Dear students, faculty and staff:
You have probably heard by now the bittersweet news that UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis has been named the next president of the University of South Carolina, effective July 1. For Michael, this is a richly deserved opportunity to lead the university where he spent more than two decades of his career, and recognition of all that he has accomplished as the sixth chancellor of UIC.
Michael became chancellor at Chicago in early 2015, shortly after I was selected president of the University of Illinois System, and we have worked very closely together for the past seven years. He has been both a trusted colleague and a close friend. While we may be dismayed by the announcement of Michael’s planned departure, it is also a time to congratulate him and celebrate his success. Without question, he has elevated UIC and, with it, the entire U of I System.
From the beginning, Michael focused on building on the strengths of UIC — its faculty, staff and students. He worked tirelessly to enhance its engagement with the city to make UIC the university for Chicago, while, at the same time, expanding its statewide, national, and international impact.
Michael’s achievements as chancellor are significant and too numerous to enumerate completely here. But I want to offer just a few examples. Under his leadership, enrollment has reached record numbers, topping 34,000 students last fall, while maintaining UIC’s position as one of the nation’s most diverse and affordable campuses. In 2019, UIC acquired John Marshall Law School, now the UIC School of Law, Chicago’s first public law school. In 2020, UIC surpassed a record $400 million in research awards and reached its bold fundraising goals. Michael has also ably led the UI Health system to greater heights, providing critically important health care to all citizens while innovating in drug discovery, surgery, nursing, population health and vaccine development and deployment.
Michael has also transformed the UIC campus by overseeing the construction of the Engineering Innovation Building and the Academic Residential Complex, where hundreds of students now live and learn. More major capital projects are underway, including the Outpatient Surgery Center and the Computer Design Research and Learning Center.
More broadly, Michael has established a position of national higher education leadership for UIC. He led the creation of a new consortium of Hispanic-serving research universities that is having a major impact in improving diversity among researchers and faculty.
We will celebrate these and many other achievements in the coming months to highlight what Michael has meant to UIC.
Personally, I will miss a close friend whose insights and brilliance — along with his warmth and collaborative spirit — I have valued since we started working together. His sense of humor is legendary, and I will miss serving as his straight man in joint presentations!
Please join me in congratulating Michael for his extraordinary service to UIC, the U of I System, city of Chicago and the state and wish him and his wife, Dr. Ero Aggelopoulo Amiridis, the very best as they begin this exciting next chapter of their lives.