June 11, 2014

Martin Nesbitt, Chairman
The Barack Obama Foundation
13th Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005

Dear Mr. Nesbitt:

On behalf of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), I respectfully submit the attached response to the Barack Obama Foundation’s Request for Qualifications for hosting the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), founded in 1982, is a young university with an ambitious goal: to create knowledge that transforms our understanding of the world and—through practical, hands-on application—also transforms the world itself. At UIC, we have the audacity to address the challenges and opportunities facing not only Chicago, but great cities around the world. In just over thirty years, UIC has emerged as a leader in the field of postsecondary education, with more than 28,000 students, fifteen academic colleges, and $388 million in annual research expenditures. We have more than 200,000 alumni around the globe and were recently ranked 13th among the worlds best “young universities” by Times Higher Education.

Medical education and the provision of healthcare services are of paramount importance to UIC. Our College of Medicine with four regional campuses is the largest in the nation, and our nursing program is the most highly rated in Illinois. As Chicago’s only public research university and comprehensive health sciences center, we pioneer cutting- edge medical technologies and provide tens of millions of dollars in uncompensated healthcare services to underserved communities throughout Chicago. Our philosophy, like that of the Obama administration, is straightforward—to make high-quality healthcare services accessible and affordable for all.

Lastly, it is UIC’s dedication to social justice that makes ours an ideal university to promote President Obama’s dream of a more open and inclusive world. Through our Great Cities Commitment, UIC offers hundreds of programs that both empower local communities and allow students and faculty to access the wealth of talent and insight those communities have to offer. We are, moreover, one of the most diverse universities in the world, with no ethnic majority predominating. On any given day, you could hear nearly 50 different languages during a stroll through the UIC community. Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college, and nearly half are eligible for benefits such as the Pell Grant that President Obama fought to preserve.

At UIC, we come together as one people; our very differences are the source of our greatest strength. Thank you very much for your consideration.


Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Vice President, University of Illinois
John Corbally Presidential Professor