In 1890, Chicago South Side pastor Frank Gunsaulus gave a sermon where he said that with a million dollars he could build a school where students of all backgrounds could prepare for meaningful roles in a changing industrial society. One of the congregants, Philip Armour, came up to him after the service and told Gunsaulus that "if you give me five years of your time, I will give you the money." Thus was born the Armour Institute of Technology, the forerunner of the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Today Illinois Tech enters a new chapter, announcing a College of Computing, and I am honored to have been asked to serve as its inaugural dean. The college will take on a horizontal mission, to infuse computation and data science thinking throughout the curriculum in every discipline, while understanding the power, limitations and social implications of the technologies they create. We will significantly grow computing to produce the talent needed for a growing Chicago tech community. The college will develop an agile curriculum to continually reevaluate our offerings as computing technology continues to advance, and develop education as a life-long process where our alumni can always count on Illinois Tech to continually reskill to advance their careers.
We will do it all by keeping the core principle of the original "million-dollar sermon," as important as ever, to prepare students of all backgrounds for meaningful roles in a changing technological society.