Tag: Chancellor

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


Graduation Day: Over 6,600 Degrees Awarded at 14 UIC Colleges

05/08/2016 crowd of LAS graduates at commencement Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences graduates at commencement. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

Excitement. Nervousness. Apprehension. Those are just a few of the emotions you may be experiencing as you leave UIC with your diploma in hand and embark on new adventures in your life. One word comes to my mind that may help you assuage those feelings: Prepared.

UIC faculty and staff work hard to provide you with the finest education so you can be successful in whatever career path you take. Our enrollment this year, 29,000, was an all-time high, and that speaks volumes to the quality of our undergraduate, graduate and research programs. You, our students, are the faces of the future of this country. We hope you learned as much from us and we did from you.

While UIC is a large campus, we strive to make it all inclusive. We know you achieved success in the classroom, and we hope you were able to take advantage of some of the many organizations and activities we provide, from our culturally diverse student groups, to events such as LOL@UIC, Spark in the Park or Taste of UIC. We also want our students to give back to the community, so we launched UIC ENGAGE, which sends UIC student volunteers to schools and community faith centers on Chicago’s West Side to provide tutoring and mentoring. We look forward to instituting new programs in the future.

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at UIC, but I felt welcomed the moment I arrived. We want our faculty and students to feel the same way. One new professor who came to UIC last August said he felt at home the minute he stepped on campus. The students, he said, want to be as active as possible, whether it be social or political activism, or through the many diverse courses and clubs. He commented that it is a real exciting time to be a UIC student. And I couldn’t agree more.

We have many new projects on the horizon which will continue to modernize our campus. We are going to build basic science labs in the college of medicine, modernize classrooms across campus, complete the Mile Square building, improve the hospital’s aging infrastructure and construct a modular-designed Engineering lab building. We also intend to move forward with public-private partnerships that will allow us to build a new classroom and residence hall building on Halsted Street, as well as a new soccer stadium on South Campus.

A few years ago you had a difficult decision of where to continue your academic pursuits. Many of you had several schools from which to choose, and we’re happy UIC was at the top of your list. We want you to look back on your time here and have fond memories, and even though you’ll be gone, we want you to stay involved with UIC, especially through the Alumni Association.

Congratulations on your graduation. I am proud to call you UIC alums.

Michael Amiridis

 UIC celebrated the Class of 2016 during its commencement ceremonies May 4-8.  More than 6,600 degrees were awarded at 14 college ceremonies.

Sheryl Underwood, a 1987 UIC graduate, comedian and co-host of CBS’ “The Talk”; Jesús “Chuy” García, UIC alumnus and Cook County Commissioner; John J. Tracy, chief technology officer of The Boeing Company, and other civic and business leaders addressed graduates at various college ceremonies.

UIC Goes Green with Campus Environmental Commitments

Green Campus sustainability

“Today’s announcement officially establishes UIC as a thought leader in sustainability and higher education,” says UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis. — Photo: Jenny Fontaine

Chancellor Michael Amiridis and the UIC Office of Sustainability announced four climate commitments during a ceremony Tuesday that aim to confront the challenges of climate change and sustainability on campus.

“Today’s announcement officially establishes UIC as a thought leader in sustainability and higher education, though we have been engaged in the sustainability movement for years,” Amiridis said.

Last summer, Amiridis tasked the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy with creating climate commitment action items.

The committee, led by UIC registrar Rob Dixon and physics professor George Crabtree, developed four major goals:

  • Carbon neutral campus: reduce carbon emissions
  • Zero waste campus: reduce, reuse and recycle to divert 90 percent of waste now sent to landfills
  • Net zero water campus: increase water efficiency to use no more water than the amount that falls within UIC’s boundaries
  • Biodiverse campus: create a resilient campus landscape that supports plants and animals to increase biodiversity on campus

“I’m glad that the committee set the bar high,” Amiridis said. “If you set the bar high, then we will work to met these commitments.”

The Climate Commitment document, available online at sustainability.uic.edu, includes aspirational goals and short-term action items that the campus can implement to meet the commitments.

“UIC is a wonderful place where these kinds of aspirations can be reached,” Dixon said.

UIC is at the forefront of “a movement that will lay the foundation for a much healthier campus, for a much healthier city and eventually for a much healthier planet for the future,” Amiridis said.

The goals enhance the 2009 UIC Climate Action plan, which pledges to reduce the university’s carbon emissions 40 percent below 2004 levels by 2030, and 80 percent below 2004 levels by 2050.

UIC has been a leader of the sustainability movement in higher education since becoming an inaugural signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007. UIC was among the first of a group of universities to sign Second Nature’s newly Climate Commitment expanded action plan in 2015, which includes taking steps toward helping the Chicago region become more resilient to a changing climate.

Cindy Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability, noted that the announcement ceremony itself followed the commitments. Only natural light from the windows in the East Terrace of Student Center East provided lighting, refreshments were locally sourced, composting was available and reusable servicewear was provided.

“Everything that we need for our survival and wellbeing depends directly or indirectly on our environment,” she said. “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to sustainability. With these climate commitments, we are taking on a role in working toward the solution.”

The Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy is also addressing teaching and learning opportunities in sustainability, Klein-Banai said.

“We are missing a key opportunity if we are not educating our students in the area of climate change,” she said.

By Christy Levy 

“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