Investment in Inquiry

Among the Chicago Initiative priorities was support for the cross-disciplinary research and collaboration that has fueled Chicago’s culture. One example is the Institute for Genomics & Systems Biology, a team of researchers from the biological and physical sciences who work with scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, using experimental and computational techniques to define the genetics underlying disease and develop therapeutics to target disease pathways.

As more disciplines collect and manipulate larger and larger amounts of data, the conceptual and technical expertise of Chicago’s Computation Institute has helped attract scholars and funding to such collaborative groups as the National Microbial Pathogen Data Resource, the ASC/Alliances Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes, and the Chicago Biomedical Consortium.

Building on Strengths

Many gifts built on existing strengths. At the Medical Center, a $10 million gift from the Duchossois family of Chicago supports research on cancer and the study of metastasis. A bequest from Katherine Dusak Miller, AB’65, MBA’68, PhD’71, supports activities at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where her husband, Nobel laureate Merton H. Miller, taught for more than 30 years. Initiative gifts from Joan W. Harris and the late Irving B. Harris continue to support the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the interdisciplinary Cultural Policy Center, and gifts from the Smart Family Foundation aid the Smart Museum of Art.

Three Chicago Booth research centers were funded via the Initiative: the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, endowed by University Trustee Michael P. Polsky, MBA’87; the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory, founded by Richard O. Ryan, MBA’66; and the Kilts Center for Marketing, named for University Trustee James M. Kilts, MBA’74.

Fred Kavli and the Kavli Foundation endowed the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. A combined gift from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP and individual partners who are Chicago JDs underwrote intellectual programs at theLaw School, and a gift to the Division of the Humanities established the Karla Scherer [AM’99] Center for the Study of American Culture.

Retaining Top Faculty

Recruiting and retaining agenda-setting faculty has been aided by 105 endowed professorships, including the first such chairs in computer science and in geophysical sciences.

A gift from the Pritzker family let the Division of the Biological Sciences and thePritzker School of Medicine recruit synergistic clusters of faculty, while a gift from Joseph, MBA’65, and Jeanette Lerman Neubauer helped Chicago Booth recruit and retain top faculty and the Division of the Humanities provide fellowships to exceptional graduate students. The Neubauer Family Foundation also established a University-wide program to help Chicago compete for the best junior faculty by providing tenure-track appointments that include research support and leave time.