Executive Director, Office of Health Literacy
University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr. Paula Allen-Meares led the University of Illinois at Chicago campus as chancellor from 2009-2015. UIC is a comprehensive institution of higher learning that boasts a full complement of health science colleges, a research hospital, and broad range of colleges in humanities, the arts and sciences, and public policy. Dr. Allen-Meares’ previousacademic appointments include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan. She holds certificates in management from the University of Michigan and Harvard University.
The UIC campus is the country’s largest land-grant university, hosting 28,000 students, with a budget of $2 billion, and over 11,515 faculty and staff. UIC is one of the top 20 employers in the city of Chicago. Dr. Allen-Meares led the fundraising campaign efforts for UIC “The Brilliant Futures Campaign,” whichsurpassed its goal of raising $650 million. At the campaign’s conclusion in April of 2012, it had raised$678 million, the most ever raised by UIC. This is the third major fundraising campaign led by Dr. Allen- Meares; while at the University of Michigan, she exceeded two other previous college-led campaigns in fundraising.
During her tenure at the University of Michigan and now at UIC, Dr. Allen-Meares has established research and educational partnerships with the UAW, Ford, UAW/GM, Baxter International, Argonne National Laboratories, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and many international organizations. She has worked with a number of labor unions, including the UAW, in her many academic roles. At present, there are 21 unions represented on the UIC campus and in the hospital. At theUniversity of Michigan, she sat on the Provost’s Union Advisory Committee and served on committeesthat reduced institutional risks, improved process efficiencies, and created a new budget model that instituted financial controls.
As Chancellor of UIC, Dr. Allen-Meares has transformed the campus into a model for how urban universities should champion and effectuate sustainable public policy. In doing so, she has redefined for future generations the role of the land-grant colleges and universities. The enhanced intellectual heft and financial resources garnered by UIC under the governance of Dr. Allen-Meares have furthered theuniversity’s reputation for evidenced-based policy solutions to urban challenges. Today the campus is an internationally recognized center for programs, policies, research, and discourse that address complex and intermeshing public policy concerns. Included among these are first-generation education and retention success, access to health care, food distribution, energy sustainability, and the development of technology and innovation. In this effort, Dr. Allen-Meares has reorganized departments and created new programs, such as the recently established bioengineering partnership between the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine. She has also created the Chancellor’s Innovation fund (CIF),which is managed by Illinois Ventures, and is designed to support both Proof of Concept (POC) awards associated with UIC discoveries and seed investments in UIC related startups. These initiatives have been recognized as some of the best in their class.
Dr. Allen-Meares is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. She has served on the nation-wide committee appointed by the IOM that created the report Re- tooling the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America. She has chaired the Health Science Council at the University of Michigan, and she founded both the National Center for Institutional Diversity and the
Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Dr. Allen-Meares has held several higher education leadership positions at the national level. She sits on the IOM/NAS Awards Committee, the ACE Committee on Equity, and the New York Academy of Medicine Board of Trustees as a Fellow, as well as serving on its Developments Committee for several years. And, for almost a decade, from 1999 to 2008, she served as a Trustee of the WT Grant Foundation.
Dr. Allen-Meares has received federal and foundation grants to support her research on education, mental health, and public policy for almost two decades. In May of 2012 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is amember of the Economic, Executives’, and Commercial Clubs of Chicago, the Chicago Network, and theChicagoland Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on several subcommittees of the Executives’Club and is a member of the Green Ribbon Committee, Chicago Network, Commercial Club, and the Civic Consulting Alliance, which advises Chicago’s Mayor. Dr. Allen-Meares is also a member of the Horizon League and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities Board of Directors. Recently, she was appointed by the President of the Cook County Board to serve on the Cook County Council of Economic Advisors.