University of Chicago news, releases, statements, impacts

Brought to you by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its website,

University and Community home. University Projects Updates. South Campus Plan. U of C and Schools. Tracking Trends I and II. Development home. Community News/Announcements. From the April 2009 Outreach Forum.
Be sure to see page on historic deal MOU between city and UC for projects, jobs streamlining
And on Planned Development 43.

New Vice President for Civic Engagement: Derek Douglas of the White House. (this may not stay up long.) Another:

Mr. Douglas engaged in a lengthy and cordial conversation on directions of the University and Civic Engagement, with the HPKCC Board of Directors September 2012.

.Derek Douglas to join University as Vice President for Civic Engagement
October 24, 2011
.Derek Douglas, who serves as President Obama’s senior advisor on urban policy, will join the University of Chicago as its next Vice President for Civic Engagement, beginning in January.

Since 2009, Douglas has served as a Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, directing the Domestic Policy Council’s urban policy. In that role, he has been one of the chief architects of the White House’s agenda to strengthen the nation’s cities and metropolitan areas. A Yale-trained attorney, Douglas also has served important roles in the New York State governor’s office, the Center for American Progress and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

At the University, he will lead the institution’s continuing efforts to act in partnership with its city, region and the nation. In recent years, through initiatives such as the Urban Education Institute, the University has sought to engage issues of importance in ways that promise to enhance the quality of life for residents and enrich the work of University faculty and students through research, education and direct engagement.

“We have taken important steps to expand the University’s civic partnerships and create a broader intellectual and cultural engagement with the City of Chicago, as a model for understanding the potential for the relationship between a great urban research university and the city within which it is situated,” University President Robert J. Zimmer said. “Derek’s expertise, energy and vision will help us develop this potential, while expanding our ambitions for this work.”

At the White House, Douglas worked closely with senior leadership and cabinet secretaries to coordinate the work of 16 federal agencies on issues of importance to the nation’s cities and metropolitan areas, as well as partnering with mayors and governors across the nation. He spearheaded initiatives such as the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and helped develop national policy on issues related to economic and community development, affordable housing, transportation, K-12 education, urban health, public safety, entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships and more.

Much of his work has taken place at the intersection of the public, private and philanthropic sectors. Douglas believes public-private partnerships are key to the future of cities and said a major university has a special role in that sphere.

“The renowned intellectual resources of the University of Chicago — together with its commitment to issues such as urban education, urban health, youth violence, and economic and community development — put it in a unique position to provide innovative leadership for its host community. As a major anchor institution, it also has a singular role in catalyzing economic growth and opportunity, as we have seen in projects such as the Harper Court redevelopment,” Douglas said.

“I am excited to join President Zimmer and his entire team to build upon the strong foundation of work already underway,” Douglas said. “I’ve spent my entire career working passionately on these issues. This is a tremendous opportunity and an honor for me.”

Douglas will oversee the Office of Civic Engagement, created in 2008 to bring under one umbrella community affairs, and local and state government relations while expanding the University’s intellectual and cultural engagement with the City.

He will work with University leadership on initiatives such as the efforts underway to catalyze retail development on 53rd Street and other key areas, overseeing the University’s many economic development partnerships.

Working with the faculty and local officials, he will help facilitate research connections between the University and the City and surrounding region. He will continue to build the University’s relationships with South Side communities and organizations. And he will work with faculty members and University officials to promote and project efforts already underway that bring analysis and application together on matters of broad interest to the community.

In recent years, the University has launched major initiatives that deepen its involvement with Chicago, in particular Hyde Park and neighboring communities. The Urban Education Institute brings together the University-operated charter school campuses, teacher training programs, and groundbreaking research in order to improve educational outcomes for students in Chicago and beyond. The University’s Medical Center is working in partnership with South Side health clinics, hospitals and physicians to strengthen the health care resources available to community members.

Faculty members in the School of Social Service Administration are collaborating with city officials to better understand and reduce youth gun violence. The University also announced this fall the creation of an “arts incubator,” located in the Washington Park community, which will bring together University and community artists.

The University has worked closely with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and its four local aldermen to align and promote development efforts on the City’s South Side. Those talks resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in September, that promises increased investment and a focus on economic opportunity for local residents.

Last month, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development cited the University’s participation when it awarded a $30.5 million Choice Neighborhoods grant for the redevelopment of the Grove Parc housing development. HUD also cited several other University initiatives in Woodlawn among their reasons for choosing Grove Parc from a national pool of 64 applicants.

The Office of Civic Engagement also has promoted dialogue among scholars, City leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and more, through its Future of the City symposiums and smaller community forums.

“I have had the great fortune to tour much of the country over the last two and a half years and hear the concerns and ideas of people throughout our cities and metropolitan areas. I look forward to diving deeper into that conversation at the University and with a wide variety of Chicagoans,” Douglas said.

Douglas earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, and a JD from Yale University. He was a law clerk for Judge Timothy Lewis at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit before joining the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, where he litigated issues concerning educational equity, school choice and affirmative action.

He joined the Washington office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he worked with a number of government officials on issues ranging from legislative strategy to nomination hearings. From there he went to the Center for American Progress as Associate Director for Economic Policy and Director of the Economic Mobility Program. He then was appointed director of the Washington office of the Governor of New York, where, among other duties, he worked closely with the chancellor of the State University of New York on priorities in higher education.

Douglas grew up in southwest Michigan, about 90 miles from Chicago. His wife, Ellen Douglas, grew up in the City, with roots in Hyde Park and on the North Side. They will be moving to Chicago with their two young daughters.

According to the October 25 Maroon, Douglas' area of concentration is urban affairs, which also fits his former position with the NAACP. The University is rapidly expanding initiatives and collaborations in the neighborhods surrounding Hyde Park and Kenwood- south, west, and north as well as taking a heavy redevelopment role in HPK including Harper Court/53rd. Indeed, he said he is mandated to improve these various initiatives, the affordable housing program along Cottage Grove now known as Grove Parc. He said the 53rd-Harper is the kind of redevelopment needed and taht "one of the key strategies is to bring more opportunity, leveraging existing resources, to bring in revitalizaiton to communities in need." "..We have taken important steps to expand the university's civic partnerships and create a broader intellectual and cultural engagement with the city of Chicago, as a model for u nderstasnding the potential forthe relationship between a great urban university and the city within which it is situated." "I have had the great fortune to tour much of the contry over the last wo and a half years and hear the concerns and ideas of peopel throughout our cities an metrolitian areas. I look forward to diving deeper into that converation at the university and with a wide variety of Chicagoans." "The renowned intellectual resources of the University of Chicago - together with its commitment to isues such as uran eduction, uran health, youth violence adn economic and community development-- put it in a unique position to provide innnovative leadership for tist host community. As a major anchor institution, it also has a singular role in catalyzing economic growth and opportunity, as we have seen in projects such as the Harper Court redevelopment."


The University announced in September 2011 one of its largest gifts, from the Bucksbaum family $42m to create the Bucksbaum Institute for Excellence in Medicine, under direction of Dr. Mark Siegler. Some will go to support medical students, some to support their mentoring and research faculty (up to 8) so they will not only develop best practices with dealing with patients (including communication and bedside) but carry it to the hospitals and schools where they serve.

Several institutions of a policitical-business/economics think tanks have joined or been set up at the University since 2008. In early 2012 political operative David Axelrod set up the Univerity of Chicago Institute of Politics. Slightly before, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson set up an institute to to study China and other international economies and their environmenal policies. In turn this ties into several grants and programs to link law, social policy, and economics-- in turn tied to the Becker-Friedman Institute and another in statistics. Some of these have acquired their own structures.

U of C President Robert Zimmer announced on April 18 2011 that Ann Marie Lipinski has left the position of Vice President for Civic Engagement to head the Nieman Journalism Foundation at Harvard. No replacement or interim has been announced for this position that is pivotal for planning and action in Hyde Park. Ms. Lipinski brought a very different approach and level of authority that that predecessor Hank Webber.

Arts in Public Life, Washington Park Arts Incubator major initiatives.

October 8 2010 Sonya Malunda, Assoc. VP for Civic Engagement, wrote in the Herald the U. of C. will remain a good neighbor.

The Sept. 24 editorial in the Hyde Park Herald ("U. of C. must make neighborly gesture") makes an important point about the University of Chicago being "open to input from the community."

The fact is, we are.

The University of Chicago continues to emphasize communication -- talking and listening -- with city and community leaders to address common concerns, including education, housing, employment, the lack of retail and entertainment choices and enhanced safety and security.

We participate regularly in neighborhood TIF meetings, as well as all aspects of the city-mandated community process for real estate development, including Harper Court/Harper Theater and Doctors Hospital. We do not believe such projects can be successful without active community engagement.

I write as a university employee, as one who has lived and worked on the South Side for more than 20 years. My husband and I chose to raise our family here because we share with neighbors the vision of a more vibrant and safe community.

University representatives -- including myself -- are always available to meet with members of the community. We are fully committed to developing projects in Hyde Park and neighboring communities that are shaped by public input and that create long-lasting benefits for our neighbors.

Washington Park, a neighborhood that has not enjoyed the same type of development as other areas of the South Side, stands to benefit greatly from a partnership that includes the university, the city, the alderman, community leaders and private developers. It is our hope that our investments will be a catalyst for positive change and economic development.

Finally, we applaud your stance on the 39th precinct petition drive. this type of regressive action would do long-term harm, sending a destructive message to anyone who might invest in Hyde Park or surrounding communities.


President Zimmer announces $300 million gift to what will now be called the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

To: Members of the University Community

From: Robert J. Zimmer, President

Date: November 6, 2008

Re: $300 million gift to the University of Chicago

I am very pleased to announce a remarkable gift of $300 million to the University of Chicago for the benefit of the Graduate School of Business by University Trustee and alumnus David G. Booth, MBA '71, his wife Suzanne Booth, and their children, Erin and Chandler Booth. This is the largest donation in the University's history and the largest gift ever in support of any business school. In recognition of the Booth family's extraordinary generosity, the Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to name the school the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

This gift from the Booth family is a resounding endorsement of the University's commitment to groundbreaking theory and rigorous examination of empirical data, which captivated Mr. Booth as a student and guided his career. In making the gift, he noted that his successful investment firm, Dimensional Fund Advisers, was built on principles he learned at the University and particularly from Professor Eugene Fama.

Dean Edward Snyder indicates that the school will use the gift to support several new initiatives, including aggressively attracting and retaining outstanding faculty. Other uses being considered include developing new faculty groups in academic areas not normally associated with business schools, expanding existing research centers, and launching ambitious programs to better leverage the school's intellectual capital, including programs that extend its international presence.

Mr. Booth founded Dimensional Fund Advisers in 1981 with classmate Rex Sinquefield, MBA '72. His deep commitment to the University of Chicago has been long-standing, including his service on the University Board of Trustees from 2002 to the present, and on the GSB Council from 1999 to the present. He earlier gave the University $10 million to help fund construction of the Charles M. Harper Center.

Mr. Booth's success and his decision to make such a significant investment in the University is a testament to the power of the ideas developed by University of Chicago faculty, students, and alumni. I want to express my appreciation to the Booth family for their profound commitment to the ideals of the University and their unparalleled generosity, which will ensure that the University of Chicago Booth School of Business remains one of the leading schools in the world.

Marlon Lynch, Dir. of Safety and Transp-Pkg, to assume directorship of UC Police, Rudy Nimocks to head office of Community Partnerships

From: Ann Marie Lipinski, Vice President for Civic Engagement
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 12:24 PM
To: Faculty, Staff and Students
Subject: Rudy Nimocks Appointed Director of Community Partnerships

TO: Faculty, Staff, and Students
FROM: Ann Marie Lipinski, Vice President for Civic Engagement

I am pleased to announce that Rudy Nimocks, after 20 distinguished years
as chief of the University of Chicago Police Department, is appointed
Director of Community Partnerships, a role to which he brings
considerable experience, natural skill, and a deep knowledge of the city.

Marlon Lynch will assume the duties of chief of police as part of his
responsibilities as Associate Vice President for Safety and Security.

In his two decades as the University's police chief, Rudy has overseen
significant growth in the University's investment in safety and
security, including the expansion of the policing boundaries and of the
UCPD staff. Under his leadership, these measures resulted in dramatic
reductions in crime for both the University community and its neighbors.

President Zimmer notes that his value to the University goes far beyond
those numbers.

"Rudy has been, and I am happy to say will continue to be, not only a
wonderful leader for the University and the community, but a person of
the highest integrity, personal values, and extraordinary commitment,"
President Zimmer said. "I greatly value his work, admire him as a
person, and I am proud that he is a member of the University community."

Rudy's law enforcement career spans more than a half century, beginning
with his first assignment in 1956 at the Chicago Park District police
station house that is now the DuSable Museum. He later joined the
Chicago Police Department and served in virtually every role, including
detective, sergeant, lieutenant, homicide commander, and deputy
superintendent. That expertise, coupled with his deep roots in
neighboring Woodlawn, his home since 1952, made Rudy an ideal candidate
to lead the police force when he joined the University in 1989.

Rudy's success as chief is in no small measure a result of his passion
for community work and his vast network of relationships throughout the
city and South Side. In his new role, Rudy will focus full time on
working with the large and diverse collection of community organizations
and leaders-established and emerging-whose efforts are key to urban
health and vibrancy.

"This is an exciting role for me because these are exciting times for
this part of the city and for the University," Rudy said. "The
possibility of the Olympics, the potential for redevelopment, the
opportunities for improving schools and more is something I want to be a
part of."

Marlon, a Chicago native and president of the International Association
of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, oversees the police,
transportation, and parking operations. Before coming to the University
in February, he served in a similar capacity at Vanderbilt University.

"It's an honor to be associated with Rudy and his legacy at UCPD and
within the neighboring communities," Marlon said. "His work ethic has
been tireless and I know it will be in his new capacity. I'm looking
forward to our ongoing collaboration with the Chicago Police Department
and to continuing our professionalism and technology implementation in
safety and security. Our community is a vibrant place to live and work
and we will be diligent in our duty to help make it safer."

Please join me in congratulating Rudy on his new role. Top

From Press Release: January 12, 2010
Landmark University Study Points to Five Essential Supports for School Reform. Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago.

Leaders looking for ways to improve learning in urban schools can depend on Five key factors which, when working together, have proven to boost student achievement, according to a landmark study that led to a new book, Organizing Schools for Improvement, Lessons from Chicago.

The results emerged from a study of 390 Chicago public elementary schools over a seven-year period following the implementation of a 1988 law that increased decision-making at the local school level.

The authors of the study, current and former researchers with the Consortium on Chicago School Research, part of the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago, said those five essential supports are school leadership, parent and community ties, professional capacity of the faculty, a student-centered learning climate and a coherent instructional plan. They were effective in a wide variety of schools, including especially troubled ones. By looking closely at the social context in which schools are embedded, the book provides new insight into why schools in communities with high rates of crime and poverty struggle with improving student outcomes.

These findings are helpful as states vie for billions in federal “Race to the Top” funds designed to spur school reform. They are drawn from the kinds of robust data that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has encouraged states to use in developing their reform plans.

The authors suggest that when looking for ways to improve learning in urban schools, leaders should resist the temptation to look for “silver bullets” and think instead about “baking a cake.” Just as several ingredients are needed in the right proportions to bake a cake, so too are several ingredients - the “five essential supports” - required to boost student achievement.

The research team will present their findings to educators on Thursday, Jan. 14 at a symposium at the University’s Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive.

The study team found some improvements since Chicago decentralized its public school system in 1988. More than 80 percent of the system’s elementary schools showed at least some gains in mathematics, and close to 70 percent gained in reading. More importantly, schools that were strong in all five essential supports were at least 10 times more likely to show substantial improvement in reading and mathematics than schools that were strong in only one or two of the essential supports. Follow-up studies conducted from 1997 to 2005 validated the findings of the first round of research.

The book, published by the University of Chicago Press, was written by Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and founding senior director of CCSR; Penny Bender Sebring and Elaine Allensworth, interim co-executive directors at CCSR; Stuart Luppescu, chief psychometrician at CCSR; and John Q. Easton, Director of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education, and former executive director of CCSR.

For nearly 20 years, CCSR has built a massive, one-of-a-kind longitudinal data archive on Chicago public schools, and that archive made the research possible. The CCSR team visited schools, interviewed principals and did extensive surveys of principals, teachers and students to get behind what was leading some schools to progress and others to remain stagnant.

In addition to measuring local demographic characteristics, CCSR investigated community characteristics like community cohesiveness and crime rates to uncover reasons for success or failure. In taking this approach, which looks at neighborhood effects and the influence of parents, the book draws heavily on the work of other scholars currently or formerly at the University of Chicago. Sociologist William Julius Wilson, now at Harvard University, did seminal work on poverty at the University of Chicago and coined the expression “the truly disadvantaged” in a book by the same name. James Colemen contributed definitive thinking on the role of social capital in schools to show the value of parents working with teachers to improve learning. Sociologist Robert Sampson, now at Harvard, and Steven Raudenbush, the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Sociology and chair of the University of Chicago's Committee on Education, studied the dynamics of Chicago neighborhood interactions to identify differences in dealing with crime and other issues.

In assessing student performance, the team devised a “value-added” approach. Rather than simply looking at the percentage of students in each class who met or failed to meet state standards, the team looked at the progress of each student.

The authors also identified 46 very low-performing schools, serving more than 40,000 students, which they labeled “truly disadvantaged schools.” Even in a school district where disadvantage is the norm, these schools stood apart, serving neighborhoods characterized by extreme poverty and extreme racial segregation. On average, 70 percent of residents living in these neighborhoods had incomes below the poverty line. The schools had virtually no racial integration.

But demographics tell just part of the story. Moving beyond an analysis of racial and economic descriptors, the authors examined these communities against other social indicators. They found the communities of truly disadvantaged schools had the highest crime rates and the highest percentages of children who were abused, neglected or living in foster care. Residents of these communities were the most likely to live in public housing and the least likely to attend church regularly or believe they could bring about positive change in their community.

A small number of these schools improved in reading and math, primarily because they were strong in the essential supports. But nearly half of them proved nearly impervious to systemic reform and had a lack of progress that contrasted sharply with many other schools. These schools were seven times more likely than racially integrated schools, for instance, to stagnate in math and two times more likely to stagnate in reading.


From the University of Chicago News site:

City of Chicago and University announce developer for Harper Court

January 14, 2010

The City of Chicago and the University of Chicago on Thursday announced that Vermilion Development has been selected to redevelop the Harper Court retail complex in Hyde Park.

Vermilion, which has extensive experience in mixed–use developments, was recommended by a joint committee comprised of Department of Community Development planning staff and staff at the University of Chicago.

Vermilion was selected from among 12 development firms who responded to a Request for Qualifications that described the development opportunity and requirements for submitting a proposal for the 128,000–square–foot site.

“This creates an exciting opportunity to redevelop this portion of 53rd Street by creating commercial and retail space that complements the surrounding community,” acting DCD Commissioner Chris Raguso said. “The proposed development will complement and enhance other nearby revitalization efforts, helping to ensure Hyde Park’s future economic viability.”

“As a result of thoughtful and creative input from Hyde Park residents and business owners, we have an excellent development proposal that will serve both the neighborhood and the many visitors to Hyde Park from throughout the city and beyond,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, Vice President for Civic Engagement at the University. “The commitment to Hyde Park’s vitality by both the city and the university is very strong, and this project is a powerful demonstration of that commitment.”

“I am grateful to my staff, DCD personnel and University of Chicago staff for their hard work over the last year on this project,” said 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle. “The development team which was chosen will transform commercial development in Hyde Park.”

The project is a partnership between the City, which owns an adjacent parking lot on South Lake Park Avenue just east of Harper, and the University, which owns the current retail properties.

Vermilion’s proposal calls for redeveloping the 40–year–old shopping center located at 5211 S. Harper Ave. by demolishing the existing center and replacing it with a mixed–use development.

The proposed $200 million development will be built in three phases that may include a mix of unique dining, entertainment, retail and office uses.

The City and the University will enter into negotiations with Vermilion and prepare a redevelopment agreement for approval by the City Council at a later date.

President Zimmer's strategic update April 2010

University UpdateTo: University Community
From: Robert J. Zimmer
Date: April 15, 2010
Re: University Update

I am writing to update you on a number of significant developments across the University. As always, our guiding principles must be to support the work of our faculty and students, now and in the future, as well as to preserve and enhance the distinctive culture of inquiry in which this work takes place, a culture that has defined the University since its inception.

As I wrote in the fall, the discipline shown by the entire University community in response to the international financial crisis has enabled the University to make significant targeted investments in support of our scholarly community, and to plan for more in the coming years. This remains the case today. I will provide an update on some such initiatives below, although my discussion will be far from exhaustive.

At the same time, we continue to monitor carefully the University’s financial position, as well as the uncertainty created by the economy.
In spite of a significant rebound in the equity markets, our endowment remains $1 billion less than at the close of the academic year in summer 2008, and philanthropy remains more challenging as well. We will continue to seek ways to improve efficiency and reduce non-essential expenses. Nevertheless, if we continue to be disciplined as a community, we will maintain our ability to be active in enhancing many aspects of academic work.

Academic leadership
This year has been one of transition in our academic leadership. Two deans began their tenure during this year: Colm O'Muircheartaigh in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, and Michael Schill in the Law School. The provost and I have announced the appointments of Margaret Mitchell as dean of the Divinity School, and Neil Guterman as dean of the School of Social Service Administration. Both will begin their terms July 1. Additionally, we have two searches ongoing for new deans to lead Chicago Booth and the Biological Sciences Division. Everett Vokes, serving as interim dean of the BSD and CEO of the Medical Center since October, has reorganized its leadership structure to increase the role of faculty leadership within the Division and the Medical Center, particularly with the appointment of Professor Conrad Gilliam as BSD Dean of Research and Graduate Education and Professor Jeff Matthews as BSD Dean for Clinical Affairs.

Programmatic developments
This year we have begun our first systematic faculty expansion in over forty years. This is taking multiple forms in the schools and divisions, involving both junior and senior faculty, including the intent to appoint new University Professors. This effort is being organized by the provost and the deans with some of these new positions being in response to competitively evaluated proposals from throughout the University.
Expanding the faculty, the core of the University, will be an ongoing, multi-year effort.

In response to the increasing interest of both faculty and students in international research and education opportunities and collaborations, we have a number of projects underway.

In September 2010, we will open the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, creating a permanent base for University of Chicago scholarship in China and supporting our faculty and students who wish to conduct research, pursue educational opportunities, and build collaborations with Chinese institutions and individuals. In addition to serving as home to the College’s Civilization Abroad program and relevant University language programs, the Center will span the University’s disciplines, with programming in three broad areas: business, economics, and policy; science, medicine, and public health; and culture, society, and the arts. Professor Dali Yang, who chaired the faculty committee that helped determine the nature of the University’s presence in China, has been appointed as the Center’s first faculty director. He will work closely with a faculty committee from across the University, appointed by the provost, to lead and foster the programs and institutional collaborations.

With the opening of the Beijing Center imminent, an ad-hoc faculty committee, chaired by Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty, submitted a report recommending the creation of a University facility in India, which would expand the scope of scholarship and education related to India and South Asia as well as our connections to South Asian scholars and students.

Following a similar process that led to the creation of the Beijing Center, the ad-hoc committee’s report will be vetted by various faculty bodies throughout spring quarter.

On February 23, the Council of the University Senate unanimously approved the establishment of an Institute for Molecular Engineering with faculty appointive powers. The proposal for the Institute was developed by a faculty committee led by Professor Steve Sibener, and was driven by the intellectual opportunities created by the breakdown of the boundary between science and engineering at a molecular level. Thus, the Institute is conceived as advancing the University’s tradition of interdisciplinary scientific research.
The University is working to secure the necessary funding for the Institute, and has begun a search for a director who will play an essential role in shaping the specific scientific directions of the Institute. That search will be aided by a generous $10 million gift from the Pritzker family to endow the directorship.

Over the past few years, we have undertaken a number of efforts to improve the financial aid and other support available for our students at all levels. We remained fully committed to these programs during the financial crisis and will be so in the future. The Odyssey scholarship program, established with an anonymous $100 million gift, has been particularly important for students from families with the greatest financial need. In the face of a challenging environment for philanthropy, combined with the need to increase financial aid, we have had a special fundraising focus on student financial aid, both for undergraduate students and graduate students. Beyond the original gift, we have raised more than $35 million for the Odyssey program to date.

These efforts and the ongoing work by Dean John Boyer and the College Admissions Office to communicate the educational opportunities available to students have led to the largest and most diverse applicant pool in the University’s history. As applications grew by 42 percent, the academic preparation of the students admitted for Fall 2010 is stronger than ever.
Applications also have increased across our graduate and professional programs, and we continue to expand our investments in graduate and professional student aid and teaching support. There are other issues related to graduate student success that require attention. The Provost’s Office is working with deans and departments on a number of efforts intended to support our graduate students in achieving their educational goals.
Investment in facilities

We will soon see the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library taking shape above ground at the corner of 57th and Ellis. The building is on schedule to open in the spring of 2011. Use of library research materials remains essential for scholarship in many fields, and the Mansueto Library will further advance the University as a leading location for research.

Groundbreaking for the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts is scheduled for May 12. The Logan Center is an affirmation of our commitment to the arts and will be characterized by interaction of multiple arts disciplines. This physical manifestation of our commitment to the arts is in parallel to the faculty work on new programmatic initiatives on Arts and the Disciplines, a process being led by Professor and Deputy Provost Larry Norman.

The New Hospital Pavilion is proceeding slightly ahead of schedule and is expected to receive its first patients in early 2013. The NHP is essential for our ability to provide the highest level of care for complex disease. It also will provide new opportunities for educating students and residents, and will strengthen the linkages between research and patient care.

A new science building, the William Eckhardt Research Center, supported by a $20 million gift from Bill Eckhardt, will be built on the current site of the Research Institutes at 57th and Ellis. This building will house astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, and theoretical high energy physics, as well as the new Institute for Molecular Engineering.

Architects are well advanced in work with faculty on design, and construction will begin with the demolition of the current Research Institutes building beginning in 2011.

Plans for long-needed renovation of the Laboratory Schools facilities are moving forward. As part of that planning, a new early childhood education facility on Stony Island Avenue is being explored for pre-kindergarten and early elementary programs. The University has convened a series of meetings with neighbors and community members to evaluate the proposed plans.

The University in the community
The Urban Education Institute demonstrates how the University both contributes its academic expertise to advance our city, and benefits from direct engagement in the community. The Institute – which runs four charter schools with students from grades pre-K to 12, conducts research through the Consortium on Chicago School Research, and provides an innovative urban teacher preparation program – is supported by a dedicated group of private donors, foundations, and the federal government. The high school will graduate its first class in June. The Consortium’s approach to research and close partnership with the Chicago Public Schools are being emulated in a growing number of cities across the country.

The groundwork laid through programs like UEI and through the work of the faculty in the Committee on Education has led to other fruitful partnerships. For example, members of the faculty, including Professor Charles Payne, are working in support of the Woodlawn Children’s Promise Zone application, a project led by Bishop Arthur Brazier. The program is an effort by the Woodlawn community to secure federal funding for a cradle-to-college comprehensive education system in the entire Woodlawn neighborhood, modeled on the success of such an effort in Harlem in New York City.

Faculty, staff, students, and community members have long been vocal advocates for more retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, and housing choices. Despite the extremely difficult environment for commercial development due to the financial crisis, the University and the City are negotiating together with a developer for work on the combined property of Harper Court (owned by the University) and the adjacent City-owned parking lot at 53rd Street and Lake Park. We will keep you informed of our ongoing efforts.

Looking to the future
The University community today – faculty, students, trustees, staff, alumni, and friends – are the collective stewards of the extraordinary legacy and promise of the University. While the times are challenging, they remain filled with opportunities. The Board of Trustees has the specific responsibility to work with the president and senior administration on programmatic, facilities, and financial investments for the long-term health of the University. We are fortunate to have a Board of Trustees that is ambitious for the University’s future, committed to its distinctive values, and confident in the strength of our community. It is this ambition, commitment, and confidence that is enabling us to proceed vigorously even in these challenging times. I look forward to the continued collective work of the entire University community in support of the enduring values of the University of Chicago.


News Office Homepage- May 5, 2010

University to mark next chapter in arts practice, scholarship with Logan Arts Center groundbreaking events

A wide-ranging lineup of arts celebrations will accompany the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts on May 12, highlighting the University of Chicago’s distinctive approaches to arts theory and practice.

The festivities planned for the day and evening include a Faculty Roundtable discussion on the arts at UChicago and three campus venues that will showcase current student and faculty works. These activities will lead up to the evening’s formal groundbreaking ceremony for the Logan Arts Center, which will be held at 6 p.m. May 12, at the center’s future site on the Midway Plaisance at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue.

Come to the Logan Arts Center Groundbreaking! RSVP here.Through music, video and spoken word, the formal groundbreaking ceremony will highlight the impact that the Logan Arts Center will have on arts activities and collaborations on campus, and in the broader community.

“The extraordinary resources that the Logan Arts Center will make available to our students and faculty will support new forms of artistic practice, teaching and scholarship, and allow artists to continue to push the boundaries of creativity, while furthering our engagement with residents of the South Side and the City of Chicago,” says Larry Norman, Deputy Provost for the Arts.

But before President Robert J. Zimmer and Board Chairman Andrew Alper lead the commemoration of a new chapter in creative pursuits, University artists will perform around campus, and scholars will discuss a broad slice of the University’s arts scholarship. The celebration also is the centerpiece of 60 Days of UChicago Art, a set of arts programs this spring that have been coordinated with the Logan Arts Center groundbreaking.

David Levin, Associate Professor of Germanic Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, and Theater and Performance Studies, will moderate a Faculty Roundtable discussion on May 12 about the University’s tradition of exploring the arts through theory and practice. A conversation among Thomas Christensen, Professor in Music and the College, Jennifer Wild, Assistant Professor in Cinema and Media Studies and the College, and Laura Letinsky, Professor in Visual Arts and Cinema and Media Studies and the College, will highlight the work of Chicago faculty and the impact the Logan Arts Center will have on the interactions between scholarship and creative work and performance, exhibition, and public programming. The Faculty Roundtable will be held at 4:45 p.m. in the Reynolds Club’s third-floor Francis X. Kinahan Theater.

From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., UChicago artists will share some of the imaginative products of their artistic pursuits at three campus locations.

Midway Studios will exhibit the works of visual artists, and screen documentary films made by students in Cinema and Media Studies. A display of historical images of Midway Studios will complement an unveiling of benches that were created from building materials salvaged from the recent Midway Studios renovation project.

On the north side of campus, the Smart Museum of Art will feature its current gallery exhibitions, including “The Darker Side of Light,” as well as Music Department artists who will perform chamber music, and students and faculty members who will read original works from their creative writing projects.

Members of University Theater, Theater and Performance Studies, Ransom Notes, Golosa, Soul Umoja, Off-Off Campus, the Dean’s Men, University Ballet, Men in Drag, Voices In Your Head, PhiNix Dance Crew, UC Dancers, and Fire Escape Films—all of whom add to the creativity of the annual student-run Festival of the Arts held each spring—will share theater, choral, dance and film performances, in the Reynolds Club.

“The performances surrounding the Logan Arts Center groundbreaking provide a wonderful opportunity for the University community, and members of our broader community, to experience the creativity and talent of our students and faculty,” says William Michel, Executive Director of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

“The ceremony itself will point to Chicago’s history, its present and its future as a vibrant place to express the diverse disciplines within the arts. We also want to formally thank the Logan family and all of the contributors who have made the art center possible,” says Michel. “We hope the entire University community will join us to celebrate their generosity and the future of the arts at Chicago.”

The University’s Jazz X-tet will close the ceremony as guests are invited to a reception. Several evening performances will provide other options to experience UChicago arts, including the final dress rehearsal of Court Theater’s production of “Sizwe Bansi is Dead;” a Motet Choir concert in the Great Hall at Midway Studios; and an open rehearsal of the University Symphony Orchestra in Mandel Hall.

More information about the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts and the groundbreaking ceremony may be obtained at:

By Laurie Davis

Sonya Malunda is now Senior Associate Vice President

July 1, 2011 from David A. Green, Executive Vice President

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Sonya Malunda has been appointed Senior Associate Vice President for Community Engagement, effective July 1. This promotion reflects the important role Sonya plays in supporting the University's community and civic engagement initiatives across the south side of Chicago and with our partners across the City of Chicago. Since she joined the University in 1998, Sonya has been instrumental in strengthening the University's relationships with community leaders and civic organizations. She has worked closely with faculty and students on initiatives in public education, workforce and economic development, community-based research and affordable housing. She helped guide the redevelopment of the Midway Plaisance, the development of our Business Diversity program and the implementation of our Employer-Assisted Housing Program. We are fortunate to benefit from her leadership in this expanded role.

I am also grateful that Sonya will be working closely with President Zimmer and me as she coordinates and oversees the work of the Office for Civic Engagement until a Vice President for Civic Engagement is named. A national search is underway, and we will be seeing candidates later this summer. We welcome recommendations you have about possible candidates for the position.

Please join me in congratulating Sonya and wishing her well in this important work.

David A. Greene
Executive Vice President
University of Chicago
5801 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
773.702.1377 (p)
773.702.0809 (f)

UC announces Arts in Public Life Initiative and Washington Park Arts Incubator of U of C announced September 2011. Theaster Gates first director

We are excited to share with you news of the launch of the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Initiative, with Theaster Gates appointed as its inaugural director. A major component of the Initiative will be the creation of the Washington Park Arts Incubator. We invite you to read the official announcement: .

This initiative is a vital component of our plans to expand the role of the arts on campus by strengthening our relationship with cultural and civic partners in the city and especially on Chicago's south side. We look forward to collaborating with and learning from all of you as we expand our role in the Chicago arts community through this and other initiatives.

The Arts and Public Life Initiative will complement the arts-based community engagement already happening on campus. Existing programs at Court Theatre, the Smart Museum of Art, the Oriental Institute, and Theater and Performance Studies, among others, offer superb models and opportunities for continued partnership in community outreach and arts education. The Arts and Public Life Initiative will also increase interactions between the University of Chicago and artists and organizations across the city.

As Director of Arts and Public Life, Theaster will work to achieve the initiative’s primary goals: advancing artistic ambition through a program of artist residencies, amplifying cultural assets by promoting interactions between artists and cultural institutions on the South Side and the University’s faculty and students, and inspiring creativity in youth through apprenticeship programs and enhanced K-12 arts education efforts. The Washington Park Arts Incubator will play a central role in the success of the endeavor.

Theaster, who is also an accomplished practicing artist, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the project. He will work closely with University colleagues, our Aldermen, and other community partners to ensure a high level of artistic, scholarly, and community engagement happens in Washington Park, on campus, and elsewhere in the city. In addition, Theaster will continue as Resident Artist and Lecturer at the University.

Please join us in congratulating Theaster on his new role as the inaugural Director of Arts and Public Life. Expect more exciting news on this front in the coming months.

Finally, we thank all of you for your continued support of the arts at the University of Chicago. We are fortunate to be part of Chicago's rich arts community. This announcement follows the news of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry and precedes the 2012 opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, all initiatives that support the distinctive culture of arts practice and scholarship at the University of Chicago.


Larry Norman

Deputy Provost for the Arts

Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College

Mary J. Harvey

Associate Provost for Program Development

Related although not a UC press release:
U. of C. opening arts program (Wash. Pk. Arts Incubator)

Hyde Park Herald, October 5, 2011. By Daschell M. Phillips and Sam Cholke

The University of Chicago is planning a $1.85-million art center at 301 E. Garfield Blvd. "The front used to be a liquor store, now it will be a space where jazz, gospel, blues and lectures can happen," said Theaster Gates, coordinator of arts programming for the university and a Woodlawn-based artist. "Our hope is the building is the first of many projects and is a cultural anchor for the boulevard."

The university will restore a 10,000-sqauare-foot terra cotta building that faces the boulevard and wraps around onto Prairie Avenues. The space will host exhibition space, an artist residency program, and a workshop space. Gates worked with Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) for six months hashing out details for the arts incubator. "I had some concerns when the university started buying up property around the boulevard that they should come in the right way," Dowell said at a Sept. 29 community meeting. "I think this is a great stat."

In 2008, the university bought several parcels along Garfield Boulevard, including the proposed arts center building. The purchase sparked concerns in the neighborhood that the university was land banking and would leave the lots to run fallow for years. The arts center, which is expected to being renovations this winter, is the first project announced for the university's Washington Park property.

"I think this is a great plan because it is a catalyst for further development of Washington Park. Garfield Boulevard is an important asset to the community," said Dowell, who pressured the university repeatedly to begin a planning process for the property. "It's also going to expose the young people in the community to the power of art and culture and let them know that they can expand their world beyond just Washington Park."

Though the university committed $1.85 million to the project, the new arts incubator will look for additional funding sources. "Right now, I'm in hustle mode talking to our friends in the foundations," Gates said, adding that he hopes to fund three artists' residencies a year which is expected to cost $250,000. The residents would have access to the art center and the resources of the university, including the library and faculty.

Gates said he is planning to target youth in Washington Park with limited options. "We hope it's a place where young people who are not necessarily bound for the college track can begin to think about the creative industry," Gates said. To accomplish this, the art center hopes to partner with likeminded organizations like the Little Black Pearl and the DuSable Museum, especially for the design lab component and beautification projects.

Faheem Majeed, former director of the Southside Community Arts Center, is involved with the prject, and there is a small advisory group that includes Andre Guichard, owner of Gallery Guichard; Monica haslip, founder and director of Little Black Pearl; and Brian Smith of Steele Life Galleries. Gates is also in the beginning stages of discussing the project with Carol adams of DuSable Museum and is working closely with HyPa.

University of Chicago announces the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society, to be housed in the former Meadville School of Theology main building, 57th and Woodlawn.

From: Robert J. Zimmer and Thomas F. Rosenbaum []
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 9:58 AM
To: Faculty
Subject: New initiative in humanities and humanistic social sciences

To: University faculty
From: Robert J. Zimmer and Thomas F. Rosenbaum
Subject: New initiative in humanities and humanistic social sciences
Date: June 27, 2012

We are very pleased to announce the establishment of the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society, a major initiative in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, and their connections to other disciplines. The Neubauer Collegium will focus on the study of large-scale questions that transcend any single discipline. In doing so, it will support distinctive and collaborative research projects, visiting scholars from around the world, and public outreach. The Collegium will create an intellectual destination in Hyde Park that will enhance the University’s initiatives around the globe.

The establishment of the Neubauer Collegium is based on the recommendation of Martha Roth, Dean of the Humanities Division, and Mark Hansen, Dean of the Social Sciences Division, which in turn is founded on several years of work and discussion by members of their faculties. We are especially grateful to Joe and Jeanette Neubauer, whose $26.5 million gift in support of this initiative once again sets a standard for philanthropy that has lasting impact. David Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought, will be the Neubauer Collegium’s founding faculty director. The Neubauer Collegium will be located in the former Meadville-Lombard Seminary building at 5701 S. Woodlawn, and will formally begin operations in fall 2012.

The Neubauer Collegium reflects the University’s commitment to humanistic inquiry and discourse, important not only for its own merits but because it comes at a time when some other institutions are retreating from the humanities. Along with investments such as the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Graduate Aid Initiative, and the broad-based expansion of University faculty, the Neubauer Collegium continues to support and build the humanities and humanistic social sciences, central to the University’s mission.


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