Campus Message 12.10.15
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
As the fall semester comes to a close, I write to wish each of you a happy new year and to share some thoughts and reflections from my first nine months serving as Chancellor.
First and foremost, UIC is an extraordinary university – the faculty and staff members are outstanding, the students are inspirational, and I truly believe UIC can become the national model for urban public research universities.
In many respects we reflect the future of public higher education, with our strengths in high quality education, impactful research, transformational community engagement and multicultural and multiethnic diversity. We are proudly recognized as one of the most diverse campuses in the country, but we need to remain vigilant to ensure all students, faculty and staff members feel welcome and supported, contributing to a healthy, vibrant campus life. When areas for improvement are identified, we act, and as such we are actively engaged in a campaign to increase the number of African American students and faculty, currently underrepresented, to create an even richer community that benefits everyone.
Since my arrival at UIC I have met with many of you across campus. These meetings proved invaluable as I listened to your vision and aspirations for the future of UIC. It has been gratifying to hear so many voices share the enthusiasm I have for this institution’s future. To keep this conversation alive and moving forward, this spring I will host monthly “office hours” for students interested in sharing ideas regarding a range of issues. It is important for us to maintain an active open dialogue. It is my hope, that these meetings will provide a forum to creatively assess and strengthen our community.
During these past few months I have put forward key strategic areas that should be the foundation of our continued growth, such as our student experience and success, our national and international reputation based on the impact of our research, our relevance and visibility in Chicago, and the development of a new sustainable operational model. Through these efforts we will become an even stronger magnet for the most creative faculty, staff and students, while increasing our potential partners’ and constituents’ excitement about investing in our future.
Finally, as we observe the challenges facing Chicago, Illinois, the nation, and the entire world, I ask that we all redouble our efforts to protect our core values of academic freedom, respect for the rights of others, and social justice. Only then, can we reach our mission’s potential to serve this city and the world, and I am confident this will be the case as we remain the University of Illinois FOR Chicago. We can set an example for the world!
Happy New Year
Michael D. Amiridis