Welcoming new campus provost
Susan Poser spent 20 years living in Lincoln, Nebraska, before moving to Chicago this month. But she isn’t new to city living — she grew up in New York, which instilled in her a love of theater, dance and the Mets.
Little did she know that taking a job at UIC could bring her closer to her dream of meeting one of her favorite players, UIC alumnus and New York Mets All-Star Curtis Granderson.
“I was an enormous fan of his long before I knew anything about the job or knew he was from here,” Poser said. “I hope to meet him.”
Poser began her new job Feb. 1 as UIC’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. She has spent the last few weeks meeting with faculty, attending campus events and getting acclimated to UIC.
“UIC has a wonderful faculty, is an R1 research university and has a strong mission of providing access and opportunity to students who might not otherwise have it,” she said.
“That combination of being a top research university and providing that kind of opportunity is relatively unique in this country. We can take it to the next level in terms of being an even better research university and having even more access to an even more diverse group of students. That doesn’t exist anywhere in the United States right now, and that, to me, is the grand challenge.”
Before taking the job at UIC, Poser was dean and professor of law at the University of Nebraska. She also held other administrative positions at Nebraska, such as director of the Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching & Study of Applied Ethics and associate to the chancellor.
“I had spent over 20 years in Lincoln, Nebraska, and both of my kids had left the house so I really had an opportunity to do something different,” she said. “What attracted me to UIC was the fact that it’s an urban research university and a very mission-driven place.”
At Nebraska, Poser was active on Twitter and plans to continue making connections via social media. Follow her on Twitter @SusanPoserUIC. She plans to use Twitter as a way to celebrate the achievements of the faculty and students.
Her husband, Stephen DiMagno, a professor in pharmacy and chemistry, will join her at UIC in March after he finishes teaching his last graduate class at Nebraska.
They have two daughters, one who graduated from college in 2015 with a bachelor’s in history and another who is a sophomore in college studying economics and political science. Her eldest daughter is heading to Nepal in June to do a service project.
Poser and her family are excited to see what Chicago has to offer.
“I play classical piano so I’m excited about the orchestra, dance and theater — I grew up with all of that in New York,” Poser said. “And I’m very excited about the food.”