Trustees extend UIC chancellor’s term through January 2015
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved an agreement Thursday to extend the term of UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares by one year, through Jan. 15, 2015.
The extension follows a review launched in August by University President Robert Easter, customary when top administrators are completing a term of service, and included input from students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as community leaders.
“I am pleased that Chancellor Allen-Meares has agreed to serve for another year. Under her leadership, UIC has continued its remarkable growth — in enrollment, in academic and research achievement and in respect as one of the world’s great urban universities,” Easter said.
Allen-Meares said she looks forward to building on UIC’s efforts to meet the needs of the 21st century.
“I am honored to serve this outstanding university at a time when the role of our institutions of higher learning continues to evolve rapidly — a time when our academic and research missions have created dual opportunities to provide the workforce development and innovation that will advance the common good,” she said.
Under the agreement, Allen-Meares will be eligible for compensation at the end of her extension under a new performance-based incentive compensation plan. The board established the program earlier this year, moving away from longevity-based incentives for senior administrators and instead linking compensation to progress toward specific goals that advance the university’s educational, research and public service missions.
Allen-Meares’ base salary is $422,458.
During her nearly five years as chancellor, UIC’s enrollment has increased by about 2,200 students, up 8 percent to more than 28,000, and research funding has grown by nearly 14 percent to more than $388 million. UIC ranked 52nd among U.S. universities for federal research funding in the latest government rankings.
This year, UIC moved up 14 spots to 63rd among public universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s top colleges, and the Chicago campus ranked 128th overall, up 19 spots from last year.
She created the Faculty Discovery Fund-Chancellor’s Innovation Fund to support UIC research discoveries and seed investments in startups, the Graduate Research Fellowship Program to support interdisciplinary graduate research, and expanded the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
She refocused the campus from the mantra “access to excellence” to “access to excellence and success,” which focuses on persistence and graduation rates.
Several initiatives under Allen-Meares have strengthened the diversity of UIC students and faculty. The Chancellors’ Cluster Initiative to Increase Diversity and the Interdisciplinary Culture at UIC provides funding to recruit underrepresented minority faculty who conduct research on topics related to diversity.
Allen-Meares led the “Brilliant Futures” fundraising campaign for UIC, which at its conclusion in 2012 had raised $678 million, the most ever raised by the campus, exceeding its goal of $650 million.
During Allen-Meares’ term as chancellor, UIC received $64 million in state funding for a new, $104 million Advanced Chemical Technical Building, a collaborative research facility that will house faculty from chemistry, biology and physics to foster innovation in critical fields such as health care and environmental science.
Along with serving as chancellor, she is a vice president of the university and John Corbally presidential professor, with appointments on both the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses.
Allen-Meares is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the Royal Academy of Medicine and a trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine.
She serves on the Chicago Civic Consulting Alliance, the American Council on Education’s Commission on Inclusion and the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities.
She has written more than 160 scholarly publications and several books, including the recently released The School Services Sourcebook: A Guide for School-Based Professionals.
Allen-Meares recently received an $833,000 grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education and funding from the National Institutes of Health for the Integrated Behavioral Health Project, which delivered $1.4 million to support a project to strengthen the workforce pipeline in the critical STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Today’s Chicago Woman named Allen-Meares one of its “100 Women of Influence” in its July 2013 issue. She was named a 2013 Business Leader of Color by Chicago United.
UIC has a nearly $2 billion budget, 12,000 faculty and staff and 15 colleges, including the nation’s largest college of medicine. UIC operates the state’s largest public medical center and regional health sciences campuses in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana-Champaign.
A summary of Allen-Meares’ background and achievements is available online.