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Sheila Hohmann was a revered scientific business administrator at the University of Chicago for 42 years, and paved the way for women leaders in scientific and higher ed administration.


She began her UChicago career in 1974, as the administrative assistant for the Enrico Fermi Institute (EFI) and rapidly rose to the leadership of the Physical Sciences Division, retiring as Associate Dean of Business Affairs. A financial expert for the Division, she was the first woman in PSD to earn an associate dean appointment.


Honing a sharp business acumen and a talent for managing complex research and planning efforts, Hohmann devoted herself to promoting the University as a world-class destination for scientific research. Among her many strategic planning efforts was finding the Enrico Fermi Institute a new home–now the Michelson Center for Physics. She also helped guide the establishment of the William Eckhardt Research Center and the renovation of the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research. She led efforts to establish the Bloch Fund and the Local Business Center, a central grants and payroll hub.


Born in Chicago in 1946, Hohmann graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968. After retirement, she and her family remained involved with the University by financially supporting a bridge program to increase the pool of women and minority students.


Upon her retirement, Dean Fefferman wrote how he valued her “cheerfulness, dedication, exceptional work ability, intelligence and creativity and deep understanding and appreciation for the Division.”

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Staff member of over 40 years and financial strategist who became PSD’s first female associate dean


Photo source: Courtesy of Enrico Fermi Institute

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