University of Chicago community outreach events, reports

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In an editorial, the Chicago Maroon of February 21 commended the University and said it should extend its partnership with "second chance" employment groups such as CARA, Career Pathways, and Inspiration Kitchen and commitment to minorities and women to arranging/suggesting jobs in such improvements as the businesses of the new Harper Court.

The University of Chicago has a new program to provide grants instead of loans, to waive application fees, and to provide application mentoring to Chicago high school graduates.

Lipinski leads forum on U. of C. outreach: (Enriching the Quality of Life through Civic Partnerships: From Chicago to the World)

Hyde Park Herald, April 29, 2009. By Kate Hawley

The University of Chicago test piloted a new kind of community outreach Friday at a breakfast with Ann Marie Lipinski, who took on the newly created job of vice president for civic engagement six months ago. At the nearly three-hour event, held at the School of Social Service administration, 969 E. 60th St., Lipinski gave an overview of some of the university's community projects.

The year-old Crime Lab aims to prevent youth violence, and the Career Pathways Initiative, a partnership between the city, the University of Chicago Medical Center [and University] and the non-profit Cara Program, has created 140 jobs over the last 18 months, Lipinski said. She included the redevelopment of the Harper Court shopping center and the adjacent city-owned parking lot among the university's outreach efforts, saying that the retail and residential complex planned for the site will boost vitality along Hyde Park's 53rd Street corridor.

During a question and answer session, Sandra Bevans asked if Harper Court's rents will be at levels local business people can afford. "So they're not having to pay $2,500 to $3,000 to rent some space." Susan Campbell, associate vice president for civic engagement, said that while it's too early to say what rent levels at the new complex will be, the university is helping business owners currently in Harper Court to find new locations they can afford.

Lipinski also introduced local doctors and educators who are leading programs that aim to build bridges between the university and its neighbors. The Medical Center is shortly to launch the Center for Community Health and Vitality, said its inaugural director, Dr. Doriane Miller. The new center's mission is to make the South Side a "healthy, vibrant and stable place to grow up," she said. Some programs under consideration include expanding "Project health" family help desks, creating more and better online health information, and forging partnerships with the city's public schools and colleges.

It will make use of data collected through the South Side Health and Vitality Studies, said Stacy Tessler Lindau, an assistant professor of Obstetrics an Gynecology and Medicine (Geriatrics) at the Medical Center, who is leading the research effort. the studies, shortly to get underway, will focus on how to forge a stronger health safety net across the swath of the South Side running from Western Avenue to the lake and from 35th to 130th street.

Two principals highlighted the university's efforts to improve education in the community. Success at a four-year college is th main goal of the university's four charter schools, said Shayne Evans, director of the University of Chicago Charter School - Woodlawn Campus. The charters are outperforming other local schools in scores adn placement in selective-enrollment high schools, he said, but he warned against complacency. "We have god schools so far.. but good is the enemy of great," he said.

Elizabeth Kirby, principal of Kenwood Academy, said the university has been a close collaborator, sponsoring special programs in the school and sending in tutors to help students adn teachers. Rev. Marrice Coverson, who heads the Institute for Positive Living, an after-school literacy program in Bronzeville, said she felt the university could do more to engage students outside its charter system. Kirby said a university tutor was a personal lifeline to her when she was beginning her teaching career at Kenwood. Duel Richardson, director of neighborhood relations and education in the Office of Civic Engagement said that the university also reaches out to youth through the Office of Special Programs adn College Preparation, founded by the late coach and teacher Larry Hawkins.

Other comments from the audience, which numbered more than 100, ran the gamut from complimentary to critical. Dorothy Pytel, who leads youth after-school programs in Woodlawn, said she was encouraged that the university is trying to reach out. Ozz[ie] Badal, a resident of the Montgomery Place senior housing complex, said the university has been guilty of "failures of communication" in its dealing with the local community. Lipinski thanked her for her "wise counsel." This experimental forum was one way to try to change the conversation," she said. "But we also know that it can't be the end."

Editor: There was also thorough discussion of as well as a challenge to job and contract placement programs and some description of the police and safety program (Kevin Lynch, Dir. for Safety, was introduced), and lots of handouts. Not brought up: the transportation program.
There was feeling that the invitations were highly selective especially with regard to local organizations. Top

According to the Oct. 27 Maroon, Arnold Randall will be the oversight and point person on Harper Court. "Randall will oversee University construction projects that overlap with public property, such as the Harper Court redevelopment project."....

"Vice President for Civic Engagement Ann Marie Lipinski said [Randall's] experience makes Randall, a Woodlawn resident, an ideal candidate for the job. 'He's been here a long time, so he's very knowledgeable about the city and about the South Side.'" ...

"Randall will be involved in redeveloping Harper Court....

"Randall's connections with the city's planning department will provide new insight into the process, Lipinski said. ' Randall has been in those conversations from the city perspective or had been a long time ago', Lipinski said"...

"...most University projects will require just as much attention to community needs, Lipinski said. Ongoing work on the South Campus Residence Hall, for example, has involved 'multiple conversations and interactions required between the University and government bodies and community groups to get that work done,' Lipinski said. "It's everything from zoning questions, permitting questions, landscape questions, streetscape questions, all of which someone needs to oversee.' She added: 'There are other [projects] that don't get as much attention but which need really smart communication between the University and aldermen... between pubic bodies and private residents who have a stake in these projects."

Randall's press released talked about putting "my planning experience to work for a great institution. I look forward to digging into some of the exciting projects already underway, and building the relationships that will help us plan for the future."

Of course, this doesn't tell us whether he will basically work from and advance a set agenda or whether he will have a policy role, and what the latter would be.


From the U C conclave of community leaders, December 17, 2009

By Gary Ossewaarde

Ann Marie Lipinski, UC Vice President for Civic Engagement, gave the plenary address
New developments and initiatives report:

Woodlawn Promise Zone. It’s purpose is to create a comprehensive conveyor belt of resources for kids from womb to college. The Medical Center is involved. Hoped is that the experience, including from the charter schools, can be scaled up and thence create a model for all neighborhoods. Woodlawn High and the Promise Zone are seeking tutors and holding workshops for them.
The Crime Lab of SSA has teamed up with nonprofits to study and experiment in what works to stem youth violence and see whether self-regulation can be taught. The motto is “wielding partnerships instead of influence.”

Harper Court. Responders have exciting ideas. Evaluation of developers is serious—need real assurance they can complete the project.

South East Chicago Commission. Its focus will now be economic development in the suite of neighborhoods that surrounds the University. It has a new board, interviewing continues for an executive director.

Viaduct artwork was touted.

Washington Park/Garfield Blvd. Economic development study and a corridor plan are being completed; the goal is sustainable development.

Hyde Park Alliance for Arts and Culture and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival are rousing successes, received startup from the University.

Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts

Career Pathways, an initiative with CARA and the City’s Workforce Development has placed 253 in jobs and is now helping those exiting from jobs.

Lab School expansion. This will involve a new early learning center for through 2nd grade, renovation of existing structures, and a new school drop off on 58th. Focus groups have already been consulted; public process starts in the first quarter.

New website for Civic Engagement- with lots of topics and links: Feedback is wanted.
New staff includes Danetta? McGee? McKeon? In the College Prep program and Arnold Randall in planning and construction.

Lipinski added that although we lost the Olympics, the year 2016 is still coming, and we must not let die the opportunities opened by the forced new thinking, teamwork, and planning.

Breakout discussions were held at about 14 tables. Here are highlights of reports from tables.

Jay Ammerman reported to the HPKCC January 7 board meeting that it seemed in general the university was setting forth a "this is what we're doing" but that the breakout dissuasions were very productive. He was at the Neighborhood Redevelopment and Partnerships table, where people talked from various homeowners and neighborhood associations, an architect, at least one developer, and UC staff including Susan Campbell and Arnold Randall. a geographic tour was given (by Ms. Lipinski?) including Harper Court (complimenting HPKCC and others who gave extensive organized input), Mobil station (bought by the University), Nichols Park (want to make changes to walks and lighting), Washington Park neighborhood (bought because vacant and available and not just for development but to create a 50 year hedge for expansion needs). Market research (they indicated that such have a short shelf life). On South East Chicago Commission, safety etc. monitoring went to police, will now concentrate on economic and retail development. Lenora Austin of the Chamber said that Nadia Quarles filled her table in well on business diversity and how one gets contracts or jobs with the University. Noted also was that there are people at the University who think carefully about the intercept between built and social environment.

Sustainability at U of C. Collaborations are being set up in communities, sharing what is learned there and at the University. Discovered were opportunities for synergies in recycling and reduction, engaging kids, placing upgrade of older homes on the radar, savvy cost accounting.

Promise Zones for schools, safety, and communities, Charles Payne/Bishop Brazier table. (This writer has prepared a separate report on this table’s discussion, found in Promise Programs page.) The spokesperson noted opportunities for residents and parents to become directly involved through tutoring, patrols and otherwise in the schools and for program providers and corporations to partner.
The Harold Pollack Promises table reported: The challenge is to grow a person with well-rounded assets and communities with the same. There are many family members including fathers who are or have been incarcerated-- how are these reconnected and meantime students given replacement for what's missing while dad is away? How are families helped in ways besides money? Lots are trying-- how can organizations be connected more deeply into the community? How can U of c students be enticed to be more engaged in youth safety and development? How can more of the faith-groups be gotten "off their butts" and collaborating? It's important to bring youth into the planning-- of their programs and the community, making them "part of it."
Crime and Youth table. Enabling kids to grow up and have fulfilled lives. UC is trying to find what works and end the disconnects in schools and communities—the revolving door and uneven nature of programs that tend to help just a few, teachers not being “brought in” the process, and that the worst schools seems too disorganized to absorb or solve problems. The UC groups are trying to develop an “evaluation toolkit for programs can grow their own program. Matching is real need. Noted was the adult unemployment problem.

Economic Development. The spokesperson said the challenge is how to grow the communities, especially where there is lots of vacant land—who will come, and how do you get them to come? The next question is who is development FOR, and will it have a sustainable impact. Suggested were encouraging and providing ways for residents to use and buy in their community, use the community’s history and open houses, and ball fields to build ties. Hoped was that SECC would bring people together.

Doing business with the UC and business diversity. The Office of Bus. Diversity is helping people navigate a decentralized university and get to the right parties. There is now connection with the chambers of commerce.

Arts partnerships. The Hyde Park Alliance and other groups are getting the word out about access to neighborhoods (and that parking and transportation can be found) and the venues and getting the word about what’s available. Synergies and opportunities are increasing with more of an overall cultural destination. They are working with the Office of Tourism to grow audience development. A major goal is to provide many experiences in venues that have been or were thought of as doing just one thing. Another is to encourage students and residents to explore the city also.

Logan Center.

Entrepreneurship. Small bus and startups are where the ideas and dynamism are, but also experience. Secrets to success include willingness to reinvent within continuity, partnerships a and connections, a succession plan, staying to fight for the long haul, and creating a niche.

The role of research in health outcomes. The spokesperson talked of consumers and providers being unaware of new findings. Praised were the UC mobile vehicles. Matching and doing, bridging are the way. Small health providers should be given help in grant-writing. The UC has a SARS program in South Shore. And a MAP project—finding out what really is available, where , on the whole South Side.

Urban Health Collaborative and access to healthcare, having good medical “homes”. Why don’t people seek an ongoing health provider “home”? Bad experiences, poor understanding of medicine/health/wellness, many of the referral “homes” have a “quality gap”--aren’t very good or lack resources (the word used was “ghetto clinic.” How can the partners be “brought up”? Suggested was looking at Aldi’s model—it was thought to be for very poor people, but it changed and became attractive, and everyone shops there now. Another way for all to focus on the patient experience—from the first call or pulling into the parking lot. Building capacity matters. And patients have to be gotten there- motivationally and physically—can faith institutions, groceries and pharmacies help?

Science partnerships. Argonne is underused but holds potential for educating. The climate research model is just one of what they are doing well, including tying findings to economics.

Safety. (Didn’t catch anything said.)

Campus Planning. Goal is to better unite the campus and to tie the campus better to the community through the interfaces. The Facilities Services website has not of good maps and graphics. Streetscape and the botanic garden initiative have transformed the campus. The structure north of Robie House is being looked at for creating a mixed use interface. The Hospitals area needs to become a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant area. 58th and Ellis is another focus.


Ann Marie Lipinski updates Service League in February 2010

(This site is uncertain of the writer of this piece at the monent)

Anne Marie Lipinski, VP for Civic Engagement, speaking to the University of Chicago Service League, February 17, 2010, on helping to forge a new kind of partnership between University and City.

Development is stalled because of the economy, but the U. of C. has moved some projects along. They want to be transparent.

Lab School expansion – contiguous project or the site on Stony Island? They want to be transparent, will talk with, debate with the community.

The expansion will be the EEC, Early Education Center (children through second grade). The center is designed to be a low building with a lot of light and courtyards. Young children need a lot of room and openness to the outdoors. [The Feb. 17 Hyde Park Herald says that the initial design involves two courtyards surrounded by 30 classrooms. “Doctor’s Hospital for Lab Kids?” P. 3.]

At a later point, I said that the University had bought a lot of land in the area, including some around Washington Park; what will they do with it? Lipinski answered that there was a problem of lack of room for expansion. In the future, property will be needed for programming but it is hard to say for what; the long-term use of their property is not clear. Plans for short-term use are being made. For example, the shuttered A&P store on 55th is being cleaned up.

Other things discussed:

Harper Court – development is predicated on community planning work (visioning workshops, etc.) It will have retail, a small boutique hotel, residential, office space. It will be a phased project.

Woodlawn – a project modeled on the Harlam Children’s Zone, a 90 block area in NYC. Doing one thing is not enough. In addition to schooling, there must be prenatal training, parent education, health services, etc. See Whatever It Takes, by Paul Tuff. (In answer to a question – she would consider involving the Neighborhood Club.)

Audience members expressed concern about the death of the Blue Gargoyle and adult literacy.

The Southeast Chicago Commission is being reconstituted. Its area is being expanded; it will include Washington Park, Kenwood, Hyde Park and Woodlawn. A new director, Wendy Williams, starts March 1. The focus will be on economic development.

Rudy Nimocks trades in Police duties for directorship of community partnerships. Marlon Lynch assumes UCPD directorship/chiefdom

More in University News releases.

Chicago Maroon, May 8 2009. By Asher Klein

Rudy Nimocks, chief of the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) for the past 20 years, stepped down today to fill his new role as the first director of community partnerships. the appointment was announced by Ann Marie Lipinski, vice president for civic engagement, in an e-mail to the University community Thursday.

Marlon Lynch, associate vice president for safety and security in Lipinski's office, took up the position of chief of the University of Chicago Police as part of his duties, which also include coordinating operations between UCPD, transportation and parking, and security services. Lynch said he feels comfortable in both roles because he served a similar position at Vanderbilt University, where he worked until February of this year, and because he has a background in municipal and campus law enforcement. "I'm looking forward to it," Lynch said. "I'm excited to utilize Rudy Nimocks as a resource and to get started."

Nimocks explained his duties as director of community partnerships are similar to a role he had to play as chief of police. "I think community outreach is part and parcel of our contemporary law enforcement scene," he said.

Nimocks is active in a number of Hyde Park institutions, sitting on the steering committee for the New Communities Program in Woodlawn and the board of Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Organization. He was the last chair of the board of Blue Gargoyle, a non-profit that ran family literacy programs adn provided job counseling before it closed due to financial constraints last month. "The people that are engaged in community leadership or who are community leaders are people that I know well, and I'm excited to get to work with them more," Nimocks said.

Lynch, in his new role, has already started work on mitigating a recent rash of shootings south of the Midway. "The Chicago Police department has actually allocated additional staff to work in the areas," Lynch said. "UCPD is an active member of the task force that has been specifically activated with the violence that has been going on in Woodlawn."

Nimocks, who spent 33 years in the city police department before becoming the UCPD chief, remarked on what he was proudest of accomplishing at the University. "I've made a significant contribution toward professionalizing the UPCD," he said. "We have a sterling reputation with the Chicago Police Department and a terrific collaborative relationship with them, notwithstanding the reputation we have with the community we serve." That reputation is based in part on falling crime numbers, including a drop of 36 percent last year, "an extraordinary achievement anywhere in this country," Nimocks said.

Having lived in Woodlawn since 1952, Nimocks developed close ties to the area, as a resident as well as a law enforcement officer. "Hyde Park is a unique neighborhood, to say the least, and there are some nuances that you have to learn about [as chief of police]," Nimocks said. He added that Hyde Parker are more active in policing than those of any other neighborhood. "We wil find that as [Lynch] goes along, he's a bright young man and I'm sure he's up to the task."

While Nimocks did not impart any advice on his successor, he did reiterate the importance of connecting to the community. "If you can involve a law enforcement official [ in community outreach], it definitely gives him a better insight into the things that are being done, can be done, and gives him a better vision of how a police agency can fit in and make a meaningful contribution to the community," Nimocks said.

Herald May 13, 2009. By Sam Cholke

After 20 years of service, Rudy Nimocks stepped aside May 7 as chief of police at the University of Chicago Police Department. Marlon Lynch, a Chicago native adn the former head of security at Vanderbilt University, assumed the role of Chief of police as part of this new position as associate vice president for safety and security at the university.

"I've been spending a lot of time with Rudy," Lynch said. The transition to the University of Chicago will be easier because of Nimocks and the positive partnerships he's fostered with the Chicago Police Department and the communities, Lynch said.

"I think he'll be a significant addition to the university," Nimocks said, whose time now will be spent working with local organizations to establish new partnerships with the university. "It will be mostly about going to community meetings, Nimocks said. Already a public and accessible face of the university, Nimocks said he anticipate people would be seeing him more frequently as he is out collecting the opinions and concerns of the neighborhood to bring back to university administrators. "I don't know if they'll be receptive, but I'll be bringing them all of it," he said. "It's important that you know what people are thinking about."

"He had already been doing it unofficially, now it will allow him to focus on it more," Lynch said, adding that he will continue to rely on Nimocks' guidance as the department updates and reorganizes.

Lynch said he would increase the number of officers out interacting with the community on a regular basis. Lynch said the department would continue to update technology in the department, such as laptops in patrol cars so officers spend less time writing reports and more time out in the neighborhood. Lynch will have a full plate, overseeing transportation and parking operations in addition to the university police, Nimocks said. "If he gets competent people reporting to him, it can be done," Nimocks said.

Lynch said he would be relying on his staff to fulfill the expanded duties of the chief of police, but it would be beneficial to combine the departments under one roof. All of those have some component of public safety in them", Lynch said.


Trustee Rodney Goldstein discusses community relations, outreach with students

Maroon, May 22, 2009. By Holly Lawson

He averred the Health Initiative seeks to build a "broader definition of partnership" and encouraged students to volunteer. Goldstein did not reply as to whether the University will expand physically south of 61st. Students suggested expanding alumni networking to new fields and minimizing negative Olympic impact by exerting University influence in the planning stages. Top