This has been an extraordinary year and we should all be very proud of the work that faculty, staff and students have done on behalf of our university. The public education day was a success in that we reached out to stakeholders, civic leaders, journalists, philanthropists and elected officials to begin a conversation about the importance of public higher education at a research university. We succeeded in obtaining a resolution from the City Council recognizing our contributions to the city of Chicago, the Sun Times editorial board wrote an editorial supporting our efforts. We were mentioned in various media outlets including the New York Times and WBEZ.
Our lobby day in Springfield was a great success. We went with the University wide alumni association, and UIC was far better represented then the rest of the university system, including our rural sister campus UIUC. Students, staff, faculty and administrators from UIC spoke with elected officials and held a press conference. We felt as if we were successful at helping our elected officials to understand that UIC is a world-class research institution, and one that has managed to succeed at offering a world-class research intensive education to the youth of Chicago and the state of Illinois.
The state has paid the university part of the money they owe us. But it is far from over. Immediately the budget is being decided now, and we need one final push in the next few days. We are asking everyone to please place a call to Speaker Michael Madigan’s office and email Senator leader John Cullerton and Governor Patrick Quinn reminding them of the importance of public higher education as they deliberate.
We hope to be able to meet early on in the fall semester to plan a year long set of public education activities. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, it has been great getting to know our colleagues and students in a little different way.
Speaker Michael Madigan
Capitol Office 9297041 5255965
300 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Senator John Cullerton
327 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Governor Patrick Quinn Pat.Quinn@Illinois.gov
Please contact Illinois Connect and sign up to go to Springfield. We need at least a dozen more people from the UIC faculty.
The Medical Center is trying to get another 15 to go as well but none have signed up yet.
The buses leave from SCE at 8 a.m. but be sure to register for them. More info below.
The Council Hearing went well, and now our efforts are focused on our next event:
If you can attend, please sign in at Illinois Connection. We have promised 30 faculty to attend. Students from UIC have their own quotas. Just click on register for the event below. So far, we have only eight faculty signed up so we need at least 22 more. When you register, they will schedule a meeting between you and your own state legislators. For more information, click here.
Thanks to all for your support at the Council Hearing on Monday- Message from Dick Simpson, Professor and Department Head, Political Science
As many of you know from your presence and the Chancellor’s message, we had 150 people present at the City Council hearing this morning. After 6 or 7 speakers including the Chancellor and the University President, the resolution supporting UIC and the University of Illinois passed the joint Finance and Education Committees unanimously. We expect it to pass unanimously at the full city council meeting on Wednesday.
Upon my return to the university, I had a call from House Speaker Mike Madigan who understands our needs. He had been contacted by Alderman Reilly (42nd Ward) and sent a copy of the resolution on our behalf. I asked him what else we should be doing to get the money that the state owes us and to keep from greater budget cuts next year. He urged us to keep meeting with state legislators as we have been doing. I told him that we will be done in force to do so April 21st. (The Medical Center alone expects to send 15 representatives and we have promised Illinois Connection at least 30 faculty.)
So we have moved up the power chain to be in direct contact with the Speaker and if we keep the pressure up we will prevail. Thanks to everyone for their efforts.
On to Springfield next week.
Dear UIC Faculty, Students and Staff,
This morning the Chicago City Council’s Joint Committee on Finance and Education unanimously passed a resolution co-sponsored by Aldermen Robert Fioretti, Daniel Solis, Walter Burnett and Brendan Reilly urging the state to restore FY10 funding to state universities and to re-examine possible FY11 budget cuts. The passage followed a hearing held at the City Council chambers at which Alderman Fioretti spoke
forcefully about the importance of UIC to the community, city and state. The resolution now goes to the full City Council for consideration.
I want to thank the four aldermen for their strong support, and Professors Dick Simpson and Nena Torres for organizing today’s hearing.
I also want to thank everyone from UIC and the University of Illinois who attended the hearing, particularly those who joined me in speaking on behalf of the resolution: President Stanley Ikenberry, Professors Simpson and Torres, College of Medicine Dean Joe Flaherty, Associate Professor Elizabeth Orsay, and Sean Murray from Undergraduate Student Government.
Together, we will continue to get the word to Springfield about the vital role that UIC plays throughout the State of Illinois, and the critical importance of full and reliable state funding so that we and other public universities can continue to carry out our missions of teaching, research, clinical care, public service and economic development.
Those who are assigned speakers should meet at Alderman Fioretti’s office at 9:45 a.m. on Monday. Everyone else should meet outside the council chamber doors and then go in and take your seats before the 10 a.m. hearing. We need 100 people so bring as many people as you can. (There is a metal detector so don’t bring pocket knives — it is just like checking in at an airport.) See full detail on the day below.