August 19, 2014
Thompson Rooms, Student Center West

8:00 am Registration / Continental Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 am Welcome and Remarks
Paula Allen-Meares, Chancellor

Budget and Strategic Planning Update
Janet Parker, Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning/Associate Chancellor

Enrollment Update
Kevin Browne, Vice Provost for Academic and Enrollment Services

9:30 -10:15 am Keynote
Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York
10:15 - 10:30 am Break
10:30 - 12:00 pm Panel Discussion on Student Success

Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Ph.D.,Vice President for Engagement and Professor of Management Information Systems at Florida International University
Tina Gridiron, Senior Strategy Officer, Lumina Foundation
Richard McGee, Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development, Northwestern University

James Pellegrino, Co-director of UIC’s interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Research Institute

12:00 pm Closing Remarks
Eric Gislason, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost
12:30 pm Adjourn


About the UIC Leadership Retreat

Each August for over a decade the UIC Leadership Retreat has convened 250+ of UIC’s administrative and intellectual leaders to review the state of the campus and national issues of importance to higher education. The retreat is structured as a half-day event featuring a keynote and one or more panel discussions. Illustrious keynote speakers from recent years have included the following:

For more information, contact Cybele Abrams, cabrams@uic.edu, 312/413-2194.


Parking will be available free with a UIC hangtag at the Wood Street Parking Structure, 1100 S. Wood St.


2013 Leadership Retreat


Keynote: Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York

Janet Parker, Vice Provost for Budget and Resource Planning/Associate Chancellor

Kevin Browne, Vice Provost for Academic and Enrollment Services

The Spectrum of Success

At UIC, student success is everyone’s responsibility. This year’s retreat, titled The Spectrum of Success, will provide an opportunity to consider how UIC can continue to promote student success for a broad spectrum of students, and the collaborations across a broad spectrum of partners that contribute to that success. Our considerations will span the continuum from pre-college to career placement.

UIC’s undergraduate graduation rates have increased steadily to the current six-year graduation rate of 57%. While this is similar to the national average (56.5%) and that of our peers as defined by the Board of Trustees (58%), it should be higher. UIC is in the midst of implementing a sweeping Undergraduate Student Success Plan with the goal of raising the first-to-second-year retention rate to 85% and the six-year graduation rate to 65%, with parity among all ethnic/racial groups and genders. 

Nationally, the average time to degree for PhD students and the number on average of these students failing to complete their degrees have increased steadily over 30 years. PhD students take 7.7 years to graduate, with STEM students progressing fastest (6.7-6.9 years), Social Sciences students next (7.7 years), and Humanities students taking longest (9.3 years). Attrition is higher in the Humanities with 51% not completing their programs compared to 45% in Mathematics and Social Sciences and 36% in Life Sciences and Engineering. We must therefore reevaluate our support for graduate students to balance a shifting job market, a desiccated funding environment, and our role as a research-intensive institution.

The relationship between student success (retention, graduation and career) and economic success for the university and for the state as a whole is causal and immediate. The need for data-driven and assessment-honed actions is clear. Horizontal, inter-institutional data and assessment alliances, vertical alignment of K-20 educational systems, and investment and participation from the full community have become the themes of success; they form the backbone of successful education systems. Arguably, for universities to dramatically improve their educational outcomes will require greater inter-institutional cooperation across and between all levels, drawing upon a growing body of published evidence, with the valuable coordinating hand of foundations and consortia.   

Consistent with this ethos of inter-institutional cooperation, the UIC Leadership Retreat has invited experts from across the educational spectrum. We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for this year’s retreat will be Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the SUNY system. Dr. Zimpher has been a career leader and change agent in teacher preparation and urban education. In addition, we will hear from a panel of distinguished speakers representing K-12 education, peer universities, and the foundation community.   

This Web page will be updated regularly with details on the program, speakers and logistics. We look forward to seeing you on August 19.


Paula Allen-Meares
John Corbally Presidential Professor

Background Reading:

"Defining Quality Collective Impact," Jeff Edmondson and Ben Hecht