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Paula Allen-Meares named chancellor of UIC

Paula Allen-Meares
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Paula Allen-Meares

Paula Allen-Meares, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, has been selected as the next chancellor of UIC, pending formal approval by the UI Board of Trustees.

Allen-Meares would take office Jan. 16, and would assume the helm of a UIC campus that ranks 47th nationally in federally funded research, enrolls 25,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and is the largest university in Chicago.

“Paula Allen-Meares is a high-aspiration, high-achieving leader, who for 15 years has kept a professional school of a leading university at the very top of the national rankings,” said UI President B. Joseph White. “The search committee described Paula as a role model for the UIC community, an academic leader and highly productive scholar who is personally involved in vital areas of improving peoples’ lives,” White said. “She will lead UIC through its next level of development as a great urban research university.”

Allen-Meares has been dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan since 1993 and is the Norma Radin Collegiate Professor of Social Work as well as a professor of education at the university. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Allen-Meares was a professor and dean of the School of Social Work at the UI’s Urbana campus, where she received her master’s and doctoral degrees. Her bachelor’s degree was earned at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“The mission of the University of Illinois at Chicago reflects my strong beliefs: “to create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world. For this reason, I am deeply honored to become the next chancellor at UIC,” Allen-Meares said.

The board will act on Allen-Meares’ nomination as UIC chancellor at its scheduled July 24 meeting. In addition to the UIC chancellorship, Allen-Meares would hold faculty appointments in social work and education at the UIC and Urbana campuses. 

Allen-Meares said UIC’s role as a health-care provider and leading educator of health-care professionals and the campus’s Great Cities Commitment of engagement with the Chicago community are areas of common interest with her research and scholarship.

Her interest and expertise focus on social work as it relates to educational settings and adolescents.

Former Chancellor Sylvia Manning retired in December after eight years at the UIC helm. During Manning’s tenure, UIC moved into the top 50 universities nationally in federal research funding at more than $200 million annually. Eric A. “Rick” Gislason, vice chancellor for research at UIC, has served as interim chancellor and will remain in the job until January, when he plans to retire.

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