I have served Illinois Tech as its chief academic officer for more than two years, and with each passing week I grow more enthusiastic about the remarkable mission and bright future of this university.
Many universities claim to be instrumental in serving the public good. But at this moment in the history of our nation and our world, we know with even greater clarity and force than ever that racial inequities and income inequality are two of the most pernicious and troublesome challenges our society faces. Illinois Tech is so special because of its ongoing mission to bring the promise of science, technology, engineering, and professional education to all people, especially those who are the first in their families to go to college, including the most underserved. We were founded on that mission 130 years ago, and we continue to embrace that mission each day. Indeed, we still believe that the power of difference can truly make all the difference, and our success is evident in the inspiring outcomes for our students. Our graduates consistently lead the state in earnings, we are second in the nation in overall economic mobility among selective universities, and our alumni continue to create solutions for some of the world’s most pressing and important challenges.
I am also very pleased to have joined a university that brings science and technology to life by making it possible to learn by discovering, inventing, creating, and translating. Illinois Tech is in the unique position of being the only tech-focused university in the great global city of Chicago. With the founding of our new College of Computing, we are also building a renewed university to tackle the educational and societal challenges of the twenty-first century. Computing and computational skills are now ubiquitous in our society, and it is essential that all of our graduates possess these skills so that they are empowered to make a difference over the next several decades.
Finally, I am enthusiastic about the many new initiatives at Illinois Tech, including the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship, which will advance Illinois Tech’s commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning, and to fueling prosperity in the city of Chicago. The Kaplan Institute mission will also help us educate every student here at Illinois Tech to understand and possess the entrepreneurial mindset and to learn how to innovate in their professional careers. This dual focus on computing skills and on innovation and entrepreneurship for all of our students sets us apart from any other universities.
As provost, I help lead the way by encouraging the collaboration, coordination, and esprit de corps among all of our colleges, schools, and institutes that will be necessary to drive truly innovative thinking. Our university community must continue to embrace these values as we navigate the next few decades of higher education in the United States, which are certain to be times of great change.
Thank you for your many valued contributions to Illinois Tech. Every day I enjoy meeting and partnering with each of you as we continue the important mission of our university.
Peter Kilpatrick, Provost
Illinois Institute of Technology