Chancellor establishes key priorities in first State of the University address 

With UIC’s shared values as an anchor, Chancellor Marie Lynn Miranda outlined five priorities to guide UIC forward during her first State of the University address Oct. 17. 

Rooted deeply in UIC’s mission and values, Miranda outlined five priorities that will guide UIC’s upward trajectory: 

  • Student success: focusing on recruitment, retention and graduation while fostering a sense of belonging and connection among all students — undergraduate, professional and graduate.  
  • Research infrastructure: positioning UIC at the forefront of knowledge and discovery.  
  • Engagement with our community: improving access to educational opportunities and clinical care in underserved communities, making our world more equitable, efficient and sustainable.   
  • Partnerships with businesses and nonprofits: enhancing faculty opportunities and strengthening student engagement and employment opportunities.  
  • Recruiting and retaining the best faculty and staff: ensuring that the people who make UIC excel feel seen, valued and motivated. 

“My intentional conversations with you — students, faculty, and staff — shaped these priorities,” Miranda said during her address at the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum. 

“We will continue to thrive as we live out our values of access, vitality, empowerment, and creativity by realizing our priorities of student success and belonging, enhanced research infrastructure, community engagement, partnerships with businesses and nonprofits, and faculty and staff support.” 

Though Miranda officially took office in July, she has been learning about UIC by engaging with faculty, staff, students and community partners since she was announced as UIC’s 10th chancellor in November 2022.  

“From move-in day, to convocation, to listening and learning from each of our colleges and vice chancellor units through deep dive sessions, to engaging with our civic, elected, business, community, and foundation leaders across the city — I have witnessed firsthand this institution’s unwavering commitment to access, vitality, empowerment, and creativity,” Miranda said. 

“These values resonate deeply with me. But more importantly, they are shared values — shared by faculty, staff, students, and alumni. That shared commitment to access, vitality, empowerment, and creativity — it’s our superpower.” 

During her address, Miranda emphasized UIC’s commitment to access and excellence. She highlighted UIC’s strength in research funding — which exceeded half a billion dollars during the 2023 fiscal year — as well as its commitment to supporting access to higher education, with 56% of UIC undergraduates receiving Pell Grants. 

“Some institutions have big research portfolios, and some institutions have a majority of students from low-resource backgrounds,” Miranda said. “Very few can claim both. At UIC, we claim both proudly. 

“We refuse to believe you must choose between access and excellence. As a consequence, UIC is the greatest engine for social mobility in the city of Chicago. That is what makes us so special.” 

UIC’s mission is grounded in the principle of providing the broadest access to the highest levels of educational, research and clinical excellence, Miranda said.  

“At the heart of our mission is social justice,” she said. “What does this mean for us? It means equity in opportunities and outcomes – from the classroom to health care to housing to employment. 

“Our mission is both compelling and irresistible, and it is exactly what the world needs.” 

As the first American-born member of an immigrant family, Miranda said she understands the importance of access and transformative power of higher education. 

“I applied to four colleges. There was no way I would have been able to afford any of them,” she said. “This made my parents very nervous. They wanted me to go to college, but they didn’t know how we could afford my dreams. I ended up at Duke because it was free to me. Scholarships were made available to me, and that changed my life.”  

The future of higher education will be determined by public institutions, she said. 

“Public universities, like UIC, educate a broad spectrum of students at scale, changing life trajectories and allowing our graduates to compete globally and lead meaningful lives,” Miranda said.  

“And even among public universities, UIC shines. We stand apart because, every day, we live our mission of providing the broadest access to the highest levels of educational, research, and clinical excellence.” 

Miranda celebrated UIC’s progress and the forward-looking vision that defines UIC. 

“Together, our future holds boundless possibilities to make UIC the academic, clinical, and research powerhouse we have the will and talent to be,” she said. 

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