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Student Affairs Priorities

The importance of a supportive‚ safe‚ and nurturing environment for students is fundamental to the work of Student Affairs and is accomplished through the infusion of strategic priorities into the daily operations of all units. Student Affairs has developed five strategic priorities that chart the direction of our work with students. The priorities are as follows:

  1. Student-Centered Culture
  2. Welcoming and Modern Environments
  3. Synergy with Chicago
  4. Organizational Effectiveness/Organizational Innovation
  5. Enterprising Strength and Resources

1. Student-Centered Culture Heading link

Foster a student-centered culture that serves as a cornerstone for the work of Student Affairs

A “students first” culture will drive Student Affairs to ignite students’ passion by enriching their
academic, personal, and professional goals. Inherit is our responsibility to support and advocate for
diverse students, create engagement experiences, provide mechanisms for studentlearning/feedback,
and support students in distress. In this process we foster a sense of belonging, career/professional
astuteness, interest in lifelong learning, community service, and the application of tools to care for
themselves and others.

Cultivate Student Support & Advocacy

  • Continue to support and advocate for students by cultivating awareness and providing
    direct assistance in areas that include mental health, safety, interpersonal relationships and
    home/food insecurities;
  • Strive to regularly connect with students to gain insight and feedback about theirstudent
    experience to more effectively assess and respond to their needs, and ultimately ensure a
    positive experience and success is achieved at UIC;
  • Strengthen mechanisms to encourage student input and assessment as a consistent
    component of services and program planning;
  • Develop a culture of care in a safe and nurturing environment where students will develop
    positive identities and experience a strong sense of belonging.

Develop Community through Diversity, Inclusiveness, Equity, & Social Justice

  • Enhance our capacity to become more responsive to diverse students’ needs by extending
    beyond our customary reach;
  • Identify gaps and serve as a resource for students and staff on diversity/inclusion matters;
  • Generate opportunities to create dialogue and hear all students’ voices based on dignity and

Enhance Student Engagement through Programs & Services

  • Increase collaborative and intentional programs by aligning efforts within the division;
  • Create consistent delivery of integrated services through purposeful organizational
  • Deliver the premiere urban university experience that includes limitless engagement
    opportunities to connect both with on- and off-campus community partners, and alumni;
  • Address the changing needs of students by expanding and optimizing service levels and
    opportunities for students to engage with Student Affairs programs and services.

Foster Student Learning

  • Establish, measure, and refine our programs and services using a student learning paradigm
  • Model evidence based strategies to enhance and improve students’ co-curricularlearning
  • Adopt innovative strategies to enhance student academic learning support;
  • Guide students in identifying barriers to their own success while encouraging a self-directed
    solutions-based approach.

2. Welcoming and Modern Environments Heading link

Enhance welcoming and modern environments that build community

State of the art facilities should be an essential part of the UIC experience. UIC Student Affairs prides
itself in providing, creating, and maintaining multifunctional, safe and inclusive spaces. Thus providing
students an opportunity to meet a diverse student body, engage in high engagement activities, and
support their overall student experience to build community. To achieve the UIC strategic priorities and
be globally competitive, we must focus our efforts in upgrading and maintaining our facilities to the
highest standards.

Create Inviting, Safe and Inclusive Spaces

  • Ensure accessibility to spaces for all students;
  • Reinforce student friendly, comfortable, and welcoming spaces via aesthetic and clear signage;
  • Modernize offices and gathering spaces to emphasize UIC Pride;
  • Review current policies and practices affecting spaces that reduce opportunities for campus

Focus on Maintenance and Structures

  • Transform campus spaces by reconceiving their purposes to enrich the student experience;
  • Partner with facilities operations to maximize efforts in providing clean, healthy, safe and
    efficient environments;
  • Provide technological and structural upgrades to modernize spaces that will support the needs
    of students, staff, and faculty;
  • Incorporate plans for sustainability, multifunctional use, and accessibility in planned upgradesto

Enhance Flexible/Multifunctional Spaces

  • Reimagine spaces to support multifunctional use, collaborative opportunities, and technological
    innovation to provide enhanced programs and services;
  • Explore ways to intentionally share prime locations collaboratively between
    offices/departments to generate heightened student activity;
  • Assess how to best enhance facilities in leveraging spaces to create community andmeet
    student needs;
  • Increase flexibility of underutilized spaces to promote accessibility of units while maximizing on
    hours of operation;
  • Ensure student-facing operations are more visible either through different operational locations
    or through expanded technological opportunities which engage students;
  • Provide affordable full service facilities for meetings, gatherings, and events accessible toUIC
    community and public

3. Synergy with Chicago Heading link

Create synergy with the city to foster mutually beneficial relationships between our students and Chicago

UIC Student Affairs is well positioned to be a bridge between the University, the City and itsresidents,
including alumni, by embracing our relationship and commitment to Chicago. We have an opportunity
to model the relationship the University can have with the City through our programs on- and offcampus,
in our facilities, as well as through partnerships created to support our students and
surrounding community. We must further create intentional opportunities for students to learn bydoing
and develop into socially responsible active citizens by getting involved with neighborhood communities
and the City. Capitalizing on Chicago’s rich diversity will allow for students to interact with and learn
from communities different than their own.

Embrace Chicago as an extension of our Campus Community

  • Emphasize the student experience extends beyond the campus;
  • Intentionally connect to city and community opportunities to heighten the college experience of
    UIC students in Chicago by creating more diverse and culturally enriching experiencesfor
  • Develop creative co-curricular partnerships with faculty and departments to create purposeful
    and impactful faculty/staff and student interactions outside of the classroom and within the
  • Actively engage and welcome opportunities for surrounding community members to experience
    the academic, social, and professional experiences of UIC life through events and public spaces;
  • Transform the relationship between Chicago residents and the University, while exploring new
    opportunities to extend an invitation for reciprocal partnerships.

Foster Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement

  • Develop more informed and engaged students who will be transformed into lifelong active,
    socially responsible global citizens that participate and lead change through democratic
  • Educate students about and instill the priority of social and community participation;
  • Empower students to become better leaders and active citizens through mutually beneficial
    exchange of knowledge with community leaders to find solutions to today’ societal challenges;
  • Demonstrate the impact of UIC Student Affairs in the City and contribute to larger national
  • Create a specific paradigm at UIC for leadership and civic engagement;
  • Establish and develop new partnerships to intentionally connect with community.

4. Organizational Effectiveness & Organizational Innovation Heading link

Focus on organizational effectiveness & innovation

The heart of Student Affairs is its staff, a diverse collective of professionals responsible forworking
toward a bold vision. We must transform and empower the organization so that we are appropriately
resourced, staffed, and structured to fully address ever-changing strategic priorities in support of our
mission to intentionally engage each student.

Defining the Student Centered Work Environment

  • Recruit, retain, and develop a workforce of exceptional people;
  • Align business hour ethos to better serve the changing needs of today’s students;
  • Establish expectations and support for ongoing professional development within each
  • Transform organizational structure to reduce duplication and increase collaboration and

Nurture a Culture that Promotes Innovation & Integrity

  • Build teamwork among colleagues through engagement and participation during events within
    Student Affairs;
  • Encourage the application of inventive programming approaches/projects;
  • Shape collegial trust and transparency through aligning efforts within the division;
  • Encourage collective support of individual Student Affairs units’ events and programming.

Create Cohesive Impactful Communication

  • Enhance campus community brand awareness of Student Affairs programs and services;
  • Assure that all Student Affairs staff have awareness of the full range of programs and services
    offered by all Student Affairs units through transparent, thorough communication;
  • Collectively define messaging to broader UIC faculty and staff community, focusing on broad
    awareness of divisional priorities;
  • Develop robust, innovative marketing collateral and plans for departmental programs and
    services, as well as division-wide collaborations.

5. Enterprising Strength & Resources Heading link

Cultivate enterprising strength and resources

Creative revenue streams and targeted spending are hallmarks of an organization with a strong
economic awareness. We must assure that our budgets are aligned to our priorities aiding the broader
goals of the University.

Foster Entrepreneurship

  • Embrace the risk and innovation inherent in an entrepreneurial culture to develop new and
    expanding products and services to maximize revenue streams, partnerships, andsignificant
    changes to spending priorities;
  • Continue to develop and expand “UIC” sense of belonging through bookstore merchandise and

Expand Strategic Partnerships

  • Advance partnerships with government agencies, community organizations, corporate and small
    business partners, non-university customers, as well as other universities, to bolster additional
    revenue streams and alternative funding mechanisms for new and existing projects;
  • Further develop and pursue research grant opportunities that enable students and staffto
    engage in research reflective of Student Affairs processes;
  • Maximize student talents and labor to assist with facets of university business, which expands
    the students’ knowledge while minimizing labor costs.

Enhance Development Opportunities

  • Foster stronger relationships with our alumni base, building on the specific experiences
    provided by Student Affairs that have positively impacted their professional lives;
  • Collaborate with Advancement to cultivate, solicit, and steward prospective and current donors
    to advance targeted initiatives;
  • Research and develop new products and services that allow us to produce more in-house
  • Pursue external grant opportunities that support the work of student affairs and ultimately
    enhance the student experience;
  • Develop UIC’s presence on a national level through the hosting of higher education related
    association meetings, trade shows, and events.