Chancellor Message to Campus

August 2013

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome to the 2013-14 academic-year at UIC.

Whether you are a newcomer or a continuing member of the UIC community, you are an integral part of a vibrant institution of learning. This year, the Times Higher Education's worldwide ranking for universities under 50 years old placed UIC as the 19th best young university in the world and 4th best in the United States. UIC is one of the most diverse communities in the nation, and I am very proud of the work we do to assure that everyone's learning, teaching, and research are unique and inspiring.

As you settle into your routines, I hope you will take advantage of the Fourth Annual Chancellor's Lecture and Event Series. The series, which takes place throughout the academic year, will feature cultural performances, lectures, and presentations on the pertinent issues of our times. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program and a UIC alumna, will be here on Friday, October 11, to share her thoughts and experiences in a lecture titled, "Delivering Food Assistance in a Shrinking Humanitarian Space." International Week at UIC kicks off with a lecture by Sam Pitroda on November 12. Mr. Pitroda, who received an Honorary Degree from UIC in 2010, is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the development of India's Telecommunication industry.

Building upon UIC's Strategic Master Plan for the campus, developed in 2010, a process is currently underway to further accentuate UIC's unique strengths. In a consultative process engaging a wide range of campus constituencies, plans are moving forward to advance our physical facilities, make diversity a central component of all aspects of campus life, and re-imagine an Undergraduate Student Success Plan. Currently, eight Task Forces are studying ways to enhance the first-year experience.

As part of this strategic plan, we begin construction on the first new buildings on campus since the UIC Forum. Construction on the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB) will begin in Spring 2014. The ACTB will house select faculty from chemistry, biology, and physics, to support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research focused on subjects from environmental science to immunology. We expect construction to begin soon on the Curtis Granderson Baseball Stadium, a new ballpark made possible by UIC alumnus and New York Yankee, Curtis Granderson. The goal for this stadium, in addition to providing a top-tier facility for the Flames, will be to partner with the community organizations Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and the Urban Youth Academy. These programs will bring Chicago's young people onto a university campus, with the hope that playing baseball here will spark their interest in completing high school and seeking a college education. These are very exciting developments for UIC.

We are very pleased to welcome our new Dean for the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, composer and conductor Steve Everett. Alfred Tatum has agreed to serve as Interim Dean of the College of Education, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Tatum is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. While a search is underway for a permanent Dean, we are fortunate to have Dr. Tatum fill this important role. Jerry Bauman, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, was appointed by President Easter to also serve as the Interim Vice President for Health Affairs while he continues in his role as Dean. Michael Redding joins UIC from Oregon, as Executive Associate Chancellor of External and Governmental Relations. And we extend a warm welcome to Ed Ewald from the University of Illinois Foundation, who has assumed interim leadership of our Development operation as we continue the search for a permanent Vice Chancellor for Development.

As you can see from this brief and select list of updates, we were very busy this summer preparing for another exceptional year of study, discovery, intellectual excellence, and innovation at Chicago's premier public institution of higher learning.

All of you — our students, faculty, and staff — are singularly and collectively vital to our growth. Working together is how we will continue to advance the excellence of our research and educational missions and to enrich the contributions we make to our city, state, nation, and the world.

My best wishes to all for an excellent year.


Paula Allen-Meares
John Corbally Presidential Professor