Campus Message 10.03.17
Dear Members of the UIC Community,
I write to you today to announce that Dr. Mitra Dutta has informed me of her desire to step down as the Vice Chancellor for Research. This will give her the opportunity to create and lead a new Research Collaborative between UIC and the Army Research Laboratories once a new VCR is in place.
Dr. Dutta has served our University with distinction for over 16 years, most recently in her role as the Vice Chancellor for Research since 2012 and as Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 11 years. During her time as the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Dutta’s collaboration with UIUC and UIS has resulted in finally bringing to fruition an electronic research administration system to the University, which will reduce proposal processing burdens on faculty and supporting staff. The recent realignment of the Grants and Contracts Office into OVCR will allow for increased efficiencies in pre- and post-award management. She reengaged the Campus Research Boards and provided seed and bridge funding to our faculty and she reestablished the Research Development Office to help with the development of multidisciplinary projects. She also played a critical role advocating for and supporting the creation of the Postdoctoral Association Office.
Due to her strong promotion of our faculty’s research, UIC is much more visible today to Federal agencies and to the U.S. Congress. Our faculty have been invited and participated on key federal initiatives such as the BRAIN and American Cures Act panels and secured major transformative funding including NSF's INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) and NIH’s Precision Medicine Initiative awards. Private/public initiatives championed by Dr. Dutta include UI LABS and Current, a collaborative aimed at water research and technology that is partially spearheaded by World Business Chicago. In spite of continually increasing federal compliance regulations and flat federal and limited state research funding, UIC has been successful in keeping our research on an upward trend.
I am grateful to Dr. Dutta for leaving the OVCR in a much stronger position from when she took the helm in 2012. I look forward to her continuous leadership during the transition period as we begin a national search to identify her successor. Please join me in thanking Mitra for her contributions and congratulating her for the wonderful opportunity to meld her former career and experience in the U.S. Department of Defense with her recent work at UIC.
Michael D. Amiridis