Chicago Campaign Priorities
The Campaign priorities represent the areas of most interest to each campus: where they will invest private support and how they will focus their efforts over the next five years to meet individual visions for the future. Across the University, the priorities emphasize support for people (students, faculty) and programs, although some facility renovations are also included.
One of our top priorities is to help our faculty and graduate students continue doing what they do best—making breakthrough research discoveries and teaching our students. Funds for more external research grants, endowed chairs, professorships, infrastructure improvements and interdisciplinary research centers can help us attract and retain the best faculty and students even in today’s fiercely competitive recruitment environment.
Every day the faculty and students at UIC are engaged in leading-edge research and public service. UIC is the largest university in Chicago and has been a leader in research growth for seven years to become one of the top 50 institutions in the nation receiving federal research funding. Despite our size, we remain nimble and responsive; supporters note our innovative interdisciplinary environment, the low barriers between departments and the uncommonly strong connection to the resources and opportunities in the city we call home.
The health sciences at UIC are doing much to fuel our reputation as a research leader. Our colleges of applied health sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health, along with the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, are known for spectacular medical discoveries. We’re rapidly advancing the national research agenda in several specialties, such as transplant surgery, cardiology, women’s health and pregnancy issues, autism, tooth regeneration, liver disease and cancer treatment. And that’s why at this moment UIC is poised to become the nation's premier urban public research university. With more support, we will achieve this stature and discover more of the knowledge that advances our society.
More scholarships and fellowships will help us broaden our commitment to public access—providing an excellent education to talented students from mid- and low-income backgrounds who may be the first generation in their family to attend college.
Because of our deep commitment to public access, many students who could not otherwise afford a university education have found success and opportunity here. As one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country, we’ve created a high-achieving and diverse student body that creates dynamic classroom discussion and fosters new ways of looking at problems. We train engineers, business leaders, teachers and artists, many of whom go on to enrich Chicago’s economic and social fabric by pursuing their professional careers here. And we’re a major educator for the state’s healthcare system—we train nearly half the state’s dentists, one in six physicians and one in three pharmacists. More private support means more opportunities for bright students, better patient care and access and stronger local communities.
We’ve transformed our campus into one that’s more comfortable and visually appealing—and more conducive to student success. But to meet our goal of becoming the premier urban public research university, we must continue to improve our student experience. Although we have an ideal Chicago location, we know we can make our campus a destination in itself and create a student experience that’s as rewarding as the education we provide here.
We already have an excellent foundation for a world-class student experience—our campus is in the midst of one of the great cities of the world, which is a wonderful advantage to our students. It gives them access to a rich cultural and social scene but also serves as their classroom; they have the opportunity to apply what they learn in our public healthcare clinics and hospital, in city schools and dozens of other public institutions and community outreach programs. Students also have access to new on-campus housing, international study options, athletic programs and one-of-a-kind tools like our Dental Implant Center, the worlds most powerful MRI and virtual reality teaching tools developed in our collaborative Electronic Visualization Laboratory. Funds from the Campaign will allow us to build more state-of-the art spaces and expand numerous cultural and athletic outlets. The result will be an ever-more vibrant and productive community to populate our classrooms, laboratories and gathering places.
UIC will continue to make a direct and visible impact on the health and well being of Illinois residents and people in urban areas everywhere. More private support can help us increase access to our medical education programs, build state-of-the-art spaces and facilities and expand research and patient care and education.
UIC is eminently qualified to take the lead in advancing healthcare. The University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago and UIC'’s colleges of applied health sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health provide excellent clinical care. UIC’s health sciences colleges conduct breakthrough research while training highly-skilled healthcare professionals.
Expanding on our research—building on our strengths in transplant surgery, cardiology, women’s health, adolescent psychiatry, cancer treatment and many other areas—is an important component of our goal to promote healthy societies. But our work will also be directed at the big picture of healthcare—the diminishing number of educators (our dental school is one of only two remaining in the area) and the continued disparity in access to quality care.
Our goal is to keep our Great Cities Commitment at the core of the UIC’s mission by expanding research projects and strengthening our array of outreach programs. We will also grow our network of partnerships and further develop our relations with universities and urban-planning and policy experts in international cities, becoming a leader in urban problem solving.
The 21st century will require new thinking for urban areas; cities all over the world are growing and spreading more than ever before as people are drawn to their social and economic opportunities and cultural vitality. We’re working now to find solutions and policies for the tough challenges this will bring, such as maintaining affordable housing; improving education, public health and transportation; and keeping the air and water clean in highly congested areas.
Historically and geographically, UIC is perfectly situated to take the lead in urban problem solving. Under our campus-wide Great Cities Commitment, which includes our top-ranked urban planning and policy programs, we’ve partnered with more than 1,400 community organizations to launch programs and research studies. These programs are interdisciplinary and provide hands-on learning for our students. They involve multiple partnerships with corporate, government and community partners, including other universities. All of them are aimed at making cities brilliant, now and in the future.