University publicly pushing for Obama library

Susan Sher, senior advisor to President Zimmer, has issued an official statement regarding the library.

By Ankit Jain

The University for the first time has openly expressed interest in the Obama presidential library as the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago State University launch public campaigns to try to bring the library to their respective campuses.

“The University of Chicago was fortunate to have President Obama on its Law School faculty for 12 years, and to benefit from Mrs. Obama’s leadership in several senior administrative roles,” Susan Sher, senior adviser to University President Robert Zimmer, said in an e-mailed statement. “The City of Chicago and the South Side in particular could benefit greatly from the cultural opportunities and economic development that a presidential library could bring.”

Sher, who was Michelle Obama’s chief of staff from 2009 to 2011, is leading efforts to bring the library to campus, according to law professor Geoffrey Stone, head of the committee exploring the logistics of a potential library.

Institute of Politics (IOP) Director and Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod (A.B. ’76) also hopes the library will be at the University.

“Obviously, the University of Chicago is a formative place for [Obama]. And we look forward, if he does bring his library here, to synergy between the library and the IOP, because there’s a lot we can do together,” Axelrod said in an interview last year.