MaryFrances MCcourt, Kyle Bowman, and Cathy J. Cohen

From left: MaryFrances MCcourt, Kyle Bowman, and Cathy J. Cohen. (Photography by Irving Vazquez; photography by Candace Di Carlo; UChicago News)

UChicago news highlights

A selection of the latest headlines from across campus.

Rubenstein elected board chair

The University’s Board of Trustees has elected David M. Rubenstein, JD’73, as its next chair. Rubenstein will begin his three-year term after the board’s annual meeting. He succeeds Joseph Neubauer, MBA’65, who has served as chair since 2015. Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-chairman of the global investment firm The Carlyle Group, joined the board in 2007. Since 2010 he has committed $61 million to the Rubenstein Scholars Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships for about 10 percent of students at the Law School. The David Rubenstein Forum, which opened in September 2020, is named in his honor.

Support for Ukraine

As part of a comprehensive effort to support students and scholars impacted by the war in Ukraine, the University announced plans to give full-tuition scholarships to undergraduates affected by the invasion—and to provide expanded college readiness programming for Ukraine’s high school students. UChicago is also working with the national organization Scholars at Risk to place individual scholars and scientists from Ukraine in departments and laboratories at the University.

Scholarly frontiers

In February the Council of the University Senate approved the creation of the Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity (RDI). The new interdisciplinary department will be a home for ambitious scholarship on how these concepts helped shape the modern world and reverberate in contemporary thought, culture, and policy. RDI, which will sit in the Division of the Social Sciences, emerged from a faculty-driven process that began in autumn 2020. The department will immediately begin its undergraduate program. Opportunities for graduate study will follow.

Scientists on the rise

Five UChicago assistant professors have earned Sloan Research Fellowships, which recognize early-career scholars’ potential to make substantial contributions to their fields: Peter Ganong, an economist at the Harris School of Public Policy, who examines the effects of public policies on people facing financial difficulties; Chao Gao, a scholar of nonparametric and high-dimensional statistics, network analysis, Bayes theory, and robust statistics; chemist Mark Levin, who develops synthetic methods, reagents, and catalytic principles that enable precision synthesis; computer scientist Pedro Lopes, who focuses on integrating computer interfaces with the human body; and psychologist Monica Rosenberg, who studies the neuroscience of attention.

Financial asset

MaryFrances McCourt became the University’s chief financial officer on April 18. In this role, McCourt will work with leaders at the University and UChicago Medicine to manage and strengthen the University’s business, financial, and administrative strategies. Most recently McCourt served as senior vice president for finance and treasurer at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Penn in 2016, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Indiana University.

New UCPD chief

On April 4 Kyle Bowman became chief of police for the University of Chicago Police Department. As chief Bowman leads the nationally accredited law enforcement agency that serves the University, UChicago Medicine, and neighboring communities. Bowman was previously a lieutenant colonel with the Michigan State Police as well as deputy director and commander of its Field Operations Bureau, where he oversaw all field posts, established directives and priorities for the bureau, and led several task forces.

Ryerson Lecturer

Cathy J. Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, will deliver the 2022 Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture on May 3 at the Rubenstein Forum. Cohen is the principal investigator of the Black Youth Project and the GenForward Survey. Her work reveals that many of the most pressing issues facing the country—including public education, gun violence, mass incarceration, and immigration—disproportionately affect Black and Latino youth. Her Ryerson Lecture is titled “Democratic Futures? Race, Resistance and Political Vulnerability.”

Expanding cancer care

UChicago Medicine has announced plans to build a $633 million 500,000-square-foot facility dedicated to cancer care on its medical campus—the city’s first freestanding clinical cancer center. The 128-bed center, which includes inpatient and outpatient care, will focus on prevention and early detection of cancer and be a hub for research into the more aggressive forms of cancer that disproportionately affect residents of the South Side and many other communities of color across the country. The new center is expected to open to patients in 2026.

Celebrating diversity

Five members of the UChicago community received Diversity Leadership Awards in recognition of their work to advance justice and equality: College fourth-year and Organization of Black Students board member Dinah Clottey; staff member Cynthia Cook-Conley, who was recognized for creating a supportive and inclusive community for students; alumna Grace Chan McKibben, AB’90, AM’90, executive director of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community; Doriane C. Miller, MD’83, a professor of medicine who studies health disparities; and Radhika Santhanagopalan, a PhD student in psychology and at Chicago Booth, who organized the inaugural UC Juneteenth Initiative.