The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a number of institutional initiatives that provide the resources and support needed to create awareness and encourage participation in programs that address environmental challenges, diversity, research and collaboration, community partnerships, and the sharing of knowledge between disciplines.
As part of our 2009 strategic planning process, SAIC adopted an ongoing initiative called "Build Diversity" addressing diversity with the highest levels of school leadership, the academic departments and curriculum, and among the student body.
In spring 2013 Continuing Studies at SAIC launched a new and significant partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to support the CPS Arts Education Plan and create forums, professional networks, and extended educational opportunities for students, parents, educators, and arts administrators.
Under the leadership of renowned physicist and school Chancellor Walter E. Massey, SAIC promotes adding art to the traditional STEM subjects by blurring the lines between art and science within the school’s interdisciplinary curriculum and events.
SAIC helps students who demonstrate creativity, maturity, social and cultural awareness, technical proficiency, curiosity, and passion excel via a variety of programs, including First-Year Scholars. In fall 2014, SAIC welcomed the first students into this highly selective program, which provides incoming first-year students a year-long experience of discourse, activities, mentorship, and community.
The department of Instructional Resources and Facilities Management (IRFM) is spearheading Sustainable SAIC, a committee of students, faculty, staff, and alumni dedicated to modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions and providing the knowledge to help educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.