The Great Cities Commitment: Leadership, Resources, Rewards and the Identity of the Urban Research University


  • David C. Perry University of Illinois at Chicago


Higher Education, Metropolitan Universities, Leadership


The article is meant to assess the ways in which the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and its Great Cities Commitment can serve as a model of academic institutional change that anchors or is, otherwise, foundational to academic institutional achievement and urban development. Through both normative discussion and case study, the article addresses the ways in which UIC consciously and strategically spent over fifteen years of sustained leadership, resource commitment and integration of the higher education reward structures into an engaged research mission in order to become a place-based, engaged urban research university.