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Dr. Phyllis Hayes

Interim Executive Director I University of Illinois Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Engagement

A dedicated educator and community leader who always strives to “improve the quality of life” for those in need. Dr. Hayes has spent more than 40 years of her life helping others by serving as a community leader who believes that “access to equality” is all that mankind of any (race, color, or creed) could ask for.


Since the age of 21, Dr. Phyllis P. Hayes has been an educator in Chicagoland where she began her career as a special education teacher with Chicago Public Schools in 1978.

Dr. Hayes has experience in several educational and community-related aspects serving in various administrative positions at City Colleges of Chicago (15 Years), Chicago State University (9 years), Family Christian Health Center (10 years - a federally qualified health center) and, in 2004 she joined the University of Illinois Chicago Family (thanks to the recommendations of Former University of Illinois Trustee, Dr. Frances G. Carroll and Former President of the Senate, Emil Jones, Jr.).

She has experience in, administrative and program management, governmental relations, public policy, strategic planning, health and wellness initiatives, fundraising, grant writing, research, evaluation and assessment, budgeting, collective bargaining, and the implementation of online education across the curricula.

Dr. Phyllis Hayes

Dr. Hayes has a passion for improved educational systems which include access, diversity & inclusion, human development, healthcare improvements for communities of color, economic empowerment, along with focusing on the rights of the working-class, underserved, and poor.

She is the founder of the University of Illinois Chicago – CHANCE Program and co-founder of the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement. Her personal goal is to provide an avenue for communities of color to achieve their educational endeavors while preparing themselves for a “fruitful” life.

Within the University setting Phyllis serves on the Executive Board of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks, member of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, Co-Chair, AARERI (African American Recruitment, Enrollment and Retention Initiative), member of the UIC Urban Health Program - Community Advisory Council and has served on several community and national-level community-related initiatives.

Personally, Phyllis is involved in a myriad of community, civic, professional, and governmental initiatives and currently serves as the Convener of Congressman Bobby L. Rush’s - 1st Congressional District Education Task Force, Chair, Women for Senator Elgie Sims, Co-Chair, Women for State Representative Debbie Meyers-Martin, Board Member - Girls4Science, Chicago Symphony Orchestra: African American Network, State of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s Advisory Collective Committee, Mary Herrick Scholarship Fund, University of Chicago and YO Scholarship Foundation. She has served as a member of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education, The Vineyard Church Chicago - Health & Wellness and Fundraising Ministries. She is also the former, Education Scholarship Liaison, Illinois Legislative Black Caucus member, past chair of the Women for Senator Donne E. Trotter and Women for Senator Toi Hutchinson, Former Board Member for Senator Willie Delgado’s Education Task Force, and National Outreach Coordinator, Obama for America (2008-2012).

Dr. Hayes is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Xi Nu Omega Chapter) and remains committed to civic engagement and scholarly projects designed for high school and college-level students.

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