Pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees at its Nov. 17 meeting, Miranda will take office on July 5, 2023, as the 10th chancellor of UIC. She will succeed Chancellor Michael Amiridis, who became President of the University of South Carolina in June.
Miranda, 59, served as provost at Notre Dame through 2021 and remains a member of the faculty in its Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics. As provost, she led the private university’s academic response to the COVID-19 pandemic; helped drive efforts to increase faculty and student diversity, resulting in the most diverse first-year class in school history in 2021; started a transformational leaders program to provide resources to students from under-served backgrounds; and led a bottom up strategic planning process that engaged more than 600 members of the faculty.
Miranda brings a wide range of other leadership experience at Rice University, the University of Michigan and Duke University to her new role as chancellor of UIC and its nearly 34,000 students and 13,000 faculty and staff.
“It is an honor to be chosen to lead one of the country’s great urban universities and to serve this global city and its people,” Miranda said. “I look forward to learning from and working with students, faculty and staff as we work collaboratively with our community partners to meet the pressing challenges and opportunities before us. Together we can provide life-changing educational programs at scale, while fostering the world-class research and engagement our city, state, country and world need.”
University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen said Miranda’s deep experience as a higher education innovator dedicated to access, excellence and community engagement will serve UIC well.
“Marie Lynn comes to UIC and the University of Illinois System as a champion for higher education, a believer in the undisputable impact that a great university can have on the lives of its students, their families and the communities it serves,” Killeen said. “She has been a leader in making certain that higher education is accessible to more and more people, a public good that should be available to students from all backgrounds and income levels. I look forward to working with her to advance UIC and the U of I System.”
At Notre Dame, Miranda is also director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), a research, education and outreach organization committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. The initiative is best known for its work on childhood lead exposure – contributing to the CDC’s decision to set a more protective standard for childhood blood lead levels, developing strategies for combatting lead in drinking water, and identifying lead in aviation gasoline as a contributor to elevated blood lead levels. CEHI’s most recent work focuses on racial residential segregation and the ways segregated neighborhoods experience greater exposure to social and environmental stressors, which in turn drives health and educational disparities.
Before joining Notre Dame in 2020, Miranda was provost at Rice University from 2015-19. She was responsible for all aspects of the university’s academic, research, scholarly and creative programs, supported by a roughly $700 million annual budget. While at Rice, Miranda also led planning and implementation of $230 million in investments focused on areas such as molecular nanotechnology, data sciences, neuroengineering, inequities and inequalities and general research competitiveness. Her efforts at Rice also included providing a comprehensive set of programs for students from under-served backgrounds – an initiative which substantially closed graduation and time to degree gaps.
At Michigan, Miranda was dean of what was then the School of Natural Resources and Environment from 2012-15, restructuring the doctoral program and improving degree-completion metrics; developing data systems to support evidence-based decision-making in admissions and advising; and reinvigorating the department’s alumni relations operation.
Prior to her work at Michigan, Miranda spent 21 years as a member of the faculty at Duke University, including nine years as director of undergraduate programs for the Nicholas School of the Environment. She also was principal investigator of a research laboratory with roughly 30 full-time staff and 40-plus faculty collaborators. Over the course of her research career, Miranda has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $75 million dollars in research funding.
She is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a PhD and Master of Arts from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Miranda is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
She was chosen from five finalists and a pool of 40 well-qualified applicants. A committee chaired by UIC Interim Provost and Professor Karen Colley advised system Executive Vice President Avijit Ghosh and Killeen in the search.