Dear UIC students, faculty and staff:
I write to announce that after enjoying a 20-year career at the University of Illinois Chicago, Linda Deanna will retire June 30 as associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students.
In Linda’s time at UIC, she has been responsible for several departments, programs and services, including the Counseling Center, Career Services, Student Employment, Student Assistance, Student Legal Service, Student Veteran Affairs, Community Standards, Wellness Center, Student Development Services, Orientation, Commuter Student Resource Center, Student Leadership and Volunteer Services, Financial Aid, Testing Services, Disability Services and International Services.
One of Linda’s greatest accomplishments has been developing the Office of the Dean of Students into an important resource for serving student needs. She worked to make the Office of the Dean of Students recognized on campus as an integral part of student life and collaborated with key partners across the university to connect students with critical services. Linda’s dissertation, entitled “A Voice for Students: The Advocacy Role of Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education,” describes how the work of student professionals as advocates can contribute to student satisfaction and success. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Office of the Dean of Students is a place where students feel comfortable visiting and seeking assistance. Faculty and staff reach out daily to the office to resolve issues and concerns of students.
About 10 years ago, after being inspired by a concept presented at a NASPA conference, Linda established the U & I Care Program at UIC. The program was introduced to the campus as a marketing idea focused on caring about and supporting students. As more students came to the Office of the Dean of Students for help, Linda developed the U & I Care Plan, primarily for students in crisis or in pre-conduct hearing status. A few years ago, the Office of the Dean of Students expanded the program, which now includes U & I Care Emergency grants; U & I Care facts, a set of tips about topics of interest to students, such as health, wellness and relationships; and U&I Care Week, which features programs addressing well-being and support for students.
The Office of the Dean of Students established a new functional area during Linda’s tenure, Student Assistance. Hundreds of requests are made annually by students, or faculty and staff on behalf of students needing assistance. The Student Assistance area handles requests relating to housing instability, food insecurity, financial and academic concerns, personal issues, and health and safety concerns. The Office of the Dean of Students processes more than 400 cases per year related to these requests.
Linda’s career before joining UIC consisted of positions at Pepperdine University as an ombudsperson, Bowling Green State University as a complex coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Madison as a student affairs coordinator and Loyola University Chicago as dean of students and director of residence life.
Linda would like the new associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students to know that UIC is a wonderful place to work. There is a talented and supportive staff that works in the Office of the Dean of Students and cares about students and a great group of colleagues across the university who are essential partners. UIC students are what she considers the best college students anywhere; They are tenacious, appreciative and willing to work hard to achieve their goals. They deserve to be serviced in the best way possible and advocated for their needs.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs has launched a national search to identify Dean Deanna’s replacement. Linda has agreed to stay on until a new dean of students has been named.
Join me in thanking Linda for her countless contributions to UIC and wishing her the very best as she takes on her next adventure.
J. Rex Tolliver
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
For more information, please contact:
UIC Student Affairs