Campus shares thoughts on strategic plan

Town hall

UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis and University President Timothy Killeen speak at a strategic planning town hall. — Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

The process of building a something-for-everyone strategic plan for the University of Illinois continued March 8 with a town hall at UIC.

One of a second round of such sessions at the three campuses, the meeting in Student Center West was hosted by University President Timothy Killeen and UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis.

“We’re building a 21st or 22nd century university,” said Killeen. “We don’t want to be catching up.”

He called for “intense” collaboration across disciplines and with partners, “research and scholarship with impact” and “a culture of discovery, entrepreneurship and risk-taking.”

The plan will describe what the university wants to do in the next five or 10 years. Work began over the summer and the goal is completion by the end of the academic year.

Killeen asked of the now 8- to 12-page strategic plan, “Does it convey an overall direction, a vision?”

The document should cite “diversity, enrollment growth, reimagined student-focused teaching and learning, a rich and varied cultural experience, experiential learning and career guidance,” he said.

Speaking for the Great Cities Institute, political science professor Dick Simpson said the plan “neglects” UIC’s role in one of the top 10 global cities.

“The Chicago metropolitan region has more wealth and production than most nations,” he said. “We need to have recognition of our efforts for improvement of the city of Chicago.”

An administrator from the College of Dentistry observed, “We can be frugal, but we don’t have to look like we’re frugal.”

Amiridis said, “We are not frugal, we are poor,” drawing laughter. “If we are $670 million in debt, show me the money.”

With 700,000 alumni, “only 8 percent give back,” Killeen said.

View the draft plan and make suggestions online.

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