Sonnenschein outlines vision for UniversityFaculty strength, financial success at core of goals Calling his vision for the University "one of confidence and optimism," President Sonnenschein touched upon the numerous achievements and accomplishments of the University and its faculty in the past few years and spoke about plans for the decade ahead in his State of the University address, delivered to the faculty on Feb. 3. The address is printed in its entirety in The University Record, contained in this issue of the Chronicle.
"When our culture is coupled with the resources necessary to support the very best work, this university is without peer," Sonnenschein said. "We are able to recruit and retain the very best faculty. We are able to attract and educate the very best students. We are able to conceive and develop the most outstanding programs. And the learning and discovery that follow are extraordinary."
Recent fundraising success and the fact that the University's budget has been balanced three years ahead of schedule will allow the University to make substantial investments to meet programmatic and capital needs, he said.
Citing the many successful faculty appointments of the past few years, Sonnenschein stressed that the strength of the university "depends most fundamentally on our ability to identify, hire and retain the most extraordinary scholars" and spoke of plans to put additional resources into the salary pool "to ensure that significant faculty contributions are appropriately and competitively rewarded." He also announced a personal goal of raising an endowment of at least $15 million over the next three years to attract "the very most talented scholars" to the University.
To address facilities needs, he said, the University is in the midst of developing a comprehensive master plan under the guidance of Provost Geoffrey Stone and faculty and trustee committees (see story on page 1). The master plan will include guidelines for $500 million in capital expenditures across the university over the next 10 years.
Among the possible capital projects is the construction of new research facilities in the physical sciences, including space for a proposed joint research institute for the physical and biological sciences (see story on page 3). In addition to the laboratory space, other projects Sonnenschein called crucial are the construction of a new athletic center and a reconfiguration and expansion of Regenstein Library.
Sonnenschein also reiterated his goal of "making the College more frequently the school of choice for the most talented and committed students." Success in this area would allow the College to expand by 1,000 students over the next decade.
The State of the University address can be found on the Chronicle Web site at www-news.uchicago.edu/chronicle/.