Newsletter for December 27

Some administrators fly first class; new emergency dept. opens Friday; new No. 2 at IOP

By Pete Grieve and Euirim Choi

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Good morning. One more week of holiday break. 

University of Chicago Medicine’s new emergency department opens at 7 a.m. on Friday. The department’s medical director Dr. Tom Spiegel and trauma center director Dr. Selwyn Rogers discussed what this milestone means with WBEZ’s Jason Marck on Morning Shift yesterday. 

— Spiegel: “The facilities will be nicer. There will be more space. It’ll be far more patient-oriented and far more patient-friendly.”

The University’s FY 2016 tax returns are out. The returns, known as the Form 990, provide financial information about the University of Chicago from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Here’s what stood out: 

$3.2 million: That’s how much President Zimmer, the highest paid University employee, made in compensation and benefits in FY 2016. Mark A. Schmid, the University’s Chief Investment Officer, was not far behind, making just under $3 million dollars. (The average salary of University of Chicago professors? Around $225,000. And lecturers? $60,000.)

High severance payments: Beth A. Harris, who held positions as counsel for the University and as the interim director of the Lab School, and Richard Iorio, then the vice president and chief human resource officer, received $912,578 and $677,563 respectively in severance

— Living the high life in the skies: Five University officers were approved for first class air travel using University funds. (Harvard, in the prior fiscal year, allowed two of its officers to travel first class.)

— Several million dollars in management fees went to investment management and private equity firms founded and/or managed by several trustees. 

Midway parking site unchanged after review: Obama Center officials appeared to reconsider the location of its parking garage site after community organizers expressed opposition to development on Midway parkland. But last week the Foundation announced that after its review the site will not change. They have made some tweaks to the proposal, including changes aimed at “creating park space that is more restorative and less active.”

New No. 2 at the IOP: The Institute of Politics (IOP) announced last week that Gretchen Crosby Sims will begin in January as its new executive director. IOP communications director Matt Jaffe, who did not seek the position, has been filling the role in the interim.

University of Chicago Medicine changed its visitor policy after a significant rise in cases of severe illness due to the flu. The new policy prevents children under 12 and anyone with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, from visiting patients. Additionally, all patients and visitors must wear masks during their visits. 

We will be returning to our normal Tuesday and Friday newsletter schedule starting next week. 

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