Chancellor Remarks To Chicago City Council


Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. Thank you very much for conducting this hearing and for your concern for the future of higher education.

President Kennedy said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

UIC exemplifies the mission that President Kennedy was describing. UIC is Chicago’s premiere public research university, and in its brief history has served as a gateway of opportunity to many students who are the first in their families to attend college. We serve more than 26,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students at UIC. It’s been estimated that one in ten Chicagoans with a college degree is a UIC alumnus.

UIC employs almost 12,000 people (faculty: 2,433; Administrative and Professional: 3,760; support staff: 5,134 = 11,327) and according to Crain’s Chicago Business we are the 15th largest employer in the Chicago region.

“If the Chicago metropolitan region can develop and retain an additional 61,430 four year college graduates, it would be worth $7.2 billion to the region in increased personal income. This is based on moving the entire educational-attainment distribution curve.”
Carol Coletta, CEO for Cities, 2010

We educate and train architects, business executives, engineers, teachers and social workers, to name but a few. We are educating a diverse workforce for a diverse society.

Health Care

We operate the state of Illinois’s major public medical center.

  • Our hospital and clinics serve more than 600,000 patients a year.
  • 40% are on Public Aid
  • 23% receive Medicare
  • UIC hospital provides Charity Care:
    • $12.6 million in 2007
    • $27.4 million 2009 (up 220% from 2007)
    • $35.9 million 2010 projection (up 284% from 2007)

We’re the state’s principal educator of health professionals, including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and nurses.

  • One in six Illinois physicians
  • 44% of the state’s dentists
  • One third of the state’s pharmacists were trained at UIC


We work directly and intimately with the Chicago Public Schools and the Noble Network Charter Schools. The UIC College of Education intentionally prepares early childhood, elementary, secondary, bilingual, and special education teachers; reading teachers and reading specialists; to serve predominantly high poverty African American, and Latino school communities. Annually we are among the top providers of new teachers to CPS.

UIC’s teacher preparation programs require significant time in classrooms.

  • Last year we documented 1222 early field experiences in CPS classrooms
  • 220 semester-long student teaching experiences
  • UIC averaged 135 new CPS teacher hires a year for last 10 years
  • UIC teachers, prepared to teach in underserved CPS schools have an average school retention rate of 75% after 5 years
  • UIC has won 3 Best Practice Awards from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education

UIC College Prep

  • In 2008 UIC College Prep opened in the old Gladstone School, adjacent to the UIC Health Sciences campus.
  • The school is focused on a math and science curriculum, with a special emphasis on the health sciences.
  • It has quickly emerged among the city’s top, non-selective enrollment high schools.
  • The school’s unique and innovative health sciences curriculum was co-developed and is partially taught by volunteer UIC health professionals.
  • The school’s first graduating class will be in 2012.

Great Cities

Through our Great Cities Commitment, hundreds of UIC faculty, students and staff engage with civic, corporate, government, foundation and community partners on more than 1,300 programs aimed at improving the quality of life in urban areas in Illinois and around the world.

Economic Impact

UIC has significant current spending that directly and indirectly boosts the Illinois economy.

  • When you total all 50 wards of the city we have almost 12,500 approved permanent vendors. That’s in Chicago alone.
  • The total direct spending is $1.8 billion.
  • The combined economic impact is $7.3 billion annually.
  • Governments in Illinois gain $550 million in the total present value of future tax revenue from the students who attend UIC.

All of these contributions are vitally important to our city, county and state. And all of this is, in some measure, at risk due to the state’s financial crisis.

At the end of March, the state of Illinois was behind in its payments to the University of Illinois and its campuses by more than $464 million for Fiscal Year 2010. This unprecedented situation follows eight years of cuts or severe restrictions to both our operating and capital budgets.

Of even greater concern to me is Fiscal Year 2011. There is no indication that the state’s financial situation will improve significantly during the next academic year.

Consequently, we’re operating in an atmosphere of great uncertainty. We’re engaged in contingency planning for FY11 that assumes substantial cuts to the budget ľas much as 15 percent. Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating.

As always, our focus will be on protecting and, where possible, strengthening our academic programs. But without adequate resources we will not be able to continue to carry out business as usual.

Nothing matters more to our society than the education of our students. Higher education is the best investment toward a healthy and prosperous future for our city and state. Access to excellence and success are the hallmarks of UIC that we must preserve. As a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, and having recently joined the Civic Consulting Alliance, I am committed to the advancement of this great city for all of our citizens, through access to the highest quality education a public research university can provide.

Thank you for your time and consideration and of course I am happy to answer any questions members of the committee may have.