Tag: Administration

Chicago Latino Caucus Meets With UIC Leadership

Latino caucus

Chicago City Council Latino caucus members visit UIC: Pictured (l-r): Aldermen Danny Solis, Ariel Reboyras, George Cardenas; UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis; Alderman Rey Lopez; UI Trustee Ric Estrada.

Members of the Chicago City Council Latino Caucus met with University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis, U of I trustees, and other university officials on Oct. 22nd to discuss how Latinos are performing at UIC, Chicago’s largest university, and to explore ways of creating more working partnerships to help the institution do even more for the communities it serves.

Amiridis said UIC could be the gateway for the development of the West Side and nearby communities such as Pilsen, Chinatown, and North Lawndale.

Alderman George Cardenas of the 12th Ward, chair of the Latino caucus, said his members will create a scholarship fund to help Latino students succeed at UIC and other area universities, including those who are undocumented.

With U of I trustees Ricardo Estrada and Ray Cepeda in attendance, Amiridis addressed key issues related to the Latino experience at UIC, including enrollment and graduation rates and faculty recruitment and retention.

From 2000 to 2009, UIC’s Latino graduation rate steadily climbed by 14 percentage points, to 54 percent, Amiridis said, citing the most recent six-year cohort data, a national standard for graduation-rate comparison of colleges.

“The graduation gap is now about 13 percentage points between Latinos and the general student population,” Amiridis said, adding that the University is working to reduce that gap by focusing on the numerous reasons students drop out, with financial issues being among the top causes.

Amiridis said help is needed from Springfield, as UIC has received only about half of its state allocation under this year’s stop-gap budget.

UIC set a new record enrollment this fall with a total of 29,120 students. Latinos in the incoming undergraduate class numbered 1,272, or 38.5 percent of all freshmen.

The overall student body continues to reflect UIC’s commitment to diversity, with a makeup that is 36.2 percent white, 22.6 percent Latino, 18.6 percent Asian, and 8 percent African American.

By Miguel Alba

College of Lake County, UIC Sign Transfer Agreement

College of Lake County and UIC agreement

College of Lake County and UIC officials celebrate the Transfer Admission Guarantee signing. Back row, left to right: Tammy Mireles, CLC; Cecil Curtwright, UIC; Karen Hlavin and Cindy Sullivan, CLC; Robert R. Dixon, UIC. Front row: Dr. Rich Haney, CLC; Kevin M. Browne, UIC.

Students who wish to transfer from the College of Lake County (CLC) to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) can now take advantage of a new guaranteed admission agreement signed by academic officials from the two institutions.

Kevin A. Browne, UIC vice provost for academic and enrollment services, and Dr. Richard Haney, CLC provost, met June 22 to complete the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) agreement at the CLC Grayslake Campus. Also representing UIC were Robert R. Dixon, registrar; and Cecil Curtwright, associate vice provost, academic and enrollment services.

“In the 2014-15 academic year, there were 198 CLC transfer students enrolled at UIC, making it one of our top five public transfer institutions,” Dr. Haney said. “We are excited to increase that number through innovative partnerships like this that not only guarantee admission to our CLC students, but also provides our students with academic guidance and support from both of our institutions in order to assure a smooth transfer process.”

Browne said that the relationship between UIC and CLC began several years ago, but this formal agreement will help students avoid any missteps in the transfer process. “Anything we can do to bring clarity to the process is good,” he said. In the future, the two institutions will work on a reverse transfer agreement that allows credits earned at UIC to be transferred back to CLC so students can apply them toward an associate degree. Another benefit is that the tuition rate CLC students pay upon transferring to UIC will not increase under the university’s Undergraduate Guaranteed Tuition Program, according to Browne.

The UIC undergraduate colleges participating include the Colleges of Architecture, Design and the Arts; Business Administration; Engineering; Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Urban Planning and Public Affairs. The agreement will be in force for three years with annual renewal to allow for improvements to ease of transfer as curriculum is updated.

Carlos Catalan, a 2016 CLC graduate, vice president of the CLC Student Government Association and Student Ambassador, attended the signing event and reflected on its importance to students.

“This agreement will assist students on their path to success by alleviating some of the pressures surrounding the transfer process. It allows students to plan out their academic path earlier than anticipated, which will produce a more seamless transfer process,” Catalan said.

CLC currently has guaranteed admission agreements with American Business School, Paris, France; Arizona State University; DePaul University; Eastern Illinois University; Elmhurst College; Herzing University; North Central College; Northeastern Illinois University; Olivet Nazarene University; Trinity International University; and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering.

To learn more about CLC’s guaranteed admission programs, visit www.clcillinois.edu/guaranteedadmission or call (847) 543-2090.

University of Illinois at Chicago Announces Partnership To Help International Students Succeed

studentsUniversity of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Shorelight Education recently announced the signing of an agreement to create UIC International, an innovative partnership platform that supports the recruitment, preparation, and success of international students. UIC International will launch the International Accelerator Program (IAP), which will operate at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Located in Chicago, Ill., UIC International will broaden educational opportunities for students from across the globe and help the university become a model for international student success and opportunity. The development and implementation of UIC International aligns with the university’s emphasis on diversity and providing students with ethnically and culturally rich learning environment. The IAP will provide students with academic, language, social, and professional development opportunities that together dramatically increase student retention and integrate international students into campus life.

“University of Illinois at Chicago is dedicated to the discovery and distribution of knowledge,” said Michael Amiridis, chancellor of UIC. “Our collaboration with Shorelight through UIC International deepens our investment in the international community and provides new and innovative ways to give students the chance to study, work and grow with classmates who will broaden each other’s perspectives and worldview.”

With a mandate to support student success and retention, UIC International will provide a dedicated team of support staff and enrollment management services, ensuring a smooth transition and integration for students coming to UIC from diverse geographies and academic backgrounds. The program will build upon existing infrastructure within the university to grow international student enrollment by recruiting from more than 100 countries, support international students transition to a U.S. academic environment, and expand UIC’s global brand.

“Shorelight is proud to build a program with University of Illinois at Chicago that will offer international students a transformative experience at a signature U.S. institution in a great American city,” said Tom Dretler, CEO of Shorelight Education. “UIC IAP students will benefit directly from an intimate, community-focused program with highly ranked academics and personalized support that will follow them through their very first days on campus to their successful graduation and beyond.”

University of Illinois at Chicago will welcome its first IAP students in spring 2017.

By Sherri McGinnis González


President Killeen: Crisis Growing After Second Year Without An Illinois State Budget


The General Assembly  adjourned for the second straight year without reaching agreement with the governor on funding to support the University of Illinois system and public higher education across our state. These consecutive failures in Springfield are unprecedented in Illinois history.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders have pledged to continue negotiations, but I am gravely concerned about the implications for our students, our faculty and staff and our campuses if we are forced to weather another protracted period without adequate funding from the state.

This great university system is not in danger of shutting its doors, but a crisis is worsening nonetheless.

We are now 11 months into fiscal 2016 with only stopgap funding that will provide about a quarter of the nearly $650 million in state funding that we received the year before. Now, we face the prospect of a new fiscal year with no state support.

To date, we have weathered the shortfall responsibly through significant cost-saving initiatives, structural reforms and prudent financial management. But we cannot withstand a continued loss of state funding without considerable damage to our core missions – teaching, research, public service and economic development.

All options are on the table as we go forward – layoffs, reductions of academic programs, closure of units and cuts in a health-care enterprise that provides critical care to underserved populations in Chicago. All would damage the very core of our mission to serve students and the public good, and erode a rich, 150-year legacy of academic excellence and economic impact that would be far more costly to rebuild than sustain.

We will continue to do everything in our power to preserve the world-class quality that is synonymous with the University of Illinois, ramping up efforts that have been underway for well over a year to advocate at every turn for the interests of our students, our employees and the people and families of Illinois.

Tim Killeen
University of Illinois

“State of the University of Illinois at Chicago” Address Delivered by Chancellor Michael Amiridis

03/30/2016 Chancellor Michael Amiridis delivering the State of the University of Illinois at Chicago Address Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Chancellor Michael Amiridis delivering the State of the University of Illinois at Chicago Address on March 30th. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Chancellor Michael Amiridis highlighted UIC’s accomplishments, discussed its challenges and outlined his vision for creating a stronger university during his State of the University of Illinois at Chicago address March 30 in front of a crowd of about 600 people at the UIC Forum.

“We have much to be proud of, much to be daunted by, but even more to be excited about,” Amiridis said. “This is a great institution and I’m confident that we are on the road to become the model urban public research university for the 21st century.”

During his first year as UIC chancellor, Amiridis has met with thousands of students, faculty and staff members to hear their suggestions for enhancing the campus.

“After listening to and speaking with so many of you in and around our university, I have no doubt in my mind that collectively we have the foundation needed and the will to build this model university,” he said.

Amiridis emphasized campus accomplishments over the past year, such as recruiting two strong leaders: Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs, and Susan Poser, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“In a very short period of time, both have made their presence known and I’m hearing from you that their impact is already visible,” he said.

Despite the state budget crisis, UIC enrollment continued to climb this year to a record 29,000 students.

“This number speaks volumes of the quality of our undergraduate, graduate and research programs,” he said. “Our recruiting efforts have been improving constantly as we expand beyond Chicago and beyond the state of Illinois.

“We need the diversity of perspective— and let’s be honest we also need the financial support — that out-of-state students bring to our campus and we can attract them to UIC and Chicago without compromising our mission of serving our primary constituency, which is the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.”

Other highlights of the past year include:

  • Establishing the Center for Teaching and Learning, which promotes new pedagogical methods
  • Creating new programs under the direction of the Center for Student Success Initiatives that improve summer session accessibility, reform the first-year math program, create a new block schedule and more
  • Beginning new campus traditions with the inaugural December Commencement ceremony and Flames Homecoming week in the spring
  • Renewing UIC’s partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago and expanding scholarship opportunities
  • Launching UIC ENGAGE, which sends UIC student volunteers to schools and community faith centers on the city’s West Side to provide tutoring and mentoring
  • Establishing stronger partnerships with the City of Chicago

Despite fiscal challenges because of the state budget impasse, the university decided to keep in-state undergraduate tuition flat for the second year in a row, Amiridis said.

“We understand the difficulties faced by many of our students and their families in the current state environment,” he said. “In the spirit of openness and transparency, starting this spring we will engage student and faculty representatives in the budgeting process for the university, so future decisions regarding new revenue streams and fund allocation are clearly understood and supported by our community members.”

The state budget crisis continues to be a challenge for the university, Amiridis said.

“As I have told legislators repeatedly in the past few weeks, we are running out of time and we are now facing the consequences of reputational damage and significant opportunity costs,” he said. “If a compromise is not reached soon, operational damage will follow.

“UIC is in a strong position because of the collective efforts of our students, faculty and staff, but the absence of the state budget allocation is severely limiting our ability to move forward.”

Looking to the future, Amiridis said he plans to implement a broad faculty hiring program, which will include senior faculty hires and improve demographics.

“The budget impasse has not allowed us to move forward with these goals during the past year,” he said. “As soon as our financial situation becomes clear, we will move forward this year with such a hiring program.”

The budget impasse has also created challenges for the campus infrastructure, Amiridis said. The average campus building is 50 years old, and a decline in state funding for the past several years has caused a deferred maintenance backlog of about $800 million, he said. The campus is spending about $30 million each year on renovations and repairs.

“We have no choice but to change the financial options for funding capital facilities,” he said. “This does not mean that we will not continue to lobby vigorously in Springfield. But it also means that we should build what we can with our own funds and we should do everything we can to bring private funds to campus.”

The campus will move ahead with projects to build basic science labs in the College of Medicine, modernize some classrooms, complete the Mile Square building, improve the hospital’s aging infrastructure and construct a modular-designed Engineering lab building, he said.

Public-private partnerships will fund the construction of a new classroom and residence hall building on Halsted Street, as well as a new soccer stadium on South Campus.

Amiridis said he is optimistic about the future.

“We have a new leadership team in place that fully understands the potential of this university to set the standard for higher education in this century,” he said. “Our students are the faces of the future of this country and our highly accomplished faculty and staff are fully dedicated to the students’ success and to creating the knowledge that fuels our economy and our culture. This is a combination that will not only prevail, but will triumph in the end.”

A video of this event can be viewed here.

By: Christy Levy