June 8, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 18

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    University responds to committee’s recommendations for I-House

    In a letter dated May 25 and sent to members of the University community, President Sonnenschein announced that he would initiate a process to follow recommendations made by the Committee on the Future of International House.

    That process includes keeping open the public spaces of I-House and as much of its residential portions as permitted by City of Chicago codes.

    Sonnenschein said he would immediately initiate a process to accommodate as many residential students as possible and to bring the I-House building into compliance with City of Chicago fire regulations.

    This includes following the recommendation to install a new fire-alarm system, assuming the cost is reasonably consistent with the committee’s $1.8 million estimate.

    Also, Sonnenschein wrote that the University will “reconstitute and strengthen the International House Board; appoint a new, full-time Director of International House; assume the management of the International House building and financial planning; initiate a process to plan for the future of the International House building; and appoint a committee to conduct a comprehensive study of international education at the University in the 21st century.”

    He also noted that he had discussed the committee’s report and recommendations with Don Michael Randel, University President-elect, who will appoint a committee to examine the University’s role in international education after he takes office July 1.

    The committee wrote: “Our investigations have indicated a great deal of potential for I-House. A commission on international education would afford the opportunity to explore and test fully such potential for I-House while addressing an important and unresolved issue facing the University.”

    The committee÷co-chaired by Richard Franke, University Trustee, and Edward Cook, Associate Professor in History, and appointed in March by Sonnenschein÷issued its report after interviewing nearly 100 people and gathering extensive information on the history of I-House programs, occupancy, finances and the physical status of the I-House building.

    Sonnenschein commended the committee members for their serious commitment to perform the work of their charge. Both the full report of the Committee on the Future of International House and the official memorandum sent by Sonnenschein in response to the report may be viewed at the committee’s Web site at http://www.uchicago.edu/docs/i-house-committee/.