Charles Burbridge

Charles BurbridgeCurrent Location: Oak Park, IL
Hometown: Peoria, IL

UIS Degree: B.A.1978 (Economics), M.A, 1980 (Economics)

Current Position
Executive Director, Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund

Career Highlights
“My highlights were the people I worked with, talents I helped to nurture in my teammates and the achievements of our teams. I was Chief Economist for the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission. We were named best state agency by the Illinois Times and I got to work with Senator Dawn Clark Netsch. I worked for former representative Woods Bowman while serving as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Cook County. While there we developed innovative ways to fund healthcare. I was part of the team that included Paul Vallas and Gery Chico to reform the operations of Chicago Public Schools and create hope for better educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children. While working for former Colorado governor Roy Romer (then superintendent) at the Los Angeles Unified School District we created a building program to ease overcrowding at inner city schools that constructed the equivalent of the entire San Diego School District and offered students a chance to enjoy new instructional opportunities. At Atlanta Public Schools, we were able to withstand the fiscal impact of the recession without cutting instructional programs or laying off teachers. Finally, at the Pension Fund, I have the opportunity to work with civic leaders and our staff to help insure the retirement security of over 63,000 teachers.”

Memories of SSU/UIS
“Serving as engineering technician at WSSR (now WUIS) and broadcasting live jazz from Crows Mill School.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?
“The economics program was transformative. Professor Roy Wehrle’s oral finals were character building. His classes opened my eyes to the perspectives of other people. Professors Munkirs and Ayres helped develop a framework for evaluating information. Professor Wayne Snyder recommended me for a graduate internship that set my career path before I entered graduate school. From the admissions department to the financial aid department to student government, including being the student representative on a presidential search committee, SSU made this life possible.”

Interesting Fact
“I ride a motorcycle and have traveled from Springfield to British Columbia via Sault Ste. Marie. I also made it to San Diego and Big Sur on a different ride. While working in LA and Atlanta, I commuted weekly on American and Delta from Chicago (12 years total). I guess I like to travel.”

Posted on November 24, 2015