In 2003, Charles Bantz became chancellor of IUPUI—Indiana's urban public research university—serving 30,000 students.
A highlight of his academic leadership is making IUPUI Indiana's "Destination for Health and Life Sciences" and strategically focusing campus efforts on Indiana's economic clusters. During his service, IUPUI launched the Fairbanks School of Public Health and the world's first School of Philanthropy. In June 2013, IUPUI will complete its second fundraising campaign of more than $1 billion, as the IMPACT campaign has surpassed $1.36 billion.
Another focus has been enhancing undergraduate education. He is a persistent advocate for undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that help keep graduates in Indiana. He has been active in fostering diversity and encouraging better math, science, engineering, and technology education. During his service, the number of bachelor's degrees granted each year has increased from 2,200 to more than 3,600. IUPUI initiated more than 25 "21st century degree programs" and external funding has grown from $202 million to more than $330 million.
He is deeply involved in the community through service on the United Way of Central Indiana Board of Directors and several other boards. He was the 2011/2012 president of the Economic Club of Indiana Board of Governors.
He has been active nationally on matters of importance to the higher education community, including having been a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA's Executive Committee from 2007 to 2011. He is chair-elect of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' Board of Directors.
He holds a bachelor's degree in English education from the University of Minnesota, a master's degree in speech communication from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in communication. He has published books and articles on subjects such as organizational communication, television news, and social conflict as well as speaking and writing on student success, transformational change, and internationalization.