Chancellor Message 8/26/10

Message to Campus
RE Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning Update

Dear UIC Students, Faculty and Staff,

We are pleased to be able to provide you with an update of diversity strategic thinking and planning and to express our continued commitment to the development of a Diversity Strategic Plan for UIC.

The campus DSTP Committee has nearly completed the first phase — Diversity Strategic Thinking (DST) — and has released a draft campus DST document entitled “Through the Lens of Diversity.” This document articulates our aspirations for diversity, the challenges and opportunities we face as a campus, and has been instrumental in shaping the diversity strategic planning initiated this summer. The comments received from campus during town hall meetings in the spring and directly from individuals and groups have been of great value as Through the Lens of Diversity is refined and polished for final publication this fall.

The campus DSTP Committee is several months into the second phase: Diversity Strategic Planning. Through the planning process, we will define our diversity priorities and develop actions that will position diversity as fundamental to all of our university activities. Parallel planning processes will be initiated in the Colleges and Vice Chancellor units this fall, guided by diversity goals at the campus level. We expect that a draft of our campus plan will be released for comment in January 2011.

As we proceed with planning, it is important for us to acknowledge UIC’s financial hardships and to recognize the challenge this places upon all of our activities. UIC remains committed to diversity and to providing a world-class education. Our current budget situation is causing UIC to undergo a rigorous process of self-examination. Diversity is an important element as we undergo this self-examination. The DSTP Committee intends to develop a plan with actions that are feasible in the current economic climate, while also positioning us to act when our financial conditions improve. In the short term there is much that we will do to achieve an improved diversity climate, and to build a mutual understanding of our core values and the cultural changes that will help make UIC more inclusive. Our immediate vision is to build upon existing programs; reset priorities; and explore the prospects for new approaches to curricula, program collaborations, and training to enhance the benefit we gain from diversity. Through regular assessment and evaluation of our efforts, we will insure that diversity becomes a fundamental value of all of our activities.

We are confident that the Diversity Strategic Plan will insure that the excellence of our research and educational programs and our service to the community is enriched by the diversity of the people engaged. Thank you for your support for this important campus initiative and for partnering with us in this planning effort by offering your individual commitment to achieving true diversity here at UIC.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor

R. Michael Tanner
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs