Prof. Salerni has served UIC for over 19 years; and took a leadership role for 13 of those years. In 1995 he joined the faculty as Chair of the Department of Performing Arts and served in that capacity for four years. From 2000 to 2003 Prof. Salerni served as Coordinator of Performance Programs in Theatre. Finally, from 2003 to 2008, he served as Acting Program Director for Theatre. Since 2008, Prof. Salerni has been instrumental in identifying, advising, and mentoring new leadership.
Luigi Salerni’s work has been critical to the success and growth the of theatre programs at UIC. His major contribution to the curriculum includes a shift toward performance-based teaching and learning, exemplified in two very successful advanced-level courses that he developed: Investigative Collaboration, and Contemporary Performance Techniques. He was instrumental in the planning and creation of a new bachelor of fine arts degree in acting, which has become a flagship program. Additionally, Salerni has a been a key member of a team of faculty leading the revision of the theatre curriculum related to the College’s 2011-2012 restructuring process. Finally, most recently, Salerni served on a leadership team to revise the current bachelor of arts degree in theatre and performance, and a new bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre production, design, and technology.
Luigi Salerni’s teaching involved a number of advanced required and selective undergraduate courses including Directing, Playwriting, Investigative Collaboration, and Contemporary Performance Techniques. In addition, Salerni directed annually on the mainstage for the theatre program. He has received numerous awards and grants for teaching, research, or service, including the UIC Council on Excellence in Teaching Award (2000, 2006, 2010, 2012), the Chancellor’s Research Grant (2011, 2012), and the Dean’s Research Prize (2009).
As a theatre artist at UIC, Prof. Salerni has directed over 19 productions on the UIC campus. He has collaborated with music colleagues a number of times, most notably on six fully staged performances of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat produced with colleagues Gene Collerd and Tim Buckley (1996). The sphere of his influence went well beyond theatre classrooms to the cultural life of the campus and the community. He has been part of the Honors College Faculty at UIC since 2009; and an Honors College Fellow since 2003. He has also established lasting partnerships with community leaders, who have donated funds and resources to theatre productions and helped build community audience awareness and support.
Often meticulously researching and planning his productions a year in advance, Luigi Salerni has served as an example to faculty and students of vision, dedication, and artistic excellence. He is generous and patient with his students, and has fostered a collegial atmosphere among faculty. He has been particularly supportive of junior faculty, and has served as a mentor to most of the current tenure system faculty.