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Eric Fang

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The Maroon’s Biggest Stories of the 2022–23 Academic Year

These are the eight Maroon stories that shaped the Class of 2023’s final year at UChicago.

The 2022–23 academic year was one marked by significant changes for the University and the surrounding communities. From the successful graduate student unionization effort to the appointment of a new provost, here are The Maroon’s biggest stories of the year.

October 11, 2022: Booth Professor Douglas Diamond Wins Nobel Prize in Economics for Seminal Work in Finance Research

Booth School of Business professor Douglas Diamond was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, increasing UChicago’s Nobel count to 97. Diamond was recognized for research he conducted in the 1980s with Professor Philip Dybvig of Washington University of St. Louis on the role of banks in financial crises. The Maroon covered a press conference with Diamond, University president Alivisatos, and Booth dean Madhav Rajan shortly following the announcement.

December 1, 2022: New Pritzker Dean Mark Anderson Wants Med School Without Tuition or Student Debt

The Pritzker School of Medicine welcomed Mark Anderson as its new dean in October. In an interview with The Maroon soon after starting in the role, Anderson emphasized his desire to improve Pritzker’s diversity by increasing tuition support for students. Then, in April, Pritzker announced that up to half of its incoming medical students for fall 2023 would receive full-tuition scholarships.

December 3, 2022: UChicago Men’s Soccer Wins First-Ever National Title

The UChicago men’s soccer team claimed the first national championship in the program’s 75-year history. The team beat Williams College 2–0 in the finals at the NCAA Division III national tournament, capping off an undefeated season that featured 16 wins and one draw. Head coach Julianne Sitch became the first-ever female head coach to win a men’s collegiate soccer championship in her first year leading the team.

December 10, 2022: Ka Yee C. Lee To Step Down From Role As Provost

After nearly three years in the job, Provost Ka Yee C. Lee announced she would step down and transition to the role of executive vice president for strategic initiatives. Then, in January, the University named Katherine Baicker, then dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, as the next provost. Baicker assumed the role of provost in March. Lee’s departure was one of several notable administration departures this year. In April, the University announced that Vice Provost Melina E. Hale would replace John Boyer as the dean of the college at the end of the 2022–23 academic year.

January 26, 2023: University Planning Center for Freedom of Expression

On January 26, The Maroon reported on a job posting for an executive director position at the then unannounced Center for Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. At the time, a University spokesperson said the posting was part of “discussions to develop ambitious ways to support and advance the longstanding institutional priority of free expression.” In March, the University officially confirmed the launch of the initiative, now called the Forum of Free Inquiry and Expression, and announced the appointment of inaugural leadership positions. The forum is slated to open in fall 2023.

March 16, 2023: University of Chicago Graduate Student Unionization Vote Passes with 92% Support

After 15 years of organizing, the UChicago Graduate Students United–United Electrical (GSU-UE) finally won its push to unionize graduate student workers. Election results finalized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago on March 16 found that 1,696 voters supported unionization while 155 opposed. Following the vote, the University announced that it would “bargain in good faith” and congratulated GSU-UE on its victory. In 2017, the University challenged a unionization vote where just under 70 percent of voters supported the effort. GSU withdrew its bid after this challenge over fears that the then-conservative NLRB would overturn the results.

April 4, 2023: Oriental Institute Renamed Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures

The University announced the renaming of the Oriental Institute to the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North Africa (ISAC). The institute cited confusion over the geographic area of study and the pejorative connotations of the previous name as reasons for the change. A new logo was also unveiled that features the lotus flower, which has decorated the ISAC Museum’s walls since its construction in 1930.

April 5, 2023: Johnson Defeats Vallas for Mayor; Yancy Wins Fifth Ward After Hone Concedes

The 2023 Chicago municipal elections featured a hotly contested race for mayor and a rare open seat in the Fifth Ward of City Council, which includes the University. With incumbent mayor Lori Lightfoot failing to finish in the top two in the February preliminary elections, Brandon Johnson prevailed over Paul Vallas with just above 52 percent of the vote in the April runoff. In the Fifth Ward, Desmon Yancy defeated Tina Hone by around 400 votes.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Oriental Institute ‘s new name was the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Africa & North Africa. Its new name is the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North Africa.

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