Michael Amiridis took office as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago in March 2015.
Since arriving at Chicago's largest university, Amiridis has focused on leveraging UIC's strengths to elevate, enhance and sustain the institution by focusing on student experience and success; engaging Chicago and its communities; enhancing UIC's national and international impact and visibility; and operating in new ways to become a more entrepreneurial university.
Under his guidance, the development and implementation of strategies to boost student enrollment has produced a four-year pattern of record campus enrollment, which surpassed 33,300 students in fall 2019, while also maintaining UIC's status as one of the nation's most diverse campuses.
In October 2017, Amiridis launched the university's five-year fundraising campaign, "IGNITE: The Campaign for UIC," to raise $750 million for wide-ranging campus initiatives such as student scholarships, new endowed faculty positions, state-of-art technologies for teaching and research, and capital infrastructure projects.
Amiridis helped further UIC’s mission and commitment to public education, scholarship, research and community service with the 2019 establishment of UIC John Marshall Law School, Chicago’s first and only public law school.
His 10-year plan to bolster the physical development of UIC is underway with the recent openings of a new Engineering Innovation Building and a $100 million Academic and Residential Complex, which is part of a public-private partnership.
The $43 million, 57,500-square-foot engineering facility is home to Chicagoland’s only high-bay structural research laboratory, which enables engineers and industry professionals to develop and test large and heavy infrastructural components.
The state-of-the-art living and learning complex is made up of a 54,000-square-foot, two-story academic building as well as a 146,000-square-foot, 10-story residence hall. In addition, the building houses 16,000 square feet of shared spaces, including study and social lounges on each floor, a fitness center, laundry facility, 10th-floor sky lounge, and retail area that is home to a student-managed Starbucks.
These and future projects will support scholarship and research, address projected enrollment growth, and improve the student experience.
Amiridis has initiated ongoing engagement with community, civic, corporate and elected officials to discuss how UIC's strengths and resources are beneficial to Chicago and the state.
To enhance UIC’s strategic priorities related to cutting-edge research, he has established a new campus unit focused on the technology commercialization and entrepreneurship activities that are part of the innovation operations across campus. In April 2019, UIC announced a $65 million partnership with Deerfield Management to form West Loop Innovations, LLC, which will help accelerate the commercialization of therapeutics developed at UIC and is a key development for the new University of Illinois System-led Discovery Partners Institute.
UIC's standing as a leader of the sustainability movement in higher education was further enhanced when Amiridis announced four climate commitments that address the challenges of climate change and sustainability on campus.
He serves on the boards of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Congress.
Prior to arriving at UIC, Amiridis established a proven record of building academic and research excellence as a professor, researcher and senior administrator at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.
He served from 2009 to 2015 as the university's executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, where he oversaw all academic functions on the flagship campus and at four, two-year regional campuses. He also shared responsibility for coordinating all budget and capital planning functions.
Before being named provost, Amiridis was dean of South Carolina's College of Engineering and Computing from 2006 to 2009, and chair of the department of chemical engineering from 2002 to 2006. He joined the Columbia campus as a professor of chemical engineering in 1994.
His research interests focus on the synthesis and catalytic characterization of bimetallic nanoparticles with controlled composition and architecture. His work has resulted in 107 peer-reviewed journal publications. He has received more than $15 million in research funding as a principal investigator and more than $9 million as a co-investigator.
He earned the National Science Foundation's award for early-career scientists and engineers in 1999, the University of South Carolina's research achievement award in 2005, and the university's Golden Key Award for Integration of Undergraduate Teaching and Research in 2000.
Amiridis has also received awards for teaching excellence at South Carolina and as a graduate instructor at Wisconsin. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012.
He is also a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Engineering Education and the North American Catalysis Society.
Earlier in his career, Amiridis was a research engineer for three years at W.R. Grace and Co., an international manufacturer of specialty chemicals and materials, and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
A native of Greece and a U.S. citizen, Amiridis earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 1985, and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1991.
He and his wife, Ero Aggelopoulou-Amiridis, have two children, Aspasia and Dimitri.