Chancellor Message to Campus

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We are now well into 2013 and the spring academic semester and this, my first communication of the year, is full of news from the last few months about UIC's noteworthy achievements and upcoming events. As you read through this inspiring material, you will feel the same pride in our community that I do every day.

U I C Campus

UIC: Looking Forward

Before I begin sharing select updates, I believe it's worthwhile to restate UIC's vision, as these themes provide the foundation for everything we accomplish.

UIC is one of the nation's premier urban public research universities.

UIC seeks to embody the ideal of a pubic university: to cultivate the highest intellectual ambitions of faculty, students, and staff and, at the same time, to contribute to the making of a more egalitarian society. We will be a resource and destination accessible to all who share our ambitions and have the desire to excel. We seek to be both a leading research university and a great urban institution, taking advantage of the opportunities and needs presented to and by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. We believe that for this commitment to be meaningful in the twenty-first century, it must be both local and global, a commitment not only to Chicago but to all "Great Cities." Whether in the surrounding communities or on the other side of the globe, in our own library or on the worldwide web, in the single-investigator laboratory or at an international research center, we are dedicated to creating, sharing, and applying the knowledge the twenty-first century demands.

A commitment to this mission has motivated the excellence highlighted below.

The UIC DC Connection

I had the pleasure of going to Washington DC on February 6th to meet with the Illinois Congressional delegation to discuss the pertinent topics affecting higher education including affordability, access and capacity, economic growth, immigration, Pell Grants, and work force development. Back in January, as a member of the Executive Board of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU/APLU), I urged that we send a communication to President Obama's administration encouraging him to elevate urban issues as a prominent feature of his second-term policy agenda. If all goes as planned, a small delegation of Presidents and Chancellors will have the opportunity to meet with his administration to discuss more fully the impact and benefits urban research universities provide their home cities. We are also looking forward to hosting the USU/APLU conference this summer on the UIC campus, June 17th-18th.

General University Updates

Pension Update

dollar sign image

January 9, 2013, started a new General Assembly (98th), so we're literally starting over on pension legislation. At the close of the 97th General Assembly, there were major differences between the approaches favored by the House and the Senate. Briefly, the Senate believes that the Illinois Constitution protects pensions from legislative change except if the change provides that individual pension system participants shall choose among a menu of changes; voluntary choice is the essential criterion for constitutional purposes. The House has not taken this approach. The most recent House bill would simply have made major reductions in future benefits, focusing in particular on limiting growth via the cost of living adjustment (COLA). The University of Illinois Office for Government Relations is working tirelessly to advocate for University employees and will keep us updated on future developments.

University Administration Review

Robert Easter
Governor Quinn,
UI President Easter and,
UI Vice President Larry Shook

At the November 2012 meeting of the Board of Trustees, President Easter announced that the University would undertake a thorough evaluation of University Administration (UA) units to make sure the organizational structure and allocation of resources are appropriate and that the business and support services UA provides are tailored to the academic needs of the University as it pursues its core missions of teaching, research, service and public engagement, and economic development.

President Easter also stated that the review should reinforce the understanding that UA units exist primarily to provide support and services to the campuses and their academic units. The review is scheduled to be completed by late spring 2013 with the implementation of approved recommendations beginning in the summer of 2013, including a formal process for the annual review of each unit's budget and performance.


UIC Recognized for Online Education Advances

Campus view

The University of Illinois at Chicago continues to make national news that recognizes our excellence.
UIC was just placed among the top 20 schools in the nation offering an online bachelor's degree, according to U.S. News & World Report. UIC ranks 18th nationally on the magazine's 2013 ranking for online bachelor's degrees, and considering UIC only offers two—the RN to BSN and the Bachelors in Health Informatics – that is quite an accomplishment.

Search Highlights

College Deans

Search Committees are currently accepting applications for Dean of the College of Education and Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts. A search committee for the College of Dentistry is also being charged to begin work on a search for new leadership.

Vice Provost for Diversity and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor

The search for the position of Vice Provost for Diversity and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor is ongoing. Three finalists are currently visiting the campus. We look forward to filling this important position and putting our resources to work on this vital campus-wide diversity position.

Development News

Large Gift to the College of Medicine Campus in Rockford

College of Medicine Rockford

People with disabilities have a fresh source of hope because of a $3 million donation from the C.W.B. Foundation to our regional campus, the College of Medicine at Rockford. The gift supports research into cell and tissue regeneration and is the largest in the Rockford medical college's history. The funds will help create a center that unites renowned physicians, researchers and technologies to produce cutting-edge cell regeneration research to aid people with disabilities. The College will establish two named professorships - the Cedric W. Blazer Professor for cell regeneration research, a senior scientist who will also serve as the director of the research program; and the Michael A. Werckle, MD, Professor, who will partner with the senior scientist to ensure the success of the research program. Additionally, a curriculum and educational program will be developed for students interested in Regenerative Medicine. With this lead gift, the University will have the opportunity to seek additional resources to build the fullest possible program, to enhance and expand this promising field, and to continue to search for life-changing discoveries..

Largest Gift to Athletics from UIC Alumnus, Now a Sports Star

Curtis Granderson and Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares
Curtis Granderson and
Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares

UIC alumnus and New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson has pledged the funding for a new, multi-million dollar baseball stadium on the campus of UIC. The ballpark will be home for UIC Flames Baseball, but more importantly the facility is intended to serve area youth and the broader Chicago community. Partnerships with Major League Baseball, the Chicago Public Schools and various youth organizations will provide community access to a multitude of events at the aptly named Curtis Granderson Stadium.

College of Nursing Receives Gift to Renovate

graphic with dollar sign and stethoscope

The College of Nursing is seeking approval by the Board of Trustees to name specific areas of the College of Nursing building to honor M. Christine Schwartz (Donor), a graduate of the Bachelor of Nursing Science program, for a large gift funded by The T&C Schwartz Family Foundation, that will help with financing the renovation and remodeling of the College. The project includes the removal of non-functioning escalators that will free 2500 square feet and enable a more expansive lobby, renovated bathrooms, new simulation rooms, and seminar rooms for research and student group work on the lower level, first, second and third floors of the College building at 845 South Damen Avenue. The total amount of the gift to the University of Illinois Foundation is $2,212,000.

Research News

Chancellor's Discovery Fund for Multidisciplinary Research

research graphic

A total of $800,000 in seed funding since 2010 for faculty research through the Chancellor's Discovery Fund has yielded a promising crop: more than $3.4 million in outside research awards. The discovery fund grants — up to $40,000 over two years — support multidisciplinary collaborations by faculty in their early careers. At least one principal investigator must be within eight years of a first faculty appointment. The program is designed to foster pilot research that could lead to new extramural awards. The next set of awards will be announced in May 2013 and projects should begin in June.

UIC and Argonne to Partner in National Energy-Storage Project

George W. Crabtree
George W. Crabtree

UIC is a partner in a new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub that will combine the research and development expertise of five Department of Energy national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance. The Hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) and led by Argonne National Laboratory, was selected for an award of up to $120 million over five years, and was announced by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in Chicago, where he was joined by Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

JCESR seeks to design next-generation batteries beyond lithium ion, with a factor of five improvement in performance at one-fifth the cost. These aggressive performance and cost targets will transform the two largest energy sectors, transportation and the grid, providing electric cars with a competitive driving range and storing the variable output of wind and solar electricity generation. The project will be directed by Argonne senior scientist George W. Crabtree, who is also a distinguished professor of physics and electrical and mechanical engineering at UIC.

Study of Bone Strength

The National Institutes of Health awarded Karen Troy, assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition a four-year $1.6 million grant to investigate whether mechanical forces applied to bone can increase bone strength. Studies in animals show changes in bone structure following application of well-defined forces. The problem is how to apply strain to bone in people in ways that will result in growth and strength.

New Research Tools

Mary Jo LaDu
Mary Jo LaDu and Leon Tai

Mary Jo LaDu, associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, contributed to the development of a transgenic mouse that carries a human gene known to increase risk of Alzheimer's 15-fold. This new mouse mimics the genetics of the human disease more closely than any of the dozen existing mouse models and may prove more useful in the development of candidate drugs to prevent or treat the disease. The new mouse model provides new evidence for the earliest cause of Alzheimer's, researchers report in a study to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Our Faculty

NEA Fellowship for UIC Professor

Roger Reeves
Roger Reeves

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a literature fellowship to Roger Reeves, assistant professor of English. He was one of 40 winners from across the country to receive a 2013 NEA creative writing grant for outstanding poets. Professor Reeves will use the $25,000 award to investigate the Rock Springs Massacre, an 1885 racial labor riot in Wyoming, when white miners killed 28 Chinese miners over wages and other issues. He plans to visit Rock Springs for research and writing inspiration while considering its ethnic and regional connections to racial violence of that period.

New Faculty Fellows

I'm delighted to congratulate two newest UIC members to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers for socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Deirdre McCloskey
Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey, distinguished professor of economics and liberal arts and sciences, was cited for her outstanding contributions to world economic history and for provocative scholarship on the practice of economics, extending the field in humanistic and scientific ways.

Meena Rao
Meena Rao

Meena Rao, professor of physiology and biophysics and former U of I vice president for academic affairs, was honored for distinguished contributions to the gastroenterological field, particularly to intestinal epithelial transport, and for leadership in academic affairs and diversity.

National Academy of Education

Roger Weissberg
Roger Weissberg

Roger Weissberg, professor of psychology and education, is one of 12 new members elected to the National Academy of Education for their contributions to educational research and policy development.

Chinese Government Foreign Expert Award

J. Christopher Westland
J. Christopher Westland

J. Christopher Westland, professor of information and decision sciences in the College of Business Administration, received the honorary position of Overseas Chair Professor at Beihang University. The award, funded by the Chinese government, honors top foreign academics who specialize in STEM subjects -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Professor Westland will receive a stipend of up to $160,000 over three years, and a research budget of $700,000 to $900,000.

Westland is developing "affective information" technologies that enable machines to read and convey human emotions. His research focuses on comparing affective data with more traditional survey and interview information.

Pharmacist of the Year

Nicholas Popovich
Nicholas Popovich

Nicholas Popovich, professor and head of pharmacy administration in the College of Pharmacy, was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Illinois Pharmacists Association. The award, initiated in 1950, is the association's oldest continuing honor.

College Faculty meetings with President Easter

Robert Easter
Robert Easter

President Easter and I have scheduled meetings at all the UIC Colleges across the campus, including the Honors College and the Richard J. Daley Library. We have visited several colleges to date and other meetings are scheduled through March. Our hope is to have an informative and intellectual exchange of ideas and to discuss University issues and challenges.

Our Students

Entrepreneurs win at UIC business plan competition

U I C students

A plan to provide an environmentally friendly, water-repellant industrial coating that prevents corrosion and mineral build-up won UIC's eighth annual Concept2Venture Business Plan Competition. The plan for ThirtyFiveK Incorporated, an industrial coating provider, took the $2,500 top prize and the competition's $500 Clean and Green award. The team, made up of three MBA students in UIC's Liautaud Graduate School of Business are Anthony Mammana-Lupo (Director of Finance), Alex Duchak (Director of Strategy and Operations), and Kristen Perhach (President and Director of Marketing).

The 23rd Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Celebration

The PUSH Excel scholarships and winners were recognized at the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship celebration hosted by PUSH Excel. UIC is proud to announce this year's winners. Some of our students received a $1000 award and others won a $2500 award.

Nine of our students were named:

  • Anna Chu -- Liberal Arts & Sciences, Honors College
  • Vivian Delgadillo -- Liberal Arts & Sciences, Honors College
  • Tashay Dennie -- College of Business Administration
  • Kyle Goins -- Architecture and the Arts
  • Edleda James -- College of Nursing, Honors College
  • Mariah Johnson -- College of Business Administration
  • Gabrielle Pulce -- Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Gabriela Reno -- Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Lekui Xiao -- Liberal Arts & Sciences, Honors College

Newest Gilman Scholars Announced

I'm pleased that several UIC students are among more than 1,000 undergraduates awarded Gilman scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $8,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs during the spring academic term. Since 2006, UIC students have received 73 Gilman scholarships totaling more than $300,000. UIC recipients, representing the colleges of Architecture and the Arts, Business Administration, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and their destinations, are:

  • Jonathan Boyden, Chicago, senior in theater performance, Florence, Italy
  • Julian Collins, Joliet, senior in urban and public affairs, Valparaiso, Chile
  • Alexandra Molina, Chicago, sophomore in information and decision sciences, Paris
  • Annayeli Munoz, Elmhurst, junior in French and Francophone studies and psychology, Dakar, Senegal
  • Blessing Obioma, Chicago, sophomore of undeclared major, Cardiff, Wales

Congratulations to all these outstanding students.

Student Life at UIC

The March issue of "Student Life at UIC," an e-publication about The UIC Experience from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, is available online. A variety of student programs and services support the participation of students in The UIC Experience. We encourage our students's involvement on campus and throughout the Chicago metropolitan area to enhance student learning.

Infrastructure Improvements

Richard J. Daley Library wins award

IDEA Commons
IDEA Commons

The American Institute of Architects' Chicago chapter awarded the IDEA Commons two Design Excellence citations of merit. In all, the chapter recognized 45 projects around the world that were designed by Chicago architecture firms. The IDEA Commons was cited in the categories of distinguished building and interior architecture. Juries of renowned architects from around the country selected the winners from a field of more than 250 entries.

UIC commuter student center receives national award

Commuter Center
Commuter Student Resource Center

The resource center for commuter students at UIC received the highest award of excellence from the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASAP). The center was honored with its Gold Excellence Award "for transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services, and effective administration" in the category for off-campus, commuter, and other nontraditional students.

The Commuter Student Resource Center provides a space where commuters can study quietly, socialize in a lounge, or do homework on public computers and printers. It offers a kitchen, locker rooms with showers, and lactation rooms. A full-time staff provides programming and services to help commuters feel better connected to the campus. Located on the second floor of UIC's Student Center East, at 750 South Halsted Street, the center opened in the fall semester of 2010 and now averages more than 3,000 student-visits per week.


Women's Soccer comes to UIC

UIC will introduce women's soccer as a varsity sport, debuting in fall 2014. Men's soccer alumnus Brian Rigby was named head coach of the program, pending Board of Trustees approval. Mr. Rigby will have nearly two years to recruit and formulate a roster before the Flames play their first home game at Flames Field. The initiative is another step in UIC's commitment to provide more opportunities for female athletes. The athletic department added women's golf as a varsity sport in 2010 and the Flames wrapped up their first competitive season last spring.

Our Alumni

New Restaurant Opens

Lotus Cafe

Lotus Café,was opened last year on Maxwell Street by two recent UIC grads. Owners Dao Nguyen and Kim Dao have created a unique menu that features a variety of appetizers, salads, coffee, smoothies, BanhMi and BanhBao sandwiches. They fused traditional Vietnamese food with recipes from a variety of other restaurants.

Women of Concern Leadership Award

UIC College of Urban Planning and Policy alumna Mari Gallagher, MUPP '00 recently received the 2013 Women of Concern Leadership for her groundbreaking work on "food deserts" in urban areas. She was the first to develop metrics that analyze the relationship between food deserts and the health and wellbeing of a community's residents. In addition, she has provided school-age children with free diabetes screening to help identify those having diabetic and pre-diabetic conditions.

Upcoming Events

Chancellor's Lecture and Event Series

I'm very pleased to host the upcoming lectures and events in this series, supported by the Office of the Chancellor, and I hope you will attend.

April Events in the Lecture Series

International Conference
Food, Justice: Interdisciplinary Perspective
Cocary-sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
April 4-6 2013

M. Roy Wilson
M. Roy Wilson

Chancellor's Lecture: Why Health Disparities Matter
M. Roy Wilson, Deputy Director of Strategic Scientific Planning and Program Coordination, National Institutes of Health
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
4:00 -- 5:00 p.m.
Student Center West, MMT Rooms ABC
Light reception to follow

Orbert Davis
Orbert Davis

The Cuban Project
River North Dance Chicago with Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
Co-commissioned by the Auditorium Theatre
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60605
In a momentous collaboration, the Artistic Directors of River North Dance Chicago and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic--Frank Chaves and Orbert Davis -- explore their shared Cuban/Afro-Caribbean roots for a vibrant World Premiere of original live music and dance, bringing the culture's rich history to life in a contemporary way.

Larry Faulkner
Larry Faulkner

Wise and Effective Academic Governance in an Age of Challenge
Larry R. Faulkner, President Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin.
Co-sponsored by the UIC Faculty Senate
April 17, 2013, 4:00 -- 5:00
Student Center West, Michele Thompson Room


We had the pleasure of hosting another campus insights event in January, presented before of the Board of Trustees and many other dignitaries and elected officials in attendance. It was a wonderful showcase of "UIC -- Leading Innovation." I urge you to watch this video and see for yourself the quality of work that is an integral part of our campus life. Just another reason to be very proud of what we do and the impact we make on the world.

Paula Allen-Meares
John Corbally Presidential Professor