Message from the Chancellor
Dear members of the UIC community,
On March 9, 2020, I sent you my first communication about the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time we didn’t know much about this new disease, but we were sensing its potential global impact. This is why I thought it was important in that first message to emphasize the need to work together as a community, to place our trust in science, and to lead by example, accepting the individual and collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us.
This has been a very difficult year for all of us. As we reflect on the past, we mourn the loss of life we experienced; we recognize the financial hardships of many people around us — including some of our family members, friends and neighbors; and we become even more determined to fight the social inequalities which this pandemic so profoundly revealed.
At the same time, we should also feel great pride in what we have accomplished. Our front-line health care providers have demonstrated time and again – from the early heroic efforts in our hospital to the most recent celebration of life in our vaccination centers – their commitment to saving lives. Our essential workers kept our services open, making it possible for those who needed to be on campus to do so. Our faculty and staff gave their best to support our students under very difficult circumstances, while at the same time they made significant clinical and scientific contributions to the fight against this virus. Our students assisted and supported each other and inspired us by their volunteerism and engagement within UIC and across the city of Chicago. And all of us, working together, continued to advance our mission while making our campus one of the safest places in Chicago during COVID.
Today, we look to the future with a much greater sense of optimism than a year ago. We know that we still have to remain diligent, and we will not reach a new normal for at least a few more months. Nevertheless, we can celebrate the success of science and global cooperation in delivering, in record time, the much-coveted COVID-19 vaccines, and we can be proud of the response and the accomplishments of our UIC community during this past year.
I believe that the end of the pandemic is near, and I expect that our community will emerge from it stronger than ever before. I want to thank you for your efforts, which have brought us to this point, and I’m looking forward to the time when I will also be able to do so in person.