My State of the Campus address this year was devoted to the unveiling of our strategic plan, “IUPUI: Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond.” The process began in fall 2012 under the leadership of Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Nasser Paydar. The resulting document reflects widespread stakeholder input into the planning process. It builds on our strengths and honors prior investments, but also points to new areas of opportunity for growth and development. We began with our now eight-year-old mission statement, an amazingly resilient description of IUPUI and its aspirations in changing times:
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a partnership between Indiana and Purdue Universities, is Indiana’s urban research and academic health sciences campus. IUPUI’s mission is to advance the State of Indiana and the intellectual growth of its citizens to the highest levels nationally and internationally through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement. By offering a distinctive range of bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and Ph.D. degrees, IUPUI promotes the educational, cultural, and economic development of central Indiana and beyond through innovative collaborations, external partnerships, and a strong commitment to diversity.
When I talk about our mission statement, I always note that you cannot remove IUPUI and plug in any other campus in the state. It is distinctive and fits us to a tee.
The strategic plan builds on that mission statement with an eye toward the future. The IUPUI campus strategy focuses on three urgent priorities, each of them crucial to the future of our institution, our city, and our state: (1) the success of our students; (2) advances in health and life sciences; and (3) contributions to the well-being of the citizens of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, and beyond.
The plan also continues to promote IUPUI’s contributions to the city’s and state’s clusters of economic opportunity: health and life sciences; advanced manufacturing; information technology; nonprofit management and philanthropy; and arts, culture, and tourism. The Battelle Institute did a study last year which established that Indiana ranks in the top five in the United States for life sciences. Indiana ranks in the top five states in the percentage of its economy driven by manufacturing. Other studies show similarly strong opportunities for central Indiana, in particular, in the other economic clusters as well.
IUPUI can do a lot here, and we will.
“IUPUI: Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond” identifies 10 strategic initiatives to advance our mission, vision, and aspirations.
- Promote Undergraduate Student Learning and Success
- Optimize our Enrollment Management
- Increase Capacity for Graduate Education
- Transform Online Education
- Leverage our Strengths in Health and Life Sciences
- Accelerate Innovation and Discovery through Research
- Deepen our Commitment to Community Engagement
- Strengthen Internationalization Efforts
- Promote an Inclusive Campus Climate
- Develop our Faculty and Staff
Because a strategic plan must be a dynamic and evolving document, we are watching the cream rise to the top in each of these areas and have already begun implementing some ideas.
To promote timely degree completion for undergraduates, we asked academic advisors to persuade students to take 15 credit hours or more and make faster progress toward completion of the 120 credit hours needed for most baccalaureate degrees. This fall, 51 percent of our first-time, full-time entering class are taking 15 or more hours, more than double what it was last fall. Previous studies predict more than 90% will successfully earn those hours.
In graduate education, the Kelley School of Business has been innovative in developing dual degree programs, including an MBA for practicing MDs. But, we also need to strategically invest in PhD programs like the recently created doctorates in philanthropy, health communication, economics focused on health and philanthropy, and urban education. Technologies under development, like CourseNetworking LLC, advance online education.
This fall, we’ve also established a new Center for Interprofessional Health Education and Practice, with Judith Halstead as director. She is the Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the IU School of Nursing. This will allow us to better prepare health care professionals who can work together effectively as cross-functional teams.
Equally important will be cross-disciplinary research teams working on multifaceted problems like diabetes prevention, climate change, and other public health and urban issues.
As we put in place more ideas for the future, you will hear about them here and we’ll post them at http://strategicplan.iupui.edu/. Our plan reflects IU’s Principles of Excellence and will integrate well with IU’s recently announced Strategic Plan for the Bicentenary.