and innovation in higher education. In the course of her visit she had the opportunity to meet and converse with a group of our students.
Bayard Rustin Conference
UIC hosted a conference honoring pioneering civil rights leader Bayard Rustin March 30 and 31. The conference, organized by UIC's Gender and Sexuality Center, brought together artists, scholars, and community organizers to examine Rustin's legacy and discuss issues of contemporary social justice.
IGPA Pension Forum
A panel of experts from the State Universities Retirement System and the University's Institute of Government and Public Affairs and governmental relations office spoke at a forum March 6, outlining pension changes under consideration in the Illinois General Assembly. "Almost everyone agrees that we have a major problem with pensions in the state, but how do we address this problem?" said Fred Giertz, Professor of Economics at Urbana-Champaign and SURS board member.
The Chancelor's Lecture and Event Series: Scott Page
"Interaction with people who are different from us enriches our lives and enhances our collective potential," said Scott Page, Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science and Economics at the University of Michigan, who delivered the latest in the Chancellor's Lecture Series February 21.
Nobel Peace Laureate Summit
The focus will be on youth when Nobel Peace Prize winners gather in the UIC Forum April 23-25 for the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Five laureates and former heads of state are scheduled to attend: former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica, Frederik Willem de Klerk of South Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, and Lech Walesa of Poland. Nobel Laureates Jody Williams and Stephen Goose, in Chicago for the summit, will speak April 22 at Hull-House Museum on "Reclaiming the Meaning of Peace."
NATO Summit In Chicago
The NATO Summit in Chicago on May 20-21, brings the opportunity for some of our students to meet with NATO leaders, making them part of one of the biggest events of the year in in our city.
Lucas Neff, a 2008 theater grad and star of the Fox-TV sitcom "Raising Hope" presented a workshop for acting students March 9. "Acting isn't about pride and dignity. It's about being willing to be humiliated," he told the students.
Mari Gallagher, a UIC grad who heads the Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group, talked about the fight against urban food deserts at a lecture March 6 for the Hull-House Museum's Re-Thinking Soup lecture-lunch series.
In her first season as head coach of the women's basketball team, Regina Miller took the Flames to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament, where they faced the No. 1 team, Green Bay.
Jasmine Bailey and Shamiea Green, teammates and friends since middle school, each broke the 1,000 career points milestone this season.
For the second straight semester, UIC student athletes compiled a 3.0 grade point average. The collective 3.0 GPA for the fall semester is the second-best mark in school history.
Chancellor's Recent Activities
For my part, I have been keeping quite busy promoting the UIC experience in every venue available. I was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine's Member Awards Committee and the American Council of Education's Commission on Inclusion. In addition, I am a member of the board of the Civic Consulting Alliance and the executive board of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities. I am also a member of the NATO Summit welcome committee chaired by Chicago first lady Amy Rule and the I represent UIC on the host committee for the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which we are honored to host on the UIC campus. I was invited by Cook County Board President Preckwinkle to join the new Cook County Economic Council. I look forward to bringing UIC's experience and contributions to these organizations.
Another happy rite of passage is coming up next month when UIC's 13 colleges, plus the Honors College, LARES, the African American Academic Network, and the Lavender Graduation will celebrate commencement. Each college will hold its own ceremony at the UIC Forum or UIC Pavilion.
UIC 30th Anniversary Celebration
- Sept. 1, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of the day that UIC was officially created by the consolidation of the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and the University of Illinois at the Medical Center. A committee headed by Eric Gislason, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, and Jennifer Woodard, Associate Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, is planning a series of events to commemorate the birth of what is now a great urban university.
- A symposium will be held on September 19th, 2012, to which former Presidents Ikenberry and Stukel have been invited, along with former Chancellor Langenberg, to participate in a panel discussion about the events leading up to and surrounding the merger and the importance of the creation of UIC. We hope to include the other Chancellors, who have all played important roles in the growth and excellence of UIC.
Thank you for allowing me to share some select highlights. It's truly a pleasure to showcase some of the outstanding teaching, research and student accomplishments of our vibrant community. I hope you like our new online format. Please click on the links provided to learn even more about the excellence that is UIC.
John Corbally Presidential Professor