October 2002


            Since we last wrote, IUPUI has been much in the news and received numerous recognitions.  We hope you will indulge us our pride as we take note of some accolades that have come our way recently.




            Two IUPUI programs were recognized by U.S. News and World Report as “Programs that Really Work” in the annual ranking of the nation's top colleges.

            IUPUI was recognized for its success with learning communities, in which instructional teams of faculty, advisors, librarians, and student mentors help entering students get off to a successful start in college.  IUPUI also was recognized for efforts to promote service learning, which connects academic work with community service, thereby enhancing students’ hands-on learning, civic skills, and philanthropic habits, while tapping into their desire to engage in meaningful and purposeful activities that help others.

            IUPUI’s ranking relative to some other institutions is set forth below.

Learning Communities

Service Learning

 2. Michigan

 9.  Wisconsin


1.  Stanford


  8.  IUPUI


 3. Maryland

12.  Princeton


4.  Michigan


10.  Brown


 5.  Iowa State


18.  IUPUI

       Michigan State

       Ohio State

7.  Notre Dame




            U.S. News and World Report introduced the ranking of “Programs That Really Work” for the first time this year.  With the help of numerous education experts, the magazine identified eight types of programs that have been shown to enhance learning.  It then invited college presidents, chief academic officers, and deans of students to nominate up to 10 institutions with stellar examples of each.  Colleges and universities that received the most votes were placed in the rankings.




            The Policy Center on the First Year of College, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Atlantic Philanthropies, has selected IUPUI as an “Institution of Excellence in the First College Year.”  IUPUI is 1 of 13 institutions selected from 130 nominees.  A research team has been on campus this week to further explore IUPUI’s achievements, which will yield an in-depth case study to be published in a book tentatively titled Portraits of First-Year Excellence in American Colleges and Universities. 

            The recognition derives from five areas of excellence:  (1) an intentional, comprehensive approach, (2) data-driven continuous improvement, (3) broad impact on significant numbers of students, (4) strong administrative support, and (5) involvement of a wide range of faculty, student affairs professionals, academic administrators, and others.

            The Policy Center on the First Year of College began in October 1999 as an extension of the work of Executive Director John N. Gardner, founder of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.  The Policy Center disseminates information about procedures and tools that constitute best practices in first-year programs.



            IUPUI will receive a $25,000 USA TODAY-NCAA Academic Achievement Award.  This is the second year for the awards, which are made through a USA TODAY gift of $2.9 million to the NCAA.  The gift recognizes colleges and universities in three categories: highest student-athlete graduation rates above the average of the student body, greatest increase in percentage of student-athletes graduating over the previous cohort, and highest percentage of student-athletes graduating.

            IUPUI had the highest increase in graduation rates of athletes among NCAA Division 1-AA and 1-AAA institutions.  The graduation rates are based on the incoming class of 1995-96 and allowed six years for graduation.  In IUPUI's case, 44 percent of our student-athletes graduated, a 33 percent increase from the incoming class of 1994-95.

            Credit goes to our coaches, who have made academics a priority, and to the students themselves, who have worked hard to meet IUPUI’s high expectations for their achievement.  Incidentally, enclosed is a season ticket brochure.  We hope you will consider supporting the IUPUI Jaguars as they move into the upcoming season, which we hope is their best yet.            



            The Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) at IUPUI was among 18 organizations, businesses, and individuals that were recognized by the state for extraordinary environmental achievements.  Governor Frank O’Bannon and Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Lori F. Kaplan presented CEES Director Lenore Tedesco the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence on September 27.          

            CEES received the award for the Lilly ARBOR Project, an ecological restoration of the banks of the White River west of the IUPUI campus.  Eli Lilly and Company is the primary sponsor for the project.  A cornerstone of the project is scientific research about the best strategies for riverbank restoration in an urban setting.  Researchers, students, educators, and volunteers are involved with planting and monitoring trees and shrubs, data collection, and site stewardship.  It is an outstanding example of university/corporate/community cooperation that is breaking new ground in educational outreach as well as the science of urban environments.



            More than 100 concerts, plays, exhibits, workshops, and other events will be held throughout central Indiana as the Polis Center at IUPUI presents the annual Spirit & Place Festival.  This year’s theme, “Breaking Silence,” is meant to encourage a community dialogue on “unspoken truths in the areas of art, religion, and society.”  Polis produces the festival in association with many schools, civic clubs, congregations, and other organizations.

            The centerpiece of the civic event, which has been likened to “eavesdropping on three thinkers having a spontaneous living room conversation,” features three women whose work has broken silences:  feminist bell hooks, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, and novelist Mary Gordon.  The moderator is author Scott Russell Sanders, Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington.  The discussion will be held November 3 at Clowes Memorial Hall, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Free tickets are available at the Clowes box office.

            New this year is the Youth Speak-Out, featuring the creative talent of some 300 central Indiana youth who work in teams on projects involving film, music, or multimedia.  Their work will be shown in a variety show format on November 9, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Children’s Museum, and November 10, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the The House Café + Music, 6101 N. Keystone Ave.  For a list of other 2002 festival events, visit the web site www.spiritandplace.org or call the Polis Center at 274-2455.




            In last month’s letter, we mentioned a new combined master’s degree program involving the IU School of Medicine and Kelley School of Business. Another collaboration between medical and business school faculty has just won funding from the National Institutes of Health.  A $3 million grant will support a five-year computer-assisted behavioral intervention study of adults at risk for contracting hepatitis B.  The study will determine the most successful approaches for encouraging them to receive vaccinations against the disease.

            Gregory Zimet, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine is principal investigator of the study.  Co-investigators are Dena Cox, Ph.D., and Anthony Cox, Ph.D., both associate professors of marketing at the Kelley School of Business.  Their role is to develop the messages that will be presented to encourage participants, who will be recruited from sexually transmitted disease clinics in Indianapolis and Chicago, to agree to vaccinations.  Their findings as to which messages are most successful could help prevent the spread of this harmful contagious disease.



            Our heartiest congratulations go to Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine and former associate dean for research at the IU School of Medicine, who has been appointed director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health.  T.-K. is one of our nation’s preeminent scientists in the field of alcohol research.  He has done groundbreaking studies in many areas, including alcohol metabolism and animal models of alcoholism, and is internationally known for his research into the genetic determinants of alcohol use and alcoholism.

            Since 1987, he has been director of the IU Alcohol Research Center.  In his prestigious new appointment, he will have the opportunity to help shape the future of the field to which he has devoted his career.  We are very proud and wish T.-K. and his wife, Susan, all the very best.



                                                                                                Gerald L. Bepko