June 3, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Since Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia joined the University of Illinois last year as the UIC Vice Chancellor for Research , he has met and consistently exceeded the high aspirations he sets for himself and his team, as well as the expectations of our Board of Trustees, his colleagues on the Chicago campus and the University administration.

Dr. Garcia's performance as interim Vice President for Health Affairs since last February has been equally impressive, and so it is with great satisfaction and confidence that I am recommending Skip to become VP-Health Affairs on a permanent basis. The Board of Trustees will consider this recommendation when it meets next week on the Chicago campus, and pending trustees' approval the appointment will be effective June 16.

The University's health sciences clinical enterprise is an essential component of our health care, education, research and public engagement missions. It operates in a highly competitive environment in the Chicago area and other regions of the state, and it requires strong, visionary and stable leadership. I consulted with faculty advisory groups, UIC campus leaders and trustees, and a consensus emerged that we should move forward with a permanent VP-Health Affairs and that Dr. Garcia is the ideal person for the job.

His expertise and leadership are in high demand, and it was evident why when Dr. Garcia last week outlined a plan for the future of the University of Illinois' statewide health care enterprise at two forums on the UIC campus. (http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ovcr/research/events/townhall/index.html). From leveraging our exceptional research capabilities to provide academic quality health care at multiple points in underserved communities, to rebranding our assets, it is clear that Skip has an aspirational and practical strategic plan for advancing the excellence and performance of the University's health care enterprise.

Before joining the University of Illinois at Chicago as Vice Chancellor for Research in 2010, Dr. Garcia served as the Director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University (1998-2005) and subsequently as the Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago for four years. He is the Earl M. Bane Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Bioengineering at UIC. I hope you will join me in congratulating Dr. Garcia on the rapid advancement he is already making in our clinical enterprise and on his pending appointment to this key leadership position for the University of Illinois.

Michael J. Hogan
President, University of Illinois