Chancellor Message 12/1/10

Message to Campus
RE Activities and Events at UIC Fall 2010

Dear Faculty and Staff,

It’s my pleasure to share select activities and events at UIC since the beginning of the Fall 2010 semester. I’m delighted to begin this communication with the good news that after months of negotiations, we were notified on November 10 that the tentative agreements reached with three bargaining units of the SEIU 73, representing clerical, technical, service, and maintenance employees, were ratified by the union. In more good news, all the items proposed by UIC, including the appointment of Jerry Bauman as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and our campus master plan, were approved by the Board of Trustees at their November 18 meeting at UIC. Finally, I’m delighted to report to you that Chairman Kennedy has agreed to serve on the Board of the Chicago Community Trust (CCT) as the UIC representative. UIC now joins Northwestern and the University of Chicago with our first member on the CCT Board.

Select Chancellor’s Activities

In the time since my last communication with you, I have had the pleasure of participating in some noteworthy UIC events. On September 8, I attended a celebration for the joint program between the UIC Department of Anthropology and the Field Museum. On September 14, I welcomed guests at the reception for the Honors College Student Leadership. On September 21, we hosted the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies for its regional conference, which focused our attention on diabetes and obesity. On October 4, I attended the book signing by Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, as part of the UIC Latino Heritage Month celebration.

On October 5, I attended the IBHE Presidents and Chancellors meeting held on the Oakton Community College campus. On October 6, we honored our UIC faculty at the Faculty Awards Reception. October 15, I joined the UIAA for its annual Alumni V Awards Dinner. On October 17, I had the pleasure to host tea for Mrs. Virginia Hogan and introduce her to our community. On October 20 I attended, as a member, the first meeting of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity. On October 20, UIC hosted the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Carl Sandburg Literary Dinner honoring Toni Morrison with Oprah Winfrey at the UIC Forum. On October 26, we hosted the first lecture in the Chancellor’s Lecture and Events Series, featuring Professor George Crabtree, who spoke about the Sustainable Energy Challenge. That same evening, UIC hosted a reception to welcome President Hogan formally to our community. October 27, I participated in a celebration at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, spearheaded by Dean Creasie Hairston, in honor of Professor Aida Giachello’s retirement from UIC. On October 28, I attended the UIC Senate meeting with President Hogan, where he presented and responded to questions specific to the reorganization being undertaken by University of Illinois Administration. We have met often with the Senate Executive Committee, Senate Chair Philip Patston, and the Deans to discuss the reorganization and what it means for UIC.

Then on November 3, I joined the celebration of our outstanding employees at the Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony. That same day I attended Coach Moore’s first game, an exhibition between UIS and UIC.

On November 5, I was joined by Vice Chancellor Barbara Henley in a meeting with the UIC Student Leadership. And on November 29, President Hogan hosted a UIC Student Leadership Forum, at which our students raised many thoughtful questions ranging from the reduction in GRF to how they could be helpful in advocating for more state funding.

I was delighted to attend, participate, and support these and many other events in the past few months.

In addition to these activities I continue to hold regular discussions with the Chancellor’s Status Committees, as well as regular meetings with the Deans and Vice Chancellors. At the request of President Hogan, I made several trips to the Urbana campus to discuss diversity, the future of the academic medical center and health sciences, fundraising, and administrative reorganization. And I continue my work as a member of the Sarnat Committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM/NAS) and the Civic Consulting Alliance chaired by Trustee Strobel.

Globalization News at UIC

Around the world we have institutional ties that support faculty and student exchanges and internships, research collaboratives, and cross-national curriculum development. UIC has established international collaborations with 109 institutions of higher education and research centers in 43 countries on every continent. The UIC strategic plan calls for us to “foster scholarship and practices that reflect and respond to the increasing diversity of the U.S. in a rapidly globalizing world.”

  • One example of our global engagement is the recent agreement we concluded with Dalian University, China, that supports the exchange of engineering students in a research project that connects faculty and students of UIC and Northwestern University with counterparts in China, South Korea, and India. This year, UIC joins Dalian’s newest collaborations with Penn State and our sister campus in Urbana. UIC was one stop on a visit that included signing agreements at MIT and Stanford.
  • On October 11, UIC concluded an agreement with the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica to support scientific collaboration in the exploration of plant diversity in the region. Together we are compiling a medicinal inventory of plants of the lowlands and forests. In particular, anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer plants will be targeted and tested.
  • We initiated the Chancellor’s UIC Global Leadership Initiative, a pilot program that will be evaluated as it takes root. Our vision is to enhance our undergraduate students’ educational experience by creating learning communities and educational opportunities that allow them to gradually assume more independence in relation to their growing self-identified world interests in leadership and global health issues. For information on this initiative or to join the pilot program please e-mail Our collaborations, our location and connections in a city as important as Chicago and its sister cities, and our history of commitment to a global agenda through such activities as the Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum and the Great Cities Institute, put us at the forefront in preparing students to assume global leadership roles.

Research News

UIC continues to impact the nation in important ways through the many and various national grants and awards the campus receives to study and solve issues of national concern.

Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Joe G. N. Garcia, gave a sterling account of UIC’s vision and plans to grow our research enterprise at the recent APLU meeting held in Texas. I’m proud to share a few of our prominent and current research grants:

  • UIC received a $12.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the predictors of smoking patterns from adolescence through young adulthood. The grant builds on previous research conducted at UIC to better understand why some young people try cigarettes and quit, while others become regular smokers. Robin Mermelstein, Professor of Psychology and Director of UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy, is the principal investigator.
  • UIC was awarded more than $12 million by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to investigate both the acquired and familial causes of heart failure with the aim of identifying markers for diagnosis and targets for cures. The five years of new funding supports an ongoing program-project grant, led by R. John Solaro, to look into one of the leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization in the western world. Dr. Solaro is Distinguished University Professor and Head of Physiology and Biophysics.
  • UIC Mile Square Health Center received a $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build a new facility in the Illinois Medical District, improving access to primary care. The new 46,000-square-foot facility will replace the current aging structure. The increased capacity will make it possible for Mile Square to be a medical home for twice as many families throughout the Chicago and the suburbs, offering convenient care with same-day and drop-in appointments.
  • The UIC College of Medicine, in collaboration with Cook County Jail and the Illinois state prison system, is studying ways to identify, test, and treat inmates with HIV and provide case management after their release to maintain effective treatment. This local and state collaboration is supported by a $7 million grant from the NIH.
  • UIC was awarded almost $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Serving Institutions grant program for the next five years. The AANAPI Students’ Educational Engagement Initiative aims to improve UIC’s ability to recruit, retain, and graduate AANAPI students by enhancing academic experiences, connecting students to communities, and building and strengthening student support. Kevin Kumashiro, Professor of Asian American Studies, is the PI.
  • A consortium of Chicago institutions coordinated by UIC is one of 11 new centers nationwide designated by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support and advance research on patient outcomes and clinical effectiveness. The consortium includes the University of Chicago, Northwestern, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Pharmacy Benefits Management Group, and Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
  • The College of Nursing received a $1.9 million federal grant to open a new midwifery clinic on the near northwest side of Chicago to provide care to medically underserved women and women who have physical disabilities. The new clinic, expected to open in January, will be located in the Logan Square, West Town or Humboldt Park neighborhood.
  • The College of Nursing received a new $1.5 million federal grant that will allow nurse practitioner students to complete their studies in a more time-efficient manner. Beginning in 2011, four students enrolled in UIC’s nurse practitioner program will receive $20,000 grants to offset the cost of their tuition. The students are registered nurses working toward an advanced degree.

Select Faculty Honors

  • Klaus Muller-Bergh, Professor Emeritus of Hispanic and Italian Studies, received one of Spain’s highest honors in recognition of his devotion to promoting Spanish and Latin American culture. He was honored with the Order of Isabella the Catholic, which is conferred by Juan Carlos I, king of Spain.
  • John Baldwin, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, was awarded the Association for Symbolic Logic Shoenfield Prize for expository writing for his book “Categoricity” (American Mathematical Society University Lecture Series, 2009). The Shoenfield prize is given every three years for an outstanding book published in the nine years preceding the award.
  • Juan Carlos Campuzano, Professor of Physics, received the 2011 Oliver E. Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics, one of the oldest and most prestigious annual awards presented by the American Physical Society.
  • Michael Scott, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s second “Frontiers of Engineering Education” symposium December 13-16 in Irvine, California. Professor Scott is one of 53 participants nominated by his peers, chosen from a highly competitive pool the Academy calls among “the nation’s most innovative young engineering educators.” The symposium will focus on ways to ensure that students learn engineering fundamentals, the expanding knowledge base of new technology, and the skills needed to be effective engineers or researchers.
  • Terri E. Weaver, our new Dean of the College of Nursing, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Nursing. This outstanding news recognizes Dr. Weaver’s prominence in the nursing profession and is a source of great pride for UIC and the College of Nursing.

This list in no way constitutes the entire breadth of our many distinguished campus scholars but simply serves to highlight some members of our community.

Student News

  • The UIC chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars was named a Gold STAR chapter. Only 81 of 260 NSCS chapters nationwide earned this prestigious honor.
  • Mario Martinez, a medical student from our Peoria campus, was one of 14 Americans recognized with the Jefferson Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize for public service.” He received the award for his “extraordinary contributions to and selfless work within the community.”
  • We’re very excited to provide a new type of space. Student Center East room 315 was converted into a reflection room with soft seating, floor lamps, a small fountain, and wall art. Basic rules will establish that the space is for quiet contemplation, and not for eating, study, or conversation. Trustee Carlos Tortolero and Vice Chancellor Barbara Henley joined us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The space is open to all students, faculty and staff.

Select Campus Anniversaries

  • On October 1, the UIC Institute for Juvenile Research held a symposium on campus celebrating more than 100 years of providing mental health services to children. This includes training mental health professionals, offering clinical care to mentally ill children, conducting research, and developing local and national policy.
  • On November 13, the UIC College of Medicine regional campus at Peoria celebrated 40 years of teaching and service. In the two years that I’ve been Chancellor, I have come to see our regional campuses as integral to the very core of our mission of teaching and service. The Peoria campus has grown from a state mandate to address rural health needs in 1970, to the respected research institution it is today. From humble beginnings, which included 18 medical student graduates in 1973, to the ribbon-cutting Cancer Center groundbreaking ceremony I attended August 16 with UI President Michael Hogan and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the Peoria campus has made amazing strides.
    • Peoria graduates approximately 50 medical students every year.
    • Many of these new doctors stay in central Illinois to continue their practice, serving the needs of local communities.
    • The clinics serve over 22,000 clients a year.
    • More than 40 percent of area physicians have graduated from the College of Medicine Peoria campus or one of its co-sponsored residency programs.

Recent Events

The Chicago Community Trust

This year the Chicago Community Trust turned 95 and as part of this milestone it has been developing a new, forward-looking strategic plan. CEO Terry Mazani honored UIC by inviting us to preview their ideas. We were delighted to participate on October 28 and share in his enthusiasm. The Chicago Community Trust remains a vital partner to UIC and our mission.


On November 5, UIC and the University of Illinois Foundation welcomed alumni, friends, students, faculty, and staff to campus to “UIF Day at UIC: UIC in 3D.” This was an opportunity to thank our donors for their ongoing generosity and to highlight UIC’s extraordinary accomplishments. President Hogan and UIF President Sid Micek joined us as we applauded ten dynamic students who delivered presentations based on five campaign priorities: Discovery and Knowledge, Scholarship, Great Cities, Healthy Societies, and Student Experience.

The day included a dinner program that highlighted the impact private giving has at UIC, featuring specific acknowledgement of:

  • Illinois Tool Works (ITW) for its $1.17 million gift to renovate multiple labs
  • Fruman Jacobsen, ’70 LAS, and his wife, Marian, for establishing and maintaining an LAS scholarship fund in his parents’ names
  • A $20 million gift from the estate of Dr. Raymond Nestor Sweeney, ’68 COM. This transformational gift will allow the College of Medicine to build professorships, provide student scholarships, and fund high-need programs in Medicine.

We were delighted to applaud alumnus Bill Merchantz, ’79 CBA, who accepted this year’s William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. Thanks to our alumni and friends, private giving to UIC is stronger than ever. As of September 30, 2010, we have raised more than $520 million toward the $650 million goal for our capital campaign. Please visit regularly this month as we update it with donor video stories, event photos, and Brilliant Futures Campaign news.

Alumni News

UIC held its annual Alumni V Award Ceremony on October 15. President Hogan joined the campus to welcome back and honor some of our outstanding alumni including:

  • Mary R. Ingram, MS ’81 NURS, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service, Family Nurse Practitioner, Indian Health Service. For more than 24 years, Mary Ingram has provided health care services to Native Americans living in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on the border of North and South Dakota, the Ogala Sioux Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and an urban Indian Health Service hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota.
  • William Hawes, ’68 ENG, MS ’69 ENG, President, Hawes Engineers, Inc. A 32-year veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, William Hawes is an active supporter of UIC and the College of Engineering. He has served as a student adviser and mentor, participating in the EAA Career Prep Day for several years, as well as a guest lecturer in the Engineering for Success program. His other significant contributions relate to preserving UIC’s rich history. Hawes donated to UIC archives a portion of the ribbon that was cut on the day the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle opened in 1965.
  • Alaa Al Aswany, MS ’85 DENT, Author, dentist. Dr. Al Aswany is one of the biggest selling Arabic novelists in the world. His 2002 book The Yacoubian Building, which depicts the political, religious, and social ills of modern Egypt, has been translated into 27 languages. His most recent novel, Chicago, is based on his experiences while living in the city and studying at UIC.
  • The CME Group was given the UIC Corporate Partner Award in recognition of the longstanding partnership that continues to pay dividends for alumni, students and faculty alike. A major employer of UIC alumni from the Colleges of Business, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences, the CME Group played a key role in establishing the University’s International Center for Futures and Derivatives, which provides students, faculty and researchers an unparalleled access to financial instruments and global financial markets.

Upcoming Events and News

The Annual SEE Benefit

The Supporting Excellence Endowment was established by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to provide scholarships for outstanding students who demonstrate strong leadership. Through these scholarships, exceptional students will be able to attend UIC. This year’s benefit, held December 3, features Erykah Badu.

Brookings Institution Global Metro Summit 2010: Delivering the Next Economy

On December 8, Brookings will hold a summit on campus. The day-long program will articulate a vision for a post-recession economy that is export-oriented, low carbon, innovation-fueled, opportunity rich, and ultimately led by metropolitan areas. The day promises to be dynamic. The summit will feature new economic trends analysis and research by Brookings, the London School of Economics, and the Alfred Herrhausen Society, as well as presentations on successful economic transformation strategies by representatives of some of the most innovative metropolitan regions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Leading mayors in the U.S., including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, will join economists and CEOs for a discussion about our new economic, environmental, and demographic reality, and the important role public/private partnership will play in advancing growth models in the U.S. and abroad. It is an honor to hold this significant discussion on our campus. I want to thank Dean Michael Pagano and Associate Chancellor Clark Hulse for their efforts in bringing this prestigious event to UIC.

The Chancellor’s Lecture and Event Series

The second lecture in the Chancellor’s Lecture and Event series will take place on February 10, 2011, in the Illinois Room at Student Center East. Our speaker will be Robert F. Rich, Director, Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, and his topic will be: 2011 Illinois Report. Illinois is faced with a variety of difficult issues from employment opportunities and the economy, to education and politics. The Institute of Government and Public Affairs is set to release the fifth edition of the Illinois Report in February.

UIC Strategic Planning

This coming spring, Lon Kaufman, Vice Provost for Planning and Programs, will be sharing the next steps in terms of UIC’s Strategic Planning process.

I want to encourage you to see extended stories about events I’ve described briefly here, photos, videos and various past presentations and letters I’ve written over the course of my work at UIC to date.

With warmest regards and deep appreciation for your support and commitment to UIC,


Paula Allen-Meares
John Corbally Presidential Professor