and Community: The UC in and amongst Hyde Park, surrounding communities:
page is a service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its
Return links: home. Site contents. Hot Topics and Community Issues home. University Hot Topics.
Visit new report: December 2009 University-Community Outreach Conference
University- city pilot deal to speed zoning and permitting touches on much more- see MOU/University-City deal page.
University of Chicago's land use framework is Planned Development 43- see in Master Plans. And related controversy over the Woodlawn Corridor.
Pages in this site with more information
New: From the December 2009 U of C Communities Outreach Conference
Neighborhood Links- University website section
Inst'l Planned Develepment 43 and Amendment controversy and
University Master Plan as it evolved from the late 1990s through 2007
South Campus Plans
University News, Releases, Impacts
University Projects Updates
Opposition to the University
Woodlawn Ave. Corridor
Planned Development 43 and swirl of controversy
Univerity and City Memorandum of Understanding and billions in development and infrastructure
Chicago Theological Seminary pres. controv. and repurposing
Harper Court, Harper Theater, and 53rd Street development
From Drs Hospital hotel plan to Early Learning Center on Stony Island
61st St. Community Garden issue
Page of Woodlawn News carries arguments and essays on University's unending tango with its neighbor to the south.
Woodlawn Children's Promise Zone
UC & Schools page including Charter schools, other education initiatives and outreach.
Conference Reporter Winter 2005 report on Enhancing Assets Conference
Report of March 2005 HPKCC Board conversation with Hank Webber, UC VP and Webber at the Sept. 18 HPKCC Annual Meeting.
Hot Development issues and Development hub homepage
Checkerboard Lounge and Kleiner Restaurant
Allison Davis Garden
Fountain of Time and Basin
Harper Court sale
Harper Theater complex future. Guidelines for Harper Theater redevelopment RFP.
Parking Woes and Improvements, UC role in these and plans of the new Tr/Pkg Manager;
Transit: See U of C Routes (revised again).
And in 2010 we add Mobil/McMobil
U of C Schools Initiatives with links
UC in green initiatives- Green page.
Community Renewal Conference of April, 2004
Urban Renewal home and timelines
Arts News-UC section
Civic Knowledge and Southside Arts and Humanities Network
Education Resources and UC Schools Initiatives, charter schools
Historic Preservation in Depth
Neighborhood Development Policy 53rd St.
Public Safety on University Police, UCP expansion north and south, allegations of profiling and brutality
Less than stellar student controversies and engagement on race
Disabled Persons incl. on the UC federal settlement
Tracking Community Trends I-University of Chicago and U of C Hospitals.
Tracking Trends II-various incl. Good Town and Gown Relations
Botanic Garden self-guided
tour. Get it at Young 3rd fl., 5555 S. Ellis 773 834-1657.
Campus architecture guide. The Campus Guide: The University of Chicago, 2006.
Campus tours led by students. Weekdays from Office of College Admissions 573_ S. University Ave. 773 702-8650.
Robie House, Frank Lloyd
Wright's. 11, 1, 3 weekdays, every half hour 11-3:30 weekends. m. Saturday.
$10-$12. 5757 S. Woodlawn. 708 848-1976.
Historic Neighbors Walk and Wine Aug. 9, 4:30 pm, $25-$30
Historic Neighbors walking Tour (self-guided audio tour). 10 am-3:30 pm, Saturday guided. Both from Robie House.
Midway Plaisance stroll. Unguided. Don't miss Alison Davis Garden and Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time across Cottage Grove.
Rockefeller Chapel Tower Tours. 11:30 am weekdays when University in session, Sunday after service. . Exterior of tower, 5850 S. Woodlawn. 773 702-7059.
John Boyer, Dean of the College at University of Chicago, has written a series of monographs analyzing the history of the University of Chicago-- of course deeply referenced- Index/info about is at http://college.uchicago.edu/about-college/college-publications.
removed for lack of timeliness.
The University will share a Hyde Park Historical Society Despres Preservatation Award for creation of Sub-Area O and Woodlawn Avenue Plan of Planned Development 43. The award will be given at at the Society's Annual Dinner February 23 ast teh Quadrangle Club.
The University has named Derek Douglas of the White House its new Vice President for Civic Engagement.
http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/10/24/derek-douglas-join-university-vice-president-civic-engagement (this may not stay up long- read in University News Releases.) Another: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111024/BLOGS02/111029888/top-obama-urban-policy-aide-leaves-for-u-of-c-greg-hinz.
In 2012 the University placed $1 in $250,000 accounts (the maximum allowable insured) in four community banks for investment: Hyde Park Bank, Illinois Service Federal Bank, Seaway Bank, and Urban Partnership Bank. The funds are to make it easier for these banks to make small business, community, institutional and home loans. This followed discussions with student reps in February about responsible investment practices by the University.
Also in May 2012 Dr. Arley D. Cathey donted $17 million, part of which will go to re-doing the Stuart North (once Law, once Business East) reading room. Other facilities such as South Campus Dining and a house in the new dorm will be named for Cathey's father.
October, 2011- University announces new Arts in Public Life Initiative and a Washington Park Arts Incubator (301 E. Garfield)- see in Arts News.
In May 2012 Sociology Chair Mario Small was appointed Dean of the Social Sciences Division.
In November the University received a gift of $25 million from Andrew and Betsy Rosenfield for support and interdisciplinary programs for the study of inteaction of economics, law, et al on social problems in the Becker-Friedman Institute. Price Theory will be a key component.
Historic agreement between city, UC for projects, jobs streamlining announced at end of August 2011
City, University of Chicago strike deal to ‘create a vibrant South Side’
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter email@example.com August 26, 2011 8:52PM
Reprints26ShareUpdated: August 27, 2011 6:44AM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the University of Chicago announced a “first-of-its-kind” agreement Friday intended to “create jobs” and “encourage growth” over several years in Hyde Park and surrounding communities.
The city is planning “approximately 50 construction projects” as part of the multi-year plan, but the mayor’s office didn’t offer any specifics on what those projects might be.
A spokesman for the city didn’t return a call seeking more information.
“I am pleased to announce this historic cooperation agreement with the University of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said in written statement released Friday. “The collaboration allows us to achieve more value for taxpayers, as the university and the city work together to create jobs for residents and complete construction projects more efficiently. This agreement will have a profound positive impact on the communities on the South Side of Chicago that neither party would be able to do on its own.”
The mayor’s office said the agreement will “dramatically reduce the amount of time needed for permitting and licensing for these projects, and will speed up construction significantly.”
“This agreement helps ensure that our investments and the city’s investments work together to help create a vibrant South Side community,” said University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer. “It expresses our commitment to working with the city, our neighbors and our local officials and it supports that on-going engagement with specific steps each of us will take.”
Under the agreement, the university commits to working with the city and local aldermen as it moves forward with $1.7 billion in construction projects during the next five years, the university said.
The agreement also commits the university to spend $2.5 million to work with Metra to improve the 59th Street station and opening a 60th Street station.
The mayor’s office said the agreement grew out of Saturday morning meetings Emanuel held with leadership from various universities, including the University of Chicago.
In August and before, 2011. Two anonymous gifts fund the first 4 faculty of the Institute for Molecular Engineering.
Announced July 1 2011, Sonya Malunda is now Senior Associate Vice President of Civic Engagement. See Releases.
August 1- Susan Sherr returns to UC as Medical Center executive vice president for corporate strategy and public affairs and senior advisor to UC President Robert Zimmer on national healthcare issues and building corporate relationships.
Opposition and actions continue to build re the reduction and outsourcing of support staff at the University, especially in the residence halls. Demonstrations over perceived UC failure to step up to the plate on healthcare services for the area alson continue.
U of C President Robert Zimmer announced on April 18 2011 that Ann Marie Lipinski will leave 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.
The Medical Center named a new President in January 2011, Sharon O'Keefe (known as a fixer) to serve under new Dean Dr. Kenneth Polonsky. And Susan Sher returned to executive position. A large grant will look at neural circuitry of psychopaths. The UC is working on a high speed internet network for campus and neighborhood. The Law School created the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic to train students; this initiative will also expand the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. The library is expanding its online historical collections portal to 14 area collections.
The university received substantial gifts and grants in mid-late 2010, including $10 m for merit scholarships in the law school, National Institutes of Health grants, and clean energy grants. `
The Teamsters service employees ratified a contract with 2% raises in September 2010.
The University was pleased to see a major spike in early and other applicants for 2010 (class of 2014). The quality also seems to be up, and more students may be admitted.
On the other hand, many graduate departments are admitting no more or fewer students due to mandated cutbacks from the loss of endowment and other fallout of the economic decline. Most of the cutbacks university and medical center-wide are not likely to be rescinded soon, but faculty expansion is underway for the first time since the 1070s. Also, grants and gifts are coming in at record rates.
Although several proposed construction projects are on hold, the Library wing is nearly finished, Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts is expected to break ground spring 2010, campus accessibility and pedestrian-garden remake continues, new sustainability initiatives are underway, and planning is progressing on a set of Lab School expansions.
Some preservationists have expressed deep disappointment in U of C plans to move the stained glass windows of Chicago Theological Seminary to the new building on 60th and wonder what are the plans for the grand chapels and their organs. Glass not to remain or move to the new CTS will go to new chapel of Christ Advocate on the southwest side. Much will be preserved though many changes will be made under plans by Ann Beha Architects. See CTS page, Former CTS/Becker-Friedman Plans March 2012, and Woodlawn Corridor page.
Law with Economics, long a forte of the University has been revitalized through new initiatiaves including Law and Economics 2.9 (Institute for Law alnd Economics being its centerpiece, also Globalizing Law land Economics Initiative.)
U of C Medical Center will be selling its dialysis center to DaVita, with some consolidation and moving. Meanwhile, Comer Children's Hospital has opened a new kid-friendly clinic. It's still looking to form a link up with Provident.
Two daycare centers will be built for staff- on Drexel and on Stony Island.
The University of Chicago Medical Center was investigating claims in May 2011 that it discriminated in terminating patients with disabilities after twelve weeks of leave. The University contests the claims. OECC has not decided whether to issue charges.
By Gary Ossewaarde
The approach of the University to communities seems to have changed from how can we help you to here are a set of things that we are doing. Of course its primary focus will be on its mission programs and how it can attract the students and faculty it needs. Its big outside focuses are education and social services, healthcare, and arts-- which are UC mission fortes. And there are several in administration and departments who think deeply about connections between what's build or done and social ramifications. The University remains heavily involved in buying and seeking to develop and shape property, especially retail-- with little clarity apparent to many outside as to coherence or merged interests of communities, business, and the University. It seems now to have dissolved physical boundaries. Even in the main initiatives of education and healthcare, much of the focus of education is now 1) Woodlawn, 2) expanding the Lab School and drawing Hyde Park's wealthier families into it and pulling back on programs in Hyde Park's other schools; and in healthcare there is less service for those in the community while the initiatives among clinics et al seem to do little to grow their capacity. Or so it seems to many.
This page will outline some of the programs of engagement (leaving it to the University's website to disseminate their news except those changes that affect approaches and personnel of engagement, and will identify some areas of friction or ill-fit with the community.
of Chicago trying to ease its divide
Projects hope to reach across Midway to unify campus-(while it is rushing to meet the 2010 deadline on its federal ADA compliance citation)
By Blair Kamin, Tribune, November 2009
There are really two Universities of Chicago. One, north of the Midway Plaisance, is the picture-postcard campus famous for its serene, neo-Gothic quadrangles. The other, south of the Midway, is a thin strip of buildings that forms a veneer of institutional order in front of the struggling Woodlawn neighborhood.
Now the university is making its biggest push in years to bridge the divide between its disparate north and south sides.
This fall, it opened a city-friendly, 9-story dormitory, clad in the familiar material of Indiana limestone, south of the Midway. On Tuesday, the university announced that it would break ground in spring on a handsomely austere, 11-story arts center, also south of the grassy expanse. And much more is planned, including the installation in spring of 40-foot-tall light pylons that will seek to make the vast Midway more inviting to pedestrians, particularly at night.
While the new designs are not without anti-urban details, such as the prison-like bars to keep intruders out of the dormitory's courtyards, the surge of construction as a whole is praiseworthy.
Just two years ago, a Senegalese graduate student was shot dead in the 6100 block of South Ellis Avenue, steps from the site of the new dorm, in an apparent armed robbery. Instead of raising the drawbridge and retreating behind the Midway's grassy moat, however, the university has continued its push into what it calls the South Campus -- in part because it has few other places to expand.
The efforts build on South Campus projects that the university completed last year: restoring the luster of two mid-20th century modernist gems and adding a 21st century jewel.
Chicago architects Krueck & Sexton rehabbed the university's best steel-and-glass box, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's School of Social Service Administration Building. The Chicago firm of OWP/P finished a 10-year renovation of Eero Saarinen's U. of C. law school and its iconic "pleated glass" library. At the new South Campus Chiller Plant, Chicago architect Helmut Jahn used a sleek skin of glass to reveal the colorful pipes inside -- and how such humdrum buildings can be beautiful.
For all their individual distinction, however, these and other South Campus buildings don't come close to making a coherent or lively place. None are tall enough to beckon students, as do the filigreed Gothic towers of the university's Harper Memorial Library. Several dutifully face the Midway, but they barely acknowledge each other. Indeed, some of the buildings have the haughty air of embassies -- no surprise, since their architects, including Edward Durell Stone, shaped notable American overseas outposts in the post-World War II era.
The South Campus Residence Hall, at Ellis Avenue and 61st Street, strives to introduce a traditional street-friendly urban design to the area south of the Midway. At that, it largely succeeds.
As part of the project, architect Geoff Wooding of the Boston firm of Goody Clancy discretely attached a mostly glassy, wedge-shaped dining hall to the back of the neighboring Burton-Judson Courts, a 1931 neo-Gothic dorm. Between the eatery and the new dorm, Wooding put a paved outdoor plaza, creating a lively mid-block oasis for pedestrians that continues eastward as a pathway to the adjoining law school. With all the buildings creating a critical mass, you even see students walking across the Midway. The dorm also tiers downward to five stories along 61st Street so it doesn't overwhelm the modest homes of nearby Woodlawn.
So much for the self-contained embassy school of urban design.
Although the building's exterior verges on fussy -- almost to a fault, Wooding broke it down with idiosyncratic details -- the interior could turn out to be a model for transforming anonymous, mid-rise housing into intimate residential clusters.
Wooding went beyond the customary layer-cake organization of such buildings and encouraged students to interact. He divided the dorm's 811 beds into eight "houses" of roughly 100 students each and linked the floors of each house with an internal staircase while threading generous common spaces, like two-story lounges for each house, into the traffic flow.
The students appear to have taken ownership. They've decorated the hallways to express the personality of each house. At Crown House, for example, hallway walls are papered with drawings that suggest castlelike fortifications and medieval crowns. "It's the best house," one student said.
Such pride and interaction is precisely the aim of the architects of the arts center, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien of New York. And their plan could turn out to be architecturally distinguished as well as a social and urban design success.
Known as the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, the center, due to be completed in 2012, will bring together dance, painting, music, theater, film and other artistic disciplines in two interlocking buildings: a flat-topped, 11-story tower and an L-shaped, three-story base that will rise at Ingleside Avenue and 60th Street.
The design, which has been simplified since Williams and Tsien won an invited architecture competition in 2007, shows that economic austerity can make buildings better rather than watering them down. The architects cut such unnecessary flourishes as a cafe that would have cantilevered boldly outward from the tower. The base, with its saw-toothed skylights, took on an appealing directness inspired by the light-filled, structurally advanced factories of 20th century Detroit architect Albert Kahn.
With the glassy northeast corner of the tower facing directly toward the campus' heart, the arts center could become a beacon, a skyline symbol that will lure students and faculty to cross the Midway. It also should enliven street life, with a mid-block, east-west pathway that will lead visitors into a lively courtyard and a glassy south front that will present an inviting face to Woodlawn.
There are risks, to be sure. The architects need to ensure that their tower, which will be faced in Indiana limestone or a more varied stone from Wisconsin, doesn't come off as bland and corporate.
Nonetheless, this is a plan of great promise, one that could draw together the north and south sides of the U. of C. and help turn the Midway into a new quadrangle, not a moat.
Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune
December 2011- Original House of Pancakes opts to leave Village Center and move to a Lake Pointe Shopping Center building, 1358 E. 47th St. (Lake Park corner building), freeing the Center more for redevelopment. o
President Zimmer gives priorities, strategic investments in e-letter March 2008. Below
April 2010 Thomas J. Farrell was appointed Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development. Larry Norman in late 2011 was reappointed Deputy Provost of the Arts.
In November 2009 at a student town hall meeting, Pres. Zimmer said the budget cuts succeeded in righting the ship (because consultation with the real administrators was broad) and now faculty expansion and programs can begin. Describing Harper Court, he said it is a part of a strategy to make the whole area more desirable; it is going forward, he said, despite developer's financial difficulties. He indicated no give on labor issues. He touted the expanding study abroad programs.
In March 2009 the University named 4 to strategic leadership positions. Andrew Alper as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Eric Isaacs as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, Jim Nondorf as Dean of College Admission, and Dr. Everett Volkes Chair of Medicine.
In July 2009 Nim Chinniah became Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer. Mark A. Schmid became chief investment officer and Colm O'Muircheartaigh dean of the Harris School (Dan Black deputy).
In May 2009, Marlon Lynch, new Director of Safety (and Transportation-Parking) was announced as the new Director of the University of Chicago Police while Rudy Nimocks becomes director of Community Partnerships. SECC's police section moves to UC Police and SECC shifts focus to economic development and planning. Some details in UC Releases page.
In January 2012 President Zimmer will join the Board of the National Science Foundation.
And James Hennessy became Director of Real Estate Operations.
Kenneth Polonsky is now the Medical Center President and CEO and Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine.
New administrators at the start of 2011: Asst VP for Student Health Alex Lickerman, Dep. Provost for Rsearch and minority Isues william McDade, Communications VP Med. Ctr. Kathleen A. DeVries.
Michael H. Schill from UCLA assumes the Law School Deanship. William Michel will be moving from Assoc. Dean of Student Life to in charge of teh Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts and development of its programs.
Visit http://president.uchicago.edu/reports/letter_033108.shtml and
University Priorities given in 2008 include establishment of a Washington D.C. lobbying office, new hospital, enhancing scientific research including new science complex, arts complex and enhancement, academic programs, faculty and student support, community engagement including coordination to deal with Olympic impacts. Many of the programs and facilities supporting selected priority fields would take the University to the forefront of "complex, systems-level" and emerging science and studies. He spoke of enough support level for programmatic ambition so UC plays a leadership role. These include various physics and astro studies, nanoengineering, evolutionary biology, cancer biology, immunology, gastrointestinal disease, imaging technology and applications, fundamental research to illuminate the most important social and human issues of the times. A new institute for collaboration across economics, law, policy was one area. Others were tying more in, more intensively with education research and application, building upon Franke Institute of Humanities, Islamic studies, energy policy and analysis, international programs, arts integration. Other areas of focus include size of the faculty, student aid and housing and life, women and minority recruitment and diversity. Visibility in and contribution to surrounding communities will especially focus on health and education.
Will build a daycare facility for staff that many say is a much-needed win-win for UC and community
Herald June 16 2010. By Sam Cholke
The University of Chicago announced June 7 it will build a new daycare center on campus. "This is meant to compliment the options in the neighborhood," said Steve Kloehn, spokesman for the university. "It will be one option in a neighborhood that needs options." The center will serve 120 children ages six weeks to five years old. The center will charge market rates and allocated slots on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the university. The center will be independently managed and serve the children of faculty and staff.
"There is a very high demand that is not being met," said Sarah Diwan, who runs the Baby Ph.D program at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood Ave. Diwan said not having a large institutional daycare for parents has been an obvious hole in the neighborhood's childcare options. "There are some infants and toddlers we can't serve because their parents work at the hospital and need extended hours," diwan said. "There is a unique need among the nurses." The lack of a daycare center often forces parents to shift kids back an forth between different neighborhoods as they get older, according to Diwan. "It is a big question how the center will effect demand overall for nannies and home daycare providers," she said. "This neighborhood uses nannies heavily."
Kellie Lucas, a nanny in Hyde Park, said she thought there were plenty of kids and that the university daycare would not compete with neighborhood nannies and daycares. "There's probably 120 kids on my block," Lucas said. She said she also had a growing waiting list and often her nanny service simply could not serve the specific needs of parents at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "We're not really willing to work from 6 in the morning to 6 at night," Lucas said.
Some parents want the reputation of a larger daycare, while others prefer the personal relationship with a nanny -- the new daycare at the university will satisfy specific needs, according to Lucas. "I think there's enough for them, enough for us and enough for the other little daycares," Lucas said.
The university has begun the planning process for the daycare center, but has not determined yet where the center would be located or how it will be funded. Top
According to the Chronicle of Feb. 19 2009, testing and dissemination of ideas is the UC signature and service is the heart of its civic engagement. This article highlighted 7 programs- South Side Scribblers targeted to Englewood and other struggling communities, American Investment Fellows (high schoolers learning to invest!), Civic Knowledge (Odyssey, Neighborhood Writing Alliance for disadvantaged adults esp. in Hyde Park area), SmARTkids, Career Pathways Initiative jobs and training for Woodlawn, Neighbors-Law School tutoring program esp. for Hyde Park high schoolers
The University assumed control of Quadrangle Club and has undertaken remodeling as well as reorganization under a subcontractor. UC is considering a developement on the current site of the tennis courts plus the 5731 house to the south (Mathematics and Statistics). (That would almost certainly kill hopes in discussion with the university for an historic district.)
More recent buys include Chicago Theological Seminary, Hollywood Video, Mobil station on 53rd, and soon Meadville School (as stopgap while latter decides whether to stay).
The Herald in February 2009 carried a editorial urging the University to reveal its plan for 53rd Street.
Early February 2009, President Zimmer told a lunch he remains committed to a hotel and retail expansion in Hyde Park according to the Feb. 10 Maroon. "We will be actively involved in getting a hotel and a better commercial environment in Hyde Park." He went on to describe plans for street-level stores in the New Hospital Pavilion on E 57th St. However, there is not much retail space close to campus, so South Campus needs a new look for retail. He also noted a problem
University of Chicago Statement of Commitment to Civic Partnership
From Enriching the Quality of Life. From Chicago to the World
by the University of Chicago 2006. Office of Community Affairs. http://oca.uchicgo.edu
With the University's role as an intellectual leader comes the responsibility to apply our best thinking to making a lasting contribution to the communities around us. In all these endeavors, the University of Chicago is committed to working in partnership with city, state, and national governmental agencies, corporations, and community not-for-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life of our neighbors.
in Health Care
our Neighborhood Safe
Society through Scholarship
Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Amenities
President Zimmer's press release is in the UC Community-related Press Releases page.
Universality of Chicago Chronicle, September 25, 2008. By Steve Kloehn
The University is embarking on a effort to create a new model for and urban research institution acting in partnership with its city, and it has hired one of the nation's most respected journalists to guide the endeavor.
Ann Marie Lipinski, longtime editor and managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, will begin work on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in the newly created post of Vice President for Civic Engagement. President Zimmer announced her appointment earlier this month.
"The relationship of the University of Chicago to the city of Chicago has great potential to enrich the fundamental research and education mission of the University, while enhancing the quality of life in the city, its economic development and its global reach," said Zimmer. "With a strong track record of leading one of Chicago's great institutions, Ann Marie is the right person to advance the University's mission as a neighbor, citizen and civic leader," he said.
Under Lipinski's editorial leadership, the Chicago Tribune became a leader in public service, with Pulitzer Prize-winning projects that freed innocent prisoners from death row, helped revitalize the South Side lakefront and uncovered product defects that endangered children.
A 30-year resident of the city, Lipinski will oversee a broad portfolio that includes the University's engagement in Chicago Public Schools, public safety and the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics. She will help maximize the University's efforts to work with its neighbors, while ensuring that the University takes advantage of its place in a vibrant city to contribute to a powerful educational experience offered to its students. Lipinski will also serve as a senior lecturer in the College.
Lipinski recalled the vision of the University's founding president, William Rainey Harper, who wanted to create a university that would help shape and be shaped by the city and world around it. "The University of Chicago's standing as a leading citizen of Chicago and the world carries great privileges and great responsibilities," she said. "I am honored to join an institution that is committed to the transformative power of ideas and to connecting its work with its city and beyond. it is an opportunity and a challenge that goes to the heart of what I value."
Lipinski is charged with providing leadership, coordination and voice in support of an ambitious array of initiatives across the University, in areas such as pr-K-12 education, urban health, social services and programs for children at risk. She also will work to support the numerous research connections between the University and the region, as well as foster new ones.
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 Initiative, announced in June, brings together the University-operated charter schools, teacher training programs and groundbreaking research in order to improve the educational outcomes for students in Chicago and beyond. The University's Medical Center is working in partnership with South Side Clinics, hospitals and physicians to strengthen the health care available to community members. And faculty members in the School of Social Service Administration are collaborating with city officials to better understand and reduce youth gun violence.
In January 2009, Lipinski will become chair of the board of the University Charter School, which opened its new Carter G. Woodson campus in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood earlier this month.
Lipinski will guide the University's' initiatives to create jobs, businesses and economic growth; to promote beneficial real estate development, such as the creation of retail opportunities in Hyde Park and surrounding communities; and to advance cooperation among University and City of Chicago police forces and supporting groups that enhance public safety throughout the area.
She will be responsible for overseeing the University's multi-faceted relationships with South Side communities, elected officials and community leaders, and developing the University's relationship with the State of Illinois. Among her first duties will be to reach out to neighborhood, community and civic groups as well as local, city and state officials. "I have spent most of my professional life listening to the residents of Chicago and its communities, and I look forward to continuing that conversation on behalf of the University," Lipinski said.
In her new position, Lipinski will work to share the University's innovative models for civic engagement with peer institutions and to learn from those universities' efforts. She will develop the connection between the University's new international efforts and the city's emerging status as a global city.
Lipinski was one of three Tribune reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1988. As part of the newspaper's effort to promote literacy and literature, she oversaw a series of awards promoting fiction and non-fiction work. Lipinski earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She serves on the boards of the Laboratory Schools, the Chicago Children's Choir and the Pulitzer Prize Board.
The University of Chicago has been praised for its diligence in helping squeezed businesses relocate but criticized for letting vacancies go on too long, an inconsistent or unclearly set forth set of goals, and its role in the Co-Op debacle-- too lenient, then pouncing (some say laying a trap) when its interests were hurt and pressuring the community for acceptance of its plan that is in some ways generous but also gets rid of a long-time community institution it did not control but had enticed onto its property nearly 50 years ago. See Co-Op home.
Much of the praise is included through this and other pages. And there is a summary in the Tracking Community Trends pages. Here is a synopsis of one of the negative views, by Jacky Grimshaw, lifelong area resident (current Hyde Parker) and activist on many fronts with community planning organizations on transportation, environment, development and schools.
Grimshaw's description of how so many communities have been negatively affected by the U of C was made in context of one of the candidates for 3rd Ward alderman working for the University. Examples cited:
Is it a new fight, then? Author of "Who Owns Hyde Park" and commenter seem to think so.
By Jacob Lesniewski
The University of Chicago
proudly points to how its Office of Community
Affairs has forged a new relationship with surrounding neighborhoods.
Gone are the days of the University wielding the tools of urban renewal
and eminent domain to "build out" elements of Hyde Park the university,
its faculty, high-end staff or students found undesirable. The
university now speaks of forming partnerships and collaborating with
communities and neighborhood groups on issues of education, public
safety, urban planning and economic development. To the extent that the
university now mainly builds charter schools instead of condominium
towers, the relationship between the university and local neighborhoods
appears different. But beneath the surface of grins, handshakes and
photo ops lies the reality of an unchanged vision. The university still
largely sees neighborhood groups in Hyde Park and across the Mid-South
Side as impediments and roadblocks on the path to accomplishing its
underlying community relations goal: a stable, staid, homogenous and
easily categorizable upper middle class Hyde Park.
Hyde Park is a diverse
community that confounds easy categorization.
Racial and socioeconomic patterns change block to block and sometimes
lot to lot. It is the whitest neighborhood for miles and yet only
around 44 percent of its residents are white. It is a neighborhood of
renters and condo-owners, of the wealthy living in huge mansions and
the poor living in Section 8 buildings. It is full of liberal activists
and economics professors, frat boys and math nerds, dusty bookstores
and rib joints.
The university has long
desired a homogenous, predictable neighborhood
to sell to prospective students and faculty, and seems to believe that
through bricks and mortar construction and the expansion of the
university police force, it can accomplish its vision of Hyde Park. The
tragedy of Amadou Cisse's murder, steps from the sparkling new
undergraduate dorm under construction, lays bare the failure of this
strategy. But the university continues to pursue this strategy and
fundamentally unchanged relationship with its surrounding community.
Two recent dust-ups between
the university and the community exemplify
this essentially unchanged relationship. The first issue is the
university's push to convert the Doctor's Hospital on Stony Island into
a hotel. Most of us who live in Hyde Park would heartily support a
non-shady hotel closer than the expensive Loop hotels that currently
"serve" our neighborhood. Had the university chosen to engage in a
dialogue or consult important community actors (such as the residents
of apartment and co-op buildings on Stony Island), they would have
found a questioning, yet overwhelmingly supportive community.
Instead, the university
chose to attempt to ram through a plan based on
the needs of an important donor, the White family of White Lodging
Company. They held their first public meeting on the plan in the small
conference room of a neighboring cooperative and all non-Vista Homes
residents were shut out. When the Office of Community Affairs finally
presented the plan to the public, it was clear that the presentation
was a clumsily orchestrated attempt to equate opposition to this
particular plan and hotel operator with opposition to a hotel in Hyde
Park, economic development and, most heinously, the needs of the
families of cancer patients at the University of Chicago Hospitals. The
University's hand-picked "preservation expert," who droned on endlessly
about how the Doctor's Hospital building really isn't all that
historic, finished his speech before getting to a point the university
deemed important. So Hank Webber, vice-president for community affairs
at the university, yelled a reminder to him from the front row.
The second example is the
recent demise of the Hyde Park Cooperative
Society. The coverage in the Sun-Times, Chicagoist and other media
outlets paints a picture of the university coming to the aid of a
failing grocery store by letting it die a dignified death. The reality
is that the university has cynically manipulated the process from the
start. The Co-Op's flagship store at 55th street is a highly profitable
full-service grocery store that has suffered from the attempted
expansion to stores at 53rd and 47th Streets. Service quality and
prices fluctuated over the last three years as the Co-Op sought a way
out of its obligations at the 47th Street store, to the frustration of
many residents. Some sort of solution was needed to restore high
quality, decently priced grocery service to the neighborhood.
Again, most residents of
the neighborhood recognized the need for
change at the Co-Op. Again, the university, as lease-holder to the 55th
Street Co-Op, could have engaged in a dialogue with the Co-Op society,
its members and the wider community about the future of the Co-Op.
Instead, the university pushed through a vote requiring the Co-Op
Society to decide on its future. Again, instead of letting the process
play out naturally, the university hired a consultant to create a shell
community organization called Hungry for Change that took out full page
ads in the student newspaper, the Maroon, encouraging a vote for the
Co-op's demise, to be replaced by a Treasure Island or Dominick's at
55th Street. To make sure their message was clear, Hank Webber sent out
a mass email to all those with an uchicago.edu email address claiming
that "Option A" was the only viable option for Hyde Park, presumably to
avoid mass starvation.
The problem with the university's
approach to the community is not
merely the attempt to ram through a hotel operator that has a federal
EEOC complaint against it for religious discrimination, disobeys city
laws on housekeeper breaks or is relentlessly anti-union. It is not
with pushing through the demise of a 75-year-old institution in favor
of a union-busting grocer (Treasure Island) or a faceless corporation
(Dominick's). The problem is that the university, having lost its blunt
tools of eminent domain and bulldozers, now uses cynical manipulation
to impose its vision of a healthy urban community on Hyde Park. It is a
similar strategy to the Daley administration, which uses its power and
resources to buy off opposition and force community groups to play the
game in return for whatever scraps the city (or university) deems
appropriate to bestow in return.
The counter-vision of Hyde
Park is that it is and has the potential to
be the premier example of a diverse urban community that works, a
neighborhood that resists the homogenization of late stage capitalism,
a neighborhood where the poor and well heeled bump into each other on
the street. That counter-vision is not upheld by the sycophantic
student newspaper or by the new wealthier condo owners, but by the
group that the university has criticized as against progress and
development in Hyde Park: the long time "white liberal" residents who
man the community organizations, churches and synagogues. It is not the
university or the compromised commentariat — its key collaborators in
bemoaning that "things don't get done in Hyde Park" — who saved the
neighborhood from the twin specters of blight and flight in the 1960s
and 1970s. Despite the fact that the bulldozers of urban renewal often
receive credit for saving Hyde Park from the fate of other South Side
neighborhoods, the real "saviors" of Hyde Park are those now graying
men and women who stayed through the decline in the '60s through the
'80s. They maintained the vision of an economically and racially
diverse neighborhood by not relocating to the North Side or down the
Metra Electric Line to the south suburbs. It is because of them that
there remains a strong core of religious, social and other
organizations that serve the community so well.
The question of who owns
Hyde Park remains a contested one. On the one
side are the members of the Older Women's League, the lay leaders of
the churches and synagogues, and the members of the community council
whose vision is of a diverse, heterogeneous community, and on the other
stands the vision of those within the gray fortress of the university
and their developer allies. It is a battle between Valois and Wendy's,
57th Street Books and Borders, Dr. Wax and Coconuts. It is between
those who see Hyde Park as nothing more than a template for Anywhere,
USA and those for whom Hyde Park is home and history. For the
university to truly have a new relationship with Hyde Park, it must
recognize this vision. It must recognize that it is not Hyde Park, and
despite the fact that it holds legal title to much of its real estate,
it does not own it. Until then, its new relationship will be nothing
more than consultant-driven manipulation and propaganda.
Jacob Lesniewski is a transplanted
New Yorker and a graduate student at
the University of Chicago. While he loves Chicago, his biggest fear is
that his daughters will become Bulls fans.
1 comments | Add yours
Mateus (December 19, 2007 4:26 AM) said:
I was somewhat involved
in the Co-Op debacle, and I have to say that I
think it was completely the fault of the Co-Op. Having perused its
books, it became clear that its governing council was completely
incompetent in accounting for its profits and losses and using data to
make sound decisions. So ironic, given that so much of the membership
came from U of C, which is globally recognized as a place that teaches
reasoned decision making using hard facts. If the Co-Op had voted to
try to hang on, it would surely have failed as no one in their right
mind would extend credit to the group after having seen their books. It
would be a loss for any creditor. Indeed, HP would have become a food
desert, as the liquidation process is a lengthy one. This on top of the
Cisse slaying and fairly regular flow of robberies committed against
students is completely untenable for the University if it is going to
continue attracting terrific academic minds. Why deal with no
groceries, little night life, bad public transportation and perceived
safety problems when you could just go to Harvard or Columbia, where
these issues are of little concern?
Jack Spicer's comments on the University's commercial real estate holdings, different approaches to two developments in light of Dec. 2007 53rd Vision Workshop
(To the HPKCC Development Committee) The University of Chicago could help local development by selling all its commercial real estate. As a matter of self-defense it was understandable that the University would want to control the real estate market back when the neighborhood was dicey. But the neighborhood is fine now and ready to grow gracefully. The University's huge position in the commercial real estate business serves no legitimate self-interest today and disrupts the entire market. They are inept commercial developers and managers because, like government, they don't have to do it well enough to make a living at it; it's like a hobby. (Where's Milton Friedman when you really need him?) The University i8s very, very big and its sheer size distorts everything in the neighborhood. But it can't help being big if it wants to continue do9ing its job well, and we have to accept the effects of its size and learn to live with them. But its huge position in commercial real estate today is not part of its job and is a dis-service to itself and to the community, whatever the quality of its intentions.
The University's handling of the Harper Theater Building project was close to perfect. With thorough community input they created an excellent Request For Proposal and threw it into the free market ring for developers to wrestle with. Then they sold the property to the winner. The winning proposal is outstanding on every dimension, all the better for the competition and the lack of backroom interference.
Doctors Hospital, not so good. Instead of creating an RFP based on the recognized need for a hotel and the realities of the existing building, the site and the surrounding neighborhood, they started with a chosen developer. Bad process, bad result. The neighborhood needs a hotel, probably 2 or 3 of them, and the Doctors Hospital site would be just fine if it were a good hotel project being proposed. The White Lodging/HOK concept was too tall, too busy, too boring and demolishes the existing hospital building to absolutely no advantage. Landmarks Illinois has commissioned an award-winning hotel architecture firm to develop a plan that uses the existing building, has high-quality new construction added, is quiet on the street, and is shorter - all this using the White Lodging's own specifications and with up to 20% of the construction costs being offset by preservation credits. The University is reviewing the alternate proposal and other hotel developers have expressed interest in taking over the project using the preservation architects' approach. Top
The faculty climate survey will help the University’s leadership think about how to improve the attractiveness of the campus. We have not yet had a full discussion of the analysis, but several points are obvious. More than 80% of the faculty who completed surveys have had a broadly positive experience at the University. The strongest attractions of the University are its reputation and the quality of its students. The survey also identified areas of dissatisfaction that we need to address. One of the most interesting results is the polarized sentiments about “geographical location”it is both the single most common source of dissatisfaction for a minority of the faculty and a cause of satisfaction for many others. It need hardly be said that the administration is constrained in how much it can change geographical location, though we certainly can work to improve the neighborhood in partnership with community leaders. The survey also identified childcare and employment for partners as sources of dissatisfaction. The administration has sought to address these challenges.
This year selected neighborhood child care providers will begin to offer infant and toddler care with University support. Next year the University will bring up an online network of job listings in collaboration with scores of universities, colleges, and other cultural institutions in the Chicago area. Associate Provost Mary Harvey deserves thanks for this initiative, earlier versions of which have produced positive results for universities in the Bay Area and Boston. In the near future the Provost’s Office will post the results of the faculty climate survey and will announce additional initiatives with a view to improvements. I thank those of you who took the time to fill out the survey.
U of C solicits student input on campus retail. Chicago Maroon, March 30, 2007. By Sarah Hetherington
The University hosted a discussion on Hyde Park retail options for a group of undergraduate and graduate students Monday night. The discussion was led by Susan M. Campbell, associate vice president for community affairs, and Lisa Prasad, a business development consultant who formerly worked with the University of Pennsylvania.
Over pizza, students addressed problems they perceive with retail in Hyde Park and how retail fits into the quality of student life.
Daniel Kimerling, chair of the student government finance committee, called for improved grocery options, a request echoed by nearly every student in attendance. “The Co-op simply does not cut the mustard,” he said. Kimerling and other students said they frequent downtown grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and whole foods because of the Co-op’s high prices and lack of variety. Students without cars noted that traveling to buy groceries is inconvenient.
Many students also expressed a desire for greater access to grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues late at night, decrying the lack of food and entertainment options available after 10 p.m. Graduate students in particular complained about the difficulty of finding places to eat that are open after long days in classes and labs.
Prasad described how retail acts as “a buffer that brings people together,” especially the university community and surrounding Hyde Park. Multiple students cited seven Ten Lanes and Bar Louie, both open late, as being successful in attracting students and members of the community.
Some students questioned why broader options do not already exist and why the Co-op has little competition other than Hyde Park Produce. Hyde Park’s perceived lack of available real estate for retail development, coupled with a student demographic with a low disposable income, does little to draw chains or even small businesses to open in Hyde Park, Prasad said.
Part of the University’s mission is to show retailers that census data about student income is actually “artificially low” and that there is, in fact, a meaningful demand for retail.
Students also described the distance between Hyde Park’s 53rd, 55th and 57th Street retail areas as inconvenient and off-putting, an issue that graduate students who live south of the Midway highlighted as particularly troublesome. Students voiced concerns that construction of the new south-campus dorm could exacerbate the lack of retail options.
Campbell said the new dorm—which will provide residence for over 700 students—currently includes plans for a small convenience store similar to Bart Mart. Some graduate students said they had never been to Bart Mart, and most students agreed that while Bart Mart’s location and hours make it a convenient option, it is both expensive and limited in its selection.
In response to Prasad’s question of whether “the library is the center of student life,” Kimerling joked that in fact, it is. Other students cited the local music scene, Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap, and Doc films as affordable and entertaining places to go, but otherwise said they found most entertainment elsewhere in Chicago.
the University’s retail development as a way to increase the quality of
student life. This balance of “retention and attraction” helps motivate
the University to continue looking into student preferences and opinions on
Hyde Park retail, she said.
The University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Hospitals together are the 800-pound gorilla of the mid-South Side of Chicago. U of C is the second largest non-city property owner in Chicago. It has 2 Billion dollar annual budget, 12,000 employees, 13,000 students; of the 25,000, nearly 11,000 (3,000 being employees) live in Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Oakland and 595 in Woodlawn. The Medical Center provides $45 million in free care. An important, dominant part of the neighborhood since the 1890s, its role and leadership have been decisive since c1950. Today, the University and Hospitals are again in an expanding mode, more engaged in community action throughout the South Side than ever before, and as active in neighborhood planning and development, especially in Hyde Park and north and in Woodlawn, as UC has been since the height of Urban Renewal.
In light of the lasting and present heightened role of the University, this website has started an ongoing series of informational and discussion pieces on the plans and actions of the University and University-neighborhood relations.
Town and gown relations. See South
Side Renewal Conference and U of C page. This has much detail and links
on the U of C's outreach.
In the early 21st century, President Randel and Hospitals President Riordon introduced initiatives expected to help surrounding disadvantaged neighborhoods and engage communities, and indeed began to outline a South Side improvement strategy and end to UC/Hyde Park isolation. Most significant of these were extension of UC Police coverage to Woodlawn (64th, Evans) and N. Kenwood-Oakland (39th)-- at acceptance and request from both aldermen and community organizations in those neighborhoods--, housing forgiveness loans for its staff/faculty in Woodlawn and Oakland (in tandem with a similar initiative by IIT near its Bronzeville campus), healthcare including vans, clinics, and fairs leading into a collaborative then an Urban Health Initiative whose more idealistic purposes were to provide South Siders with good, appropriate health "homes" and treatment homes according to need; and major involvement/partnerships in the area's schools of he greater area--CPS and charter alternatives as well as scholarships and residencies for CPS pupils and teachers. Be sure to visit the UC Schools Initiatives page.
The University and Hospitals sought to expand parking facilities at great cost in subsidy, while seeking to expand other options such as transportation to ease the impact of its expanding footprint and operations. The large garage on 55th was matched by one south of the Midway, and the University did contribute to development on 53rd and Harper that, if things had gone better and the city had cooperated, could have supported bonds for a garage in that area.
Also, the University did and still is working to improve nightlife and student life in the area, not just on its campus (example Checkerboard Lounge (see page and side links), ... restaurant-bowling-billiards). The University and Hospitals held several forums on community and neighborhood life. In recent years, the University has stepped up, with revised goals, its policy of several "strategic" purchases particularly of commercial properties, in part to bring night life, such as the Checkerboard blues Lounge, into Hyde Park. Some people are disturbed at the University's apparent failure to spell out its rationale for when it steps in and it's goal for such properties, and many are impatient at the rate of promised development such as with the Harper Theater.
The Hospitals is also making a concerted effort to present community issues to its staff and bring/involve them in the community. The Hospitals recently won three awards for its recent record on minority and women involvement in its construction projects. The Hospitals are not only filling in much or all of the remaining land south of 55th (and will have facilities in the South Campus), but is again expanding north of 55th Street.
Still, the University is often faulted for tunnel vision, especially in redevelopment and real estate management decisions. Some cited downsides are explored below and in the Woodlawn News page and in the Development page. Nonetheless, the University continues to be faulted for continued examples of faulty or incomplete communication and engagement with regard to intent, specific plans, and even events in or about surrounding neighborhoods, especially south and southwest. And the engagement to the west and southwest is still tentative at best.
Regardless of the retrospective pros and cons of Urban Renewal and the University's motivations, the UC and IIT stayed and acted. If they had not, there would not be anything like a stable, desirable Hyde Park to discuss. UC is the major institution, employer, supplier and consumer of housing, and property owner/manager in the neighborhood. The health, perhaps survival both the community and the university depend on the health and wise interaction of the other. The viability of 53rd Street certainly depends on decisions of the University. In matters big and small, the University facilitates many of the decisions, or brings together the parties, either directly (especially through the Office of Community and Governmental Affairs) or indirectly through the South East Chicago Commission.
The Commission monitored and to a considerable degree shaped responses on public safety, housing, code enforcement, and development (especially business). Most of these except development are now being dropped by SECC, police concerns tot he UC Police Dept. The University has supported many programs and organizations and provides many resources in the area (See their outreach/services url in our Community Resources page) . UC is very concerned about improving education and bringing better healthcare and policing to the community and to the larger South Side- focus increasingly there, and not Hyde Park. And the role of its Legal Clinics and School of Social Service Administration are legendary. Much of the rich cultural and intellectual life and activity of the neighborhood is at or originates from the University, which (in part to attract students and faculty) seeks to partially re grow the neighborhood's once much more bright nightlife, art, etc.
Many do feel that the University still treats the neighborhood as a company town, disproportionally appropriates resources such as parking space and housing to itself, and increasingly controls key real estate but is not a particularly effective manager of it. The University's expansion plans and new buildings are seen by many as doing damage to values nearby, quality of life and aesthetics, and represent poor choices. Some (Alderman Preckwinkle) say the University has not moved far enough away from being elitist, racist, and having a low glass ceiling. President Randel seems committed to the University's being an even stronger asset to the communities around it. The Community Service Center is one of several avenues of activity. List
Watch for: How renewed University concern and involvement plays out--less paternal or developer/high-income oriented? Increasingly productive and sensitive/inclusive nuances of its heavy involvement in Woodlawn and inevitably-coming involvement in Oakland and Washington Park neighborhoods? More foresight in campus project management? Community involvement in property issues such as in the 55th/53rd commercial district (where UC is a dominant and recently larger property holder including with the Theater)? A development plan for the South Campus? Telling-- and seeking community voice (not just that of its "friends"), even more in-- the University's long-term strategy for the community, including the housing split and parking? Theater building plans. New transportation and parking initiatives. Impacts of decisions to fill in the Southwest part of Hyde Park and move north along Cottage Grove as far as 52nd.