University of Illinois at Chicago | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Chicago
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Historical Note:

The Chicago Circle campus represents the evolution of the University of Illinois Undergraduate Division first established in that city in 1946. Housed in leased facilities at the Municipal (Navy) Pier, the branch offered the first two years of college instruction to the area's increasing numbers of high school graduates and to veterans returned from World War II. In less than a decade, the Pier's consistently high enrollment had attested to the city's need for a larger facility, and for one that would enable students to complete work for the bachelor's degree. In May, 1953, a delegation of faculty, student and civic representatives petitioned the Board of Trustees for establishment of a four-year curriculum, and in February, 1961 a relocation site just south of the downtown district was approved based on its "...important plus factors of availability, accessibility and ... the opportunity to contribute to a civic development in Chicago of major importance." Circle expressed its autonomy from the parent institution through a number of changes effected: 1) seven months after the campus' February, 1965 opening an academic calendar was adopted that preferred the quarter to the semester system; 2) the campus' chief educational officer was newly created in the Dean of Faculties position in 1966; 3) that same year the all-University Office of Admissions and Records was reorganized to provide for a Director at each campus; and 4) in 1967 the title of campus Vice President was changed to Chancellor " expedite the increased volume of business." The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in June, 1966, the first master's degrees were granted in thirteen areas the following year, and subsequent additions of master's and doctoral curricula brought the campus' offerings for advanced studies to a total of thirty-nine disciplines by the close of the seventies. Over the same period the institution developed an identity unique to its setting, fostered by the Trustees' approval of such programs as the Center for Urban Studies in 1966, and the establishment of ethnically-focused curricula reflecting Chicago's Black, Latin American, Native American and Slavic populations. In its thirteenth year the Circle expanded its outreach by initiating Program PM, a late afternoon/evening option for study at all levels.

Established at Navy Pier as the Chicago Undergraduate Division, the Chicago Circle campus is an integral part of the University and includes Colleges of Architecture and Art, Business Administration, Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences and Divisions of Education and Physical Education. In 1965, the University moved from Navy Pier to the new Chicago Circle Campus.

The Chancellor for the Chicago Circle campus is the chief executive officer. On June 1, 1946, the Trustees appointed a Dean of the Chicago Undergraduate Division. His title was changed to Executive Dean on September 1, 1957, Vice-President on January 1, 1961, and Chancellor of the Chicago Circle campus on September 1, 1966.

The Circle Campus included the following units:

--Admissions and Records

--Business Affairs, Office of

--Accounting Division


--Research Grants and Contracts


--Student Accounts Receivable


--Payroll Office

--Student Loan Office

--Insurance Office


--Student Affairs

--Dean's Office

--Dean of Men

--Dean of Women

--Student Employment

--Financial Aid

--Foreign Student Affairs (1968)

--Organizations and Activities, Office of (1967)

--Placement Services

--Social Security and Veteran's Benefits

--Health Service



--Acquisitions Department

--Audio Center


--Card Preparation

--Catalog Department

--Circulation Department

--Curriculum Library

--Documents Section

--Inter-Library Loan

--Manuscript Section

--Mending and Repair

--Order Section

--Rare Book Room

--Receiving Room

--Reference Department

--Reserve Desk

--Science Reference

--Serials Section

--Shelf Preparations

--Special Collections Department

--University Archives

--Nonacademic Personnel Services

--Labor Relations

--Accident Compensation Section

--Records Section

--Placement Section

--Classification Section

--Staff Developing Section

--60/9 Physical Plant

--Campus Services

--University Police

--Repairs, Job Orders, Utilities

--Telephone Repair

--Car Reservations




--Public Functions

--Truck Shuttle Service

--University Vehicle Maintenance

--Accounting Office

--Building Maintenance

--Building Services

--Material Procurement and Supply


--Routing Office

--Repairs, Job Orders



--Chicago Circle Center

--Public Information

--University Honors Program

--Division of University Extension

--Instructional Resources, Office of


--Athletics, Director of

--Administrative Studies, Office of

--Planning and Construction, Office of (1970)

--Senate, Faculty

--Space Utilization

--Urban Studies, Center for

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 43rd Report, May 29, 1946, p. 1121.

2. Ibid.

3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 47th Report, Nov. 29, 1953, p. 1169.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid. May 23, 1953, p. 655.

6. Board of Trustees Transactions, 51st Report, Feb. 15, 1961, p. 372.

7. Board of Trustees Transactions, 53rd Report, Dec. 16, 1964, p. 273.

8. Ibid. April 23, 1965, p. 496.

9. Ibid., p. 497.

10. Ibid., June 15, 1966, p. 1193.

11. Ibid., April 26, 1966, p. 1124.

12. Graduate College Catalog/University of Illinois at Chicago Circle 1969-70, p. 11.

13. Chicago Circle Bulletin: Undergraduate Study 1978-79, p. 10.

14. Board of Trustees Transactions, 54th Report, Dec. 8, 1966, p. 271.

15. Chicago Circle Bulletin: Undergraduate Study 1975-76, p. 10.

16. Chicago Circle Bulletin: Undergraduate Study 1978-79, p. 10.

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