Ad hoc committee established to study faculty, staff housing policiesSeeking comments on quality of life in Hyde Park The Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing has been established by President Sonnenschein to study the University's housing policies.
As part of the committee's work, faculty members who have joined the University in the past few years will be surveyed to determine what factors influenced the decision to live in the Hyde Park-South Kenwood neighborhood or to live elsewhere. All faculty and staff members are encouraged to contact members of the committee, preferably in writing, with their thoughts and ideas concerning life in the University's neighborhood.
"The committee is very eager to hear, in particular, faculty views about the present housing program and about the importance of Hyde Park to the University," said committee chairman J. Paul Hunter, the Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities. The University currently encourages members of its community to live near campus by offering special housing loans to faculty and senior staff members.
As a result of this policy, the University has one of the nation's highest percentages, among peer institutions in urban settings, of faculty members living near campus. About 80 percent of the faculty members in the graduate divisions and the College live nearby. However, in recent years, an increasing number of younger faculty members, particularly in the professional schools, have chosen to live outside of Hyde Park. The committee's research will help the University understand more about the conditions that led to those decisions.
"While our specific charge is to think through the present housing policy, we want to open the question completely, to think some larger thoughts about the links between Hyde Park and the University," Hunter said. "In order to do that, we need to think through community issues and concerns about safety and services. We want to be able to address these issues at all levels in our recommendations. We're interested in hearing from all faculty members about their concerns about Hyde Park as a living space and as a setting for the University."
The committee expects to report to President Sonnenschein by the end of spring quarter.
In addition to Hunter, members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing are Douglas Baird, the Harry A. Bigelow Professor and Dean of the Law School; Laurie Butler, Associate Professor in Chemistry; Eileen Epstein, Director of Development in the Laboratory Schools; Martha Feldman, Assistant Professor in Music; Norma Field, Professor in East Asian Languages & Civilizations; D. Gale Johnson, the Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor in Economics; Jonathan Kleinbard, Vice President for University News & Community Affairs; Michael Klowden, University Trustee; Keith Moffat, Professor in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Ralph Muller, President of the Hospitals; Robert Pippin, Professor and Chairman of the Committee on Social Thought; Nancy Stevenson, University Trustee; Arthur Sussman, General Counsel and Vice President for Administration; and Patricia Swanson, Associate Provost.