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  Reported by
  John Easton, AM'77
  Carrie Golus, AB'91, AM'93
  Richard Mertens
  Sharla Stewart
  Mary Ruth Yoe

  Photography by
  Dan Dry


  > > The End of Consulting?
  > >
Records of a Revolution
  > >
Campus of the Big Ideas
  > >
You Go Girl!


Chicago: Campus of the Big Ideas
The launch of The Chicago Initiative-the University's five-year, $2 billion fund-raising effort-was marked by an April 12 event that focused on Chicago's intellectual initiatives.

Chicago Initiative Goals

1. Strengthen a Community of Scholars and Teachers

The first of the Chicago Initiative's four priorities goes to the heart of the University: $275 million to provide funds to recruit and retain the world's most exciting teachers and scholars and to provide the faculty with first-class research tools and resources.
The goal includes 35 endowed professorships and funds for visiting professors, guest artists, term appointments, and lectureships.

2. Ensure Access to a Chicago Education

The Chicago Initiative has targeted $290 million to help the University meet its long-standing commitment to a need-blind admissions policy, one that brings to the University the brightest undergraduate and graduate students regardless of their financial background.

Nearly half of Chicago's undergraduates require financial aid, with an annual average need-based grant of $14,000 per student-a drain on a University budget that also must compete for the nation's most talented Ph.D. students, who typically receive offers that include full tuition, a substantial stipend, and, increasingly, fringe benefits such as health insurance.

3. Transcend Barriers in Science and Research

Almost half of the Chicago Initiative's $2 billion goal-or $955 million-is earmarked for facilities, equipment, and programs in the physical and natural sciences. Just as Chicago made an indelible mark on the science of the 20th century-from developing carbon-14 dating to proving that chromosomal defects can lead to cancer-so the University hopes to lead the scientific advances of the 21st century.

A key element will be the Interdivisional Research Building (IRB). By bringing together biological and physical scientists under one roof, in 425,000 square feet of research space, the IRB will make it easier for Chicago's researchers to break down the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines.

Three main areas of support are sought: $445 million for research support (including funds for laboratories and scientific equipment), $380 million for core research-oriented programs in the biological and physical sciences, and $130 million for facilities, including the IRB and the Comer Children's Hospital, a new 155-bed facility scheduled to open in early 2004.

IMAGE:  Comer Children's Hospital
Comer Children's Hospital

4. Cultivate the Landscape for Learning through the Master Plan

Finalized in 1999 the University of Chicago Campus Master Plan outlines crucial physical-space needs-and sets forth a plan for meeting those needs that reinforces a University-wide commitment to creating a campus that maximizes the intersection of people and ideas. $390 million is targeted to help turn the plans into reality.

On the drawing board-and, in two cases, already under construction-are three major projects:

  • A $125 million, 400,000 square foot Graduate School of Business campus has been designed by Rafael Viñoly to encourage discussion, debate, and creative collaboration, bringing together people now scattered throughout four different buildings to a location in the center of the main campus.
  • The Gerald Ratner Athletics Center, scheduled to open in fall 2003, meets increasing demand for intramural, club, and varsity sports, as well as physical fitness and recreational use. Designed by Cesar Pelli, the center will include an Olympic-regulation pool, fitness center, workout rooms, dance classrooms, and a 2,500-seat gymnasium that will do double duty for special events and sports competitions.
  • New creative and performing arts facilities are in the planning stages. Building on Chicago's interdisciplinary tradition, the facilities will emphasize intermedia exchange through new and expanded spaces for the visual and performance arts.

Annual Funds

Year-in, year-out, the annual gifts of alumni and friends to the University have enormous impact-in 2001, for example, alumni and friends made annual gifts totaling more than $13.7 million, providing ongoing support for student scholarships and graduate fellowships, faculty research and teaching programs, and research and computer labs.

Providing the institution with the greatest flexibility to support its academic mission, all gifts to the annual funds of each division, unit, or school throughout the Chicago Initiative will be included in the Initiative totals. The goal: $90 million.

1. In the beginning: what do our origins tell us about ourselves?

2. Homo sapiens: are we really rational creatures?

3. Integrating the physical and biological sciences: what lies ahead?

4. Money, services, or laws: how do we improve lives?

5. Clones, genes, and stem cells: can we find the path to the greatest good?

6. How will technology change the way we work and live?

7. Why do we dig up the past?

8. Art for art's sake?

9. In the realm of the senses: how do we understand what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste?

10. Can we protect civil liberties in wartime?


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  JUNE 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 5

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  > > From the President
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  > > e-Bulletin: 06/14/02



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