A father with his family, and a teacher with her students

Dean's Welcome: 2013-2014 Academic Year

Message from Dean Pagano



Welcome! After a relatively cool Chicago summer, the 2013 fall semester is here. I, for one, am delighted for several reasons, one of which (others in CAPS below) is the shift to the autumn season, my favorite!

To get things going, last week, our new student orientations welcomed our new students into the Public Administration program, the Urban Planning and Policy program, and into the Urban and Public Affairs program. They join 450 students and more than 200 full-and part-time faculty, staff, and non-student researchers walking the halls of CUPPA this year.

Last Thursday’s CUPPA Block Party was an awesome way to liven things up, and we owe special thanks to our student leaders and all others from the UPPSA, PASA, SUPA and PhD planning and volunteer teams, along with staffer: Laura Froehlich, Ashurina Atto, Al Schorsch, Ann Barnds, Sharon Sanders, Sarah McDonald, and Danielle Cheatom -- who coordinated all aspects of this event from permits to party supplies-- and finally to our alumni grillers. A special “Thank You”!

In a major effort to recruit students and to announce our fantastic degree programs, new minors, and certificate programs in CUPPA, we have launched a major advertising and marketing campaign. Keep a look out for our ads appearing on UIC campus buses, on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, in the Red Eye, and a host of other locations around town. Share your experiences in CUPPA whenever you can and wear your dedication to understanding and solving the challenges of cities proudly!

You may have noticed a few MORE changes happening around CUPPA Hall lately. We continue to plan for the improvements to our building's façade along with the installation of new windows as soon as funds are approved and released by the State of Illinois Capital Development Board. This noisy and messy process will result in much improved energy efficiency, climate control, and safety—not to mention a much nicer aesthetic. The university was able to reallocate funds to support our 103-year-old building, and we want to treat it with care. New and improved signage has been installed over the summer, and a few other enhancements are coming including new technology and space for classroom labs. We continually look for cost effective ways to improve our surroundings and safety measures in CUPPA Hall. If you have ideas or suggestions, please let me know. Per a student's suggestion several years ago, we investigated a rooftop garden. The building itself is not able to support that weight-bearing load, however, we are looking into alternatives such as a roof top deck in the future. We are making plans for the Circle Interchange construction that will have a significant impact on how we operate and we will certainly keep you abreast of those issues. Thanks to the Urban Transportation Center, we plan a 24/7 webcam to track the progress on the Interchange and give people an idea of the massive nature of this infrastructure project. Both Peoria Street and the gateway to campus on the south side of the expressway will undergo significant alterations and the university and community planning committees have recognized this opportunity to enhance the space around us. This construction is going to present a series of challenges and impediments that few of us could imagine. We're doing our very best to lessen the impact but there is no doubt that the whole process will be inconvenient. I encourage all of us to weather this with patience and kindness and to think of the years to come when we can say, "Were you at CUPPA Hall when…?"

During this next academic year, take a look around and notice the folks who are here at all hours of the day and night. Notice those who don’t stop until the project or job is completed successfully. Notice those who consistently think of the needs of others around them and how we can make CUPPA a better place. Whether it’s in HR or research or advising or teaching or giving a tour or answering a phone, CUPPA has assembled the best team of faculty and staff on campus, if not in the world. I’m proud to be a part of it and I’m proud of all of you. I’m proud of the work we do and I’m proud of how we manage our resources. I would like to recognize several of our CUPPA family who achieved academic recognition through promotions this past year and offer my congratulations:

Rebecca Hendrick, Promotion to Full Professor, Public Administration
Nikolas Theodore, Promotion to Full Professor, Urban Planning and Policy
Moira Zellner, Promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, UPP
Kelly LeRoux, Promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, PA
Mary Feeney, Promotion to Associate Professor with tenure, PA
PS Sriraj, Promotion to Associate Research Professor, Urban Transportation Center

Please ask your department head or director to see the CUPPA financial figures, graphs, and charts that are available and check our CUPPA Reports website for regular updates on finance. My goal is to be as transparent as possible in our investment in the future of the college and if you have questions, please ask.

In the next few months, I will be meeting with the various CUPPA constituent,s including staff, students, alumni and faculty and I will continue to emphasize the process of open communication within the college. We will continue several communication strategies ranging from our semester newsletters that will be sent to alumni and campus friends to weekly
internal college e-mail updates and new message screens upon the entrance to CUPPA Hall. You will see weekly emails of the “Top Ten Things You Should Know This Week in CUPPA” on Monday mornings in your inbox. Our college website features media appearances, special events around the college, our CUPPA Careers blog, and a few other special features, with links to all units of the college. We are continuing work on the imagery and standards of our websites that will provide a collective visual synergy in being a part of CUPPA and proudly belonging to the University of Illinois at Chicago. Please watch for dates of discussions to come. Don’t hesitate to talk with your own department head or director regarding the goals and investments that are driving your individual unit.

And please do follow us in the twittersphere: @MichaelAPagano and @AssocDeanCUPPA.

I look forward to strategizing on the long-term vision for the college this next year as well. We are moving ahead with a fantastic continuing staff and look forward to identifying new team members via the search for a new Public Administration department head.
Let us go forth in this new academic year with the bright energy and vision restored to us this past summer. I thank you for all you do to make CUPPA the best college and for your continued support of the College’s mission. I look forward to working with you in the coming year.


Michael A. Pagano, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs




About the Dean

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