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University of Iowa's Chicago Center to close due to budget cuts
Oct. 21, 2009 9:01 pm
The University of Iowa's Chicago Center will close due to budget cuts, but UI officials say it won't hamper outreach and recruitment in the Chicago area.
The center opened three years ago in downtown Chicago to heighten the UI's presence in the city for outreach, career placement and alumni relations.
UI efforts there will continue, but without the leased physical space downtown, officials said.
Erin Bloomquist, Chicago Center director, will continue UI outreach efforts from a home office.
The intent of the center was always to reach out to underrepresented populations in Chicago - minority and first-generation students - and Bloomquist will continue to visit area high schools and work with those groups.
“This is still very, very important territory for the university,” she said.
The Chicago Center was not previously about directly recruiting students, said Michael Barron, UI director of admissions. It was created to develop relationships in Chicago public schools and with agencies and programs there, he said.
But with the loss of the physical space downtown, Bloomquist will pick up some direct recruiting duties, Barron said.
The changes won't endanger the UI's pipeline from the Chicago area, he said.
Of the UI's 4,063 first-year students this fall, 1,358 are from Illinois, making it the largest feeder state other than Iowa.
The Chicago Center in its first two years was at 150 N. Michigan Ave., and for the past year it was in space at 22 W. Washington. That lease ends in December.
Figures on how much the UI will save in lease costs weren't available Wednesday. But a Gazette article from 2007 said the center's annual budget was $202,500, from private money and UI funds.