By Adam Schalke
Although he is less than a year into his tenure as president of the university, Ali Malekzadeh is making some big changes for Roosevelt.
Malekzadeh named some major initiatives during his State of the University speech last month, and topping the list was his pledge to reinvest in the campus in Schaumburg.
The Daily Herald reported that Malekzadeh reaffirmed his commitment to restoring the campus to the Schaumburg Business Association earlier in the month.
“I’m here to tell you, as emphatically as I can, Roosevelt University is here to stay,” Malekzadeh told the Herald.
The president’s commitment to restoring the suburban campus is more than just words and speeches. Malekzadeh recently unveiled three new councils designed to help oversee and implement the efforts to restore the Schaumburg campus.
The new councils will each have various tasks for the campus. Some of these include, but are not limited to, developing appropriate curriculum for the campus in order to meet modern needs for a changing economy and workforce, working to increase the number of students enrolling at the new campus and communicating with local officials and institutions in Schaumburg and the surrounding area to better understand their needs for the community.
Malekzadeh’s plans for Schaumburg differ greatly from those of his predecessor, former university president Chuck Middleton. According to Malekzadeh, this is due to Roosevelt’s financial issue and a different attitude toward the campus.
“At that time, a pullback from Schaumburg made sense due to budgetary constraints,” Malekzadeh said. “We do have a different strategy now, for both the short term and the long term. In the short term, we want to focus on having the Schaumburg campus be responsive of the community’s needs, but long term we would like to see fairly equal focus on Schaumburg and Chicago.”
Malekzadeh rejects the idea that focusing on Schaumburg would inherently mean insufficient focus on the primary campus in Chicago.
“There is a variety of students out there, and many of them have different needs from one another. Some will want to stay at home for financial reasons or because they have strong contacts or connections there, but others will want to come to Chicago and live downtown,” he said. “We want to respond to that variety of students. I believe that Roosevelt needs to thrive and have a bright future, and focusing on both schools is the best way to do that.”
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