A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

Further Actions Toward Anti-Racism

Dear SAIC Community,

Since the previous communication outlining concrete actions that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has taken in our ongoing effort to become more anti-racist, we have heard from many of you about additional steps you would like to see our institution take in our drive to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, as well as anti-racist. Your messages—which have come from many individuals and groups, including cohorts of Black faculty, instructional shop staff, and academic departments as well as student government and the Black Student Union, among others—contain many good ideas. While we have not yet been able to respond to them all, please know you have been heard. Today we would like to announce several additional actions SAIC is taking to further its anti-racism goals:

  • Tuition Increase Offset for Students With Greatest Financial Need: While SAIC is not in a financial position to completely offset the planned tuition increase for the 2020–21 academic year, the School will award a grant—i.e., an automatic, no-strings-attached adjustment to each student’s bill that does not need to be repaid—for all students eligible for Pell Grant, the federal program for students who display exceptional financial need. This will eliminate the tuition increase for 22 percent of the student body.
  • $1 Million Investment in Chicago Scholars Programs: A recent gift from Carol and David Ostrow will create an endowed, named, need-based scholarship opportunity for graduates from the Chicago area high schools’ student population matriculating to SAIC, a district which is approximately 89 percent students of color. The first cohort of scholarship recipients will be awarded by the 2021–22 academic year.
  • Undergraduate Scholarship Named for Lynika Strozier: Named in honor of beloved colleague Lynika Strozier, who passed away from complications due to COVID-19, this full-tuition, need-based scholarship will go to support an undergraduate student matriculating from Chicago area high schools beginning in the 2020–21 academic year.

While sharing news of these latest initiatives with you, we also want to thank you for your continued attention on these pressing issues. Our work will continue, and as it progresses, everyone in the SAIC community will be kept abreast of our progress and hear about the further steps our School takes. Working together, we will become the more just and compassionate School we aim to be.

Elissa Tenny

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs