Recognizing Excellence at IUPUI: State of the Campus Address
Thank you, Professor Applegate, and thank you all for being here this afternoon. We are livestreaming this event today, and I want to welcome all of you who are joining us via the web.
I want to offer a special welcome to IU Trustee Phil Eskew, Chancellors Emeritus Jerry Bepko and Charles Bantz and his wife Professor Sandra Petronio.
I would also like to welcome Purdue University Provost Deba Dutta, Vice President for Public Affairs Julie Griffith, and other friends from Purdue University. And it is my special pleasure to welcome members of the IUPUI Board of Advisors Alpha Blackburn, and Peggy Boehm, who is joined by her husband Ted this afternoon.
Would you all please join me in welcoming them?
This is my first State of the Campus address as chancellor of IUPUI, and I want to say at the outset, the state of our campus is strong.
My remarks come at a crucial time for our country and our campus.
A week from today we will be making a collective decision of national importance when we select the next president of the United States. Depending on who gets elected, the next four years for our country will look dramatically different.
What will remain the same is the value of higher education to our 21st century students who will be living, learning and earning in an increasingly global environment. To best serve these students, we in higher education must continue to focus on our strategic priorities.
At IUPUI, our strategic priorities are fostering student success, advancing health and life sciences, and contributing to our communities, both near and far. These priorities align with the broader IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan and with the goals of the university-wide Bicentennial For All fundraising campaign.
At the heart of these priorities and at the heart of our campus is our goal to make sure that IUPUI is an intentionally inclusive, equitable, diverse, and accessible campus community that inspires educational, personal, social and professional achievement.
I share these goals at the outset of my remarks because they will provide the background for all that I will be discussing.
But the thread that holds my remarks together is people.
IUPUI has always been a collaborative and inclusive environment. I want to reflect that spirit of collaboration and partnership throughout my remarks today by recognizing a number of special guests from our campus and community who have helped us achieve many of our goals over the course of the last year.
You will be able to identify these special guests by the red ribbons you will see on their nametags.
Of course, those I am recognizing represent the thousands of people on our campus and in our community who make a difference every day in the life of IUPUI and in the lives of our students. I wish I could mention every single person, but that would take several weeks.
At the heart of these priorities and at the heart of our campus is our goal to make sure that IUPUI is an intentionally inclusive, equitable, diverse, and accessible campus community.Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
Let me begin, as we always do, with student success and the triple crown for universities:
Recruitment, retention, and graduation.
Thanks to a number of strategic initiatives and the work of many people at IUPUI, we are making great progress in each of these areas.
In terms of recruitment, we have concentrated on increasing the diversity of our student body in a number of strategic ways.
This fall we welcomed nearly 30,000 students to IUPUI. Included in that total was our largest and most talented freshman class ever. That class marked record increases in our minority student population as well.
We saw a 13.2% increase in Latino students; a 20.4% increase in Asian students and a remarkable 40% increase in African American beginners on our campus. I think those numbers deserve a round of applause.
These increases are no coincidence. Soon after I was named chancellor, I called for the formation of a Task Force on the Recruitment and Retention of African American Students. And earlier this year, we formed Task Forces on the Recruitment and Retention of Latino Faculty, Staff, and Students.
Eric Williams, Kimberly Stewart-Brinston, Jose Vargas-Vila, Monica Medina, and many others have been deeply involved in these task forces. I believe Eric, Kim, and Jose are with us this afternoon. Would you all please stand for our recognition of all that you have done and continue to do to support our students?
I would also like to acknowledge our new Director for Undergraduate Admissions Yohlunda Mosley and her incredible team for the important role they have played in achieving these increases, connecting prospective students to opportunities at IUPUI. Yohlunda, thanks to you and your team for the energy and drive you bring to your roles.
Finally, I also look forward to working on these efforts with Boyd Bradshaw, our new Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. Would you help me welcome Boyd to our campus?
Midwest Student Exchange Program
In all of our efforts, we remain dedicated to educating Hoosiers. In fact, nearly 88 percent of our undergraduates come from right here in Indiana.
We continue to educate more students and more diverse students so that the IUPUI student body has the widest variety of perspectives and backgrounds from Indiana and beyond to enrich our intellectual environment.
With this goal in mind, we joined the Midwest Student Exchange Program this fall. We are opening doors of opportunity for Midwestern students who save tens of thousands of dollars in student debt thanks to this program. Since joining this year, we have seen an over 60 percent increase in student enrollment from member states.
Would our Midwest Student Exchange Program students please stand for our welcome and recognition?
In addition to programs like this, scholarships are vital tools in our recruitment strategy. As a campus, in the last year we have doubled need-based aid and added to merit scholarships to recruit high-achieving students including underrepresented minority students.
These increases come at a crucial time since, according to the most recent data, IUPUI ranks second to last among our Urban peers in terms of the percentage of undergraduates receiving institutional aid or scholarships.
We are using every tool at our disposal to change these numbers. Our generous donors are partners in providing support to recruit and retain the very best students whose presence enriches our campus and helps strengthen our programs.
When I think of the Cox family, the Mays family, the Bowen family and others, I am reminded of the powerful legacy of learning each one has established. Campus leaders and colleagues like Bill Plater, Jerry Bepko, Gene Tempel, and many others have invested in IUPUI students whose education has made a difference.
Names like Nina Mason Pulliam have become synonymous with opportunity on our campus.
These names and so many others tell an incredible story of the generosity that has transformed the lives of IUPUI students over the past nearly 50 years.
I am pleased that a number of donors who have supported scholarships at IUPUI could join us today. Would you please stand for our recognition and thanks? I should add that many of these generous supporters are also current or retired IUPUI faculty and staff members.
Now I would like to ask our Red Ribbon scholarship students to stand for our welcome and congratulations?
In all of our efforts, we remain dedicated to educating Hoosiers. In fact, nearly 88 percent of our undergraduates come from right here in Indiana.Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
Scholarships help us recruit excellent students like these, and the culture on our campus helps us retain them until they graduate.
Those of you who know me well know that I like to keep my eyes on the future.
But when it comes to student life at IUPUI, it’s important to see how far we’ve come.
Our campus has a history that centers on commuters. I like high rankings, but at one point, we were nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for having the most cars on a college campus.
Things have changed dramatically.
In 2007, 8% of our beginning students lived on campus. Now nearly half of them do.
Here at IUPUI students are literally lining up for the opportunity to live on campus. North Hall is the first traditional residence hall ever to be built at IUPUI. It opened this fall and is already full. I am delighted to announce that, thanks to this level of student interest in campus housing, we have initiated an external market demand study to document the need for the next IUPUI residence hall.
These last two years, I have had a first-hand view of our housing operation on move-in day. Everything ran like clockwork, and that is testimony to the leadership in Student Affairs, coordinating and synchronizing so many moving parts.
I would like to thank Aaron Hart, Director for Housing and Residence Life, for his leadership of IUPUI Housing and Residence Life, especially during this period of remarkable growth of IUPUI’s on-campus housing. Aaron, would you please stand for our recognition?
IUPUI students are not only living on campus. They are applying their learning and making an impact as well.
IUPUI has been recognized for excellence in service learning by US News and World Report, and our campus has been honored with the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year since 2008 among other accolades.
Engagement matters for our city.
When I think about the perfect place for our students to work and learn, I think about this great city of Indianapolis and our hundreds of partner organizations who offer opportunities for clinical, practicum, and internship experiences that enable students to develop their professional skills. At IUPUI we want to be good partners to best serve our students and our community.
Engagement matters for our students.
Our Office of Community Engagement reports thousands of students providing research and technical assistance to community partners through coursework, internships, clinical studies, and community engaged research. Through service learning like this, internships and other experiential learning, IUPUI prepares students for lives of engaged citizenship in which they give back to their communities.
Our students embrace that spirit of engagement and service.
One shining example of many: With us this afternoon are leaders of the IUPUI Jagathon Dance Marathon, which supports pediatric research at Riley Hospital for Children. Next semester, the campus will host its 15th Jagathon. Under the leadership of Pete Hunter of the IU Foundation along with tireless student leaders, Jagathon has grown to include more than 750 students and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Would you help me congratulate Pete, Kendra, and her fellow Jagathon leaders for being engaged and for giving back to our community in such a powerful way!
Our student athletes also exemplify the power of engagement to shape and deepen an education. IUPUI has more than 250 student athletes involved in 18 Division I sports. Their training leads them towards healthier, more active lives, with lessons in discipline, leadership, and commitment.
As students, they achieve at the highest levels in the classroom. In fact, at the end of Spring 2016, IUPUI Athletics reported an all-time high 3.36 GPA for all of our student athletes combined.
As student athletes, they fire up our campus spirit . . . especially when they win! Let me give a shout out to the Men’s Cross Country team, which won a second straight Summit League title and the program’s first-ever Indiana Intercollegiate championship. I’m also incredibly proud of our Women’s Basketball team for earning a third WNIT berth in a four-year span.
We are grateful to Roderick Perry, our new Athletics Director, for bringing his vision and leadership to Jaguar Athletics. Would you please help me recognize Rod Perry?
Graduation for our student athletes and all of our students is the ultimate goal, and we have seen improvements in this regard.
Our 4-year graduation rate rose from 21% t to 25% in the past year and our 6-year graduation rate has increased from 45% to 47.5%. We know we need to significantly improve these rates, and we are working towards that goal.
This May at our first graduation ceremony held at Lucas Oil Stadium, we awarded over 7,000 degrees. The majority of those graduates are staying right here in Indiana to live and work.
These graduates included a record number of African American students, including a remarkable group of PhD students graduating from the School of Education. They included hundreds of veterans. They included thousands of students earning advanced degrees.
Those graduate students remind me of the remarkable strides we are making in building our graduate programs, one of our campus’ strategic priorities. After much hard work, over the course of the last year alone, we have sought and received approval for eleven doctoral programs at IUPUI, including some very productive programs in the School of Science.
I would like to say a special word of thanks to our colleagues at Purdue University for their support of these programs, especially Provost Dutta.
Thanks also go to Deans Simon Rhodes, Tom Davis, Paul Halverson, David Russomanno, and Mathew Palakal for their strong leadership in this work as well. Would you please help me thank them?
These programs strengthen our ability to compete nationally for the best faculty and students. They also empower degree recipients with skills sought by many academic and industrial sectors at the local, state and national levels.
I am delighted to welcome a number of students in these new programs that are helping to create new knowledge within their fields, and enriching the intellectual environment of our campus as a whole. Would you please stand for our congratulations on your achievements as graduate students in these impressive programs?
None of this progress in the areas of student recruitment, retention and graduation would have been possible without our outstanding faculty and staff at IUPUI.Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
None of this progress in the areas of student recruitment, retention and graduation would have been possible without our outstanding faculty and staff at IUPUI.
The depth and breadth of the talent among our faculty and staff are as difficult to imagine as they are to describe.
I think about Willie Miller in University Library who received the prestigious ‘mover & shaker’ award from the Library Journal for his innovative methods of needs assessment.
I think about Jessica Davis, who, as director of the Office of Sustainability, led efforts to make the Olympic Dive Trials at the newly renovated Natatorium Indiana’s first zero waste athletic event and the first zero waste Olympic trials event in the world.
I think about Lixin Wang, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences in the School of Science, who received an NSF career award to study the role of non-rainfall water – such as fog and dew – in dryland ecosystems.
Willie, Jessica and Lixin are among the thousands of faculty and staff members—including student employees—working on the IUPUI campus.
I believe Willie, Jessica and Lixin are with us this afternoon. Would you please stand for our recognition?
Over the course of the past year, we have seen a number of changes in senior administrative positions including the cabinet, welcoming a number of new and familiar faces to our leadership team.
After an exhaustive national search, I was delighted when longtime colleague Kathy Johnson accepted the role as Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer. She brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to that position, and I am grateful for her continuing service.
In addition, our campus role as a national and international leader in student assessment remains in good hands with Stephen Hundley, who accepted the role as senior advisor to the chancellor for planning and institutional improvement.
Finally, I am pleased to recognize the strong partnership between the IUPUI campus and IUPUC as I welcome Reinhold Hill as Vice Chancellor and Dean.
We are continuing to build the leadership team through a number of current national searches including:
I am deeply grateful to those who are serving in these roles on an interim capacity. Your experience and leadership are especially important during times of transition.
We are also sharpening our focus on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty through the newly established Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion position.
This important position in the Office of Academic Affairs reflects the campus-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion that I mentioned at the outset of my comments.
The ongoing dialogue about campus climate also reflects that commitment. That dialogue has included faculty, staff, students, and administrators at town hall meetings, Deans’ Council meetings, focus groups, and other activities over the past year.
We reaffirmed this commitment when we established the LGBTQ+ Center and hired its inaugural director Tristan Vaught.
We reaffirmed this commitment once again earlier this fall when we recognized Tiffany Kyser and Anne Mitchell with Multicultural Impact Awards at the Chancellor’s Employee Recognition Convocation.
Would you please join me in welcoming and thanking Tristan, Tiffany and Anne for all that they do for our campus and IUPUI students?
The rich diversity of our campus is also reflected in the wide variety of research and creative activity taking place here.
This ranges from the Herron Art Therapy program and its work with combat veterans to our School of Social Work and their study of social media in relation to Alzheimer’s care. It includes the School of Engineering and Technology’s Transportation Active Safety Institute, the only academic research center in the country dedicated to transportation and vehicle active safety research.
It includes the remarkable team of cancer researchers in our School of Nursing and the new Champion Center for Cancer Control Research, which we celebrated just last week.
It includes a team from the Schools of Dentistry, Herron Engineering and Technology, and Informatics and Computing, who gave a cancer survivor a new jaw. In fact, we have members of that team—Travis Bellicchi and Cade Jabobs—with us today. Would you please help me recognize them for their innovative work?
The Research Enterprise
The past year has been transformative in terms of our research enterprise at IUPUI. In fiscal year 2016, research awards increased by a remarkable $40.5 million over 2015.
Over the summer, President McRobbie announced the first of the Grand Challenge initiatives, focused on Precision Health. Its goals—to cure at least one cancer and one childhood disease.
In addition to leadership from the School of Medicine, the Precision Health Initiative draws on expertise especially from our outstanding faculty in the School of Nursing, the Fairbanks School of Public Health, and other key areas at IUPUI and at IU Bloomington.
Advancing Hoosier Health
As the Grand Challenge program continues, IUPUI experts will continue to do what this campus has always done. We will listen to our community and our neighbors to understand the problems they face. We will collaborate to develop solutions and we will work in partnership with our community to make these solutions a reality.
To this end, I have asked Paul Halverson, Dean of the Fairbanks School of Public Health, to lead a campus-wide effort aimed at improving health across Indiana. With the concentration of expertise in nursing, public health, health rehabilitation sciences, medicine, and other key areas, here in Indianapolis we are ideally situated to leverage our expertise in the interest of advancing Hoosier health.
The Sports Innovation Institute
The Sports Innovation Institute, launched earlier this year, offers another example of the cross-disciplinary research for which IUPUI is known. This institute is the first university effort in the United States focused exclusively on sports and innovation. It was designed to build a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent centered on the Indianapolis sports industry, which generates $3.4 billion annually.
This is an area where our students and faculty can contribute, whether they are working in sports management, in one of the nation’s only motorsports engineering programs, in sports law, in public art or many other areas.
I am grateful to Dean Jay Gladden for his leadership on this important initiative. Would you please help me recognize Dean Gladden?
$8.8 Million in Two Major NSF Grants
I am also pleased to mention two NSF grants that will make a tremendous difference in expanding the STEM pipeline, especially for students underrepresented in higher education.
Earlier this fall, the School of Informatics and Computing received a $4 million NSF grant to create the Empowering Informatics Diversity Enhanced Workforce program, which targets college freshmen through seniors who are pursuing educational and career possibilities in informatics.
This new program builds on the school’s iDEW program, established in 2015 and targeting area high school students. The combined programs provide an 8-year pipeline for low income and underrepresented minority students to pursue successful careers in informatics. Right now, there are 226 Indianapolis high school students in the iDEW program, and once the program expands, we look forward to seeing that number rise.
I am delighted that Executive Associate Dean of the School of Informatics and Computing and principal investigator on this major grant Mathew Palakal could join us this afternoon.
It is now my great pleasure to announce the second of those two grants. This $4.8 million NSF grant supports the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program. We are the lead campus on this grant working in partnership with colleagues from other IU campuses as well as Ball State, and Ivy Tech Community College, the top provider of transfer students to IUPUI STEM degree programs.
I would ask myself to stand as principal investigator, but, of course, I’m already standing.
IUPUI has received national recognition for excellence in teaching and learning. We have an array of award-winning programs that support student success, including first-year seminars, themed learning communities, Summer Bridge, and many high-impact practices, such as RISE and our use of ePortfolios.
Bepko Learning Center of Excellence
Recently, the Bepko Learning Center within the Division of Undergraduate Education was awarded a Learning Centers of Excellence designation by the National College Learning Center Association. The Center’s Director, Mark Minglin, is here with us today. Would you all help me thank Mark, his staff colleagues, and most impressively the students who serve as tutors and peer mentors for all of their hard work.
Excellence in Assessment
Thanks to the efforts of our colleague Trudy Banta, who retired earlier this year, as well as others, IUPUI was further recognized by receiving the inaugural Excellence in Assessment designation, an award bestowed upon us jointly by three major national organizations, including the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Effective assessment requires a robust, responsive data infrastructure and expertise in analytics, survey research and program evaluation. We are very fortunate to have Michele Hansen and her team in the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support providing the data that drives our campus’s culture of continuous assessment and improvement. Michele, would you please accept our thanks?
Faculty Collaboratives Project
We can also see IUPUI’s national leadership in teaching and learning through such projects as the Faculty Collaboratives, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. These Collaboratives involve faculty from several institutions in Indiana who meet regularly to directly connect faculty teaching and learning practices to increased student success through projects that cut across multiple disciplines and institutions.
I’m pleased that IUPUI faculty such as Keith Anliker, Senior Lecturer of Chemistry, Elaine Cooney, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, and Beth Goering, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, are working with colleagues across the nation on these innovative projects that hold promise for national replication. Would you help me thank Keith, Elaine, and Beth for helping strengthen teaching and learning at IUPUI and at institutions across the nation?
Let me add that you can follow Keith on twitter @k-e-i-t-h-a-n-l-i-k-e-r. And don’t forget to follow me @PAYDAR.
As I’m sure our online audience would agree, innovative teaching and learning don’t just take place in brick-and-mortar classrooms.
Indeed, IUPUI has been at the forefront of developing and deploying fully online and blended or hybrid classes. Over the past few years, in particular, we have expanded our capacity to offer certain courses and programs 100% online.
But we must increase our presence in this strategic area. That is why I am so pleased that Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Associate Professor of Social Work, has joined the Office of Academic Affairs as a faculty fellow who is focusing on online education. She is working with colleagues across campus to support our ongoing expansion of online courses and programs. Carolyn, thank you for being here today.
With online education and other strategies, IUPUI is meeting the 21st century needs of 21st century students.Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
With online education and other strategies, IUPUI is meeting the 21st century needs of 21st century students, but we also have our eyes focused on the community. We are looking for ways that IUPUI can better support our community’s needs and interests, serving as a hub for innovation, engagement, and research.
Just two weeks ago, we hosted a capacity crowd on the 4th floor of our Campus Center to hear global health leader Dr. Paul Farmer in an event sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company and the Center for Global Health.
Earlier this semester, we hosted the Indy JazzFest 2016 Tribute to Wes Montgomery, which drew hundreds of jazz fans and performers of all ages.
These special events that draw members of the community to IUPUI are in addition to many other activities like the year-round programming in the Herron School of Art and Design’s numerous gallery spaces, among the finest university galleries in the country.
Faculty research is also transforming lives in our community. McKinney School of Law faculty brought justice to wrongfully convicted Darryl Pinkins and successfully argued for his release from prison. Faculty leaders in the Fairbanks School of Public Health spearheaded a task force to save lives by curbing prescription drug abuse. Engineering and Technology students and faculty provided energy audits to area businesses resulting in recommendations to save $10 million. The School of Dentistry provides free dental services and job readiness training to military veterans.
And the Student Outreach Clinic provides free medical care to neighborhood residents. It draws together volunteers from the IU School of Medicine, the School of Social Work, the McKinney School of Law, the IU School of Nursing, the School of Dentistry, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and from partners at Butler University and the University of Indianapolis.
To recognize community-based research in particular, I am delighted that earlier this year we awarded our first Bantz Fellowships.
I want to congratulate recipients of the Bantz Community Fellowship Paul Mullins, professor of anthropology and Susan Hyatt, professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Anthropology, both with the School of Liberal Arts.
In addition, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research funded the Bantz Community Scholar Award. I want to congratulate our first Bantz Scholar Richard Holden, assistant professor of biohealth informatics with the School of Informatics and Computing.
I want to thank Chancellor Emeritus Bantz and Professor Petronio for their generous support of this kind of community-based research.
In these ways and many others, we invest in the fabric of our community as an anchor institution at a staggering rate. In addition to intellectual capital,IUPUI brings to the economic engine of Indiana an annual payroll of $622 million as one of the largest employers in the city of Indianapolis.
Our economic footprint extends further when we consider that at IUPUI, we spend over $253 million annually on goods and services – 66% of which is spent within the state of Indiana. Together, we contribute leadership and partnership to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of our city through projects like the Global Cities Initiative.
The presence of a powerful higher education sector—including IUPUI—was critical to Indianapolis’ selection as one of the eight inaugural cities for the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase.
Working in partnership with the city on projects like this, we prepare our students to connect and compete in the global marketplace.
I would add that since 2000, we have tripled the number of international students studying at IUPUI. Those students now comprise 7% of our student body.
Their presence indicates growing recognition of and interest in our programs. Clearly, IUPUI is gaining a reputation as a destination campus for students from around the world with the presence of students from over 145 countries.
I want to thank Leslie Bozeman and Stephanie Leslie for all that they do to help IUPUI students—no matter where they come from—succeed in Indianapolis and around the world.
Would you help me welcome and thank Leslie and Stephanie?
Creating global leaders is one of the four goals of the For All: IU Bicentennial Fundraising Campaign, which I mentioned at the outset of my remarks.
We are around the halfway point of this $2.5 billion university-wide campaign, and the IUPUI campus is at 73% of goal.
I think that deserves a round of applause.
To those of you here in the audience or watching on the web who have supported IUPUI with your gifts of time, service, and resources, I want to thank you.
I want to offer special thanks to the thousands of our faculty, staff, and retirees who have generously supported this campaign. Your investment makes a strong statement about your confidence in this institution, in our students, and in our programs.
Working in partnership with the city of Indianapolis, we prepare our students to connect and compete in the global marketplace.Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar
The power of IUPUI reaches its full potential only in combination with the community, and we are working hard to better share our story with that community.
To that end, we have undertaken a coordinated and strategic campaign to strengthen and spread the IUPUI brand.
That includes producing an annual report targeting decision-makers in the city and surrounding areas. It includes bus wraps that put IUPUI on a fleet of IndyGo buses.
And it includes IUPUI’s first ever major digital and television advertising campaign. The television campaign, in particular, targets Indiana markets as well as Chicago cable.
I want to thank our team at IU Communication for their hard work in representing the spirit of IUPUI in these ads. I am very excited to share with you one of two IUPUI commercials that will begin airing the day after the election.
In 2018-19, IUPUI will be marking our 50th Anniversary, and I am greatly looking forward to that celebration.
We want this to be an inspiring celebration that honors our campus’s history and recognizes all of those who have a role in shaping this institution.
With that in mind, I invite you to visit my website at chancellor.iupui.edu and click on the 50th anniversary button to offer your suggestions for signature events.
I want to thank Becky Porter and Simon Rhodes for their leadership as co-chairs of the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee that I recently formed this year to help plan the celebration.
This anniversary celebration is closely tied to the Welcoming Campus Initiative, another milestone in the life of this campus.
Launched last spring, the Welcoming Campus Initiative asks faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community what it means to be a “welcoming campus.”
Their recommendations focus on creating a vibrant and inclusive student experience investing in faculty and staff, communicating who we are as a campus, designing an accessible, inspiring urban campus, and engaging and integrating with the community.
Clearly this is far more than a beautification project.
At the heart of the Welcoming Campus Initiative is the notion that physical space and intellectual environment—when working well together—enable people to achieve loftier goals. This is why the Welcoming Campus Initiative is aligned with our campus landscape and public space planning project that is currently underway.
For this kind of initiative to work, we need a collective, campus-wide effort that draws together the best ideas—from campus gateways to lecture series, from mentoring projects to campus wayfinding, and so much more. We need to be willing to work hard.
And we need to invest.
To this end, I am delighted to announce the $1 million IUPUI Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund. This fund will provide internal grants of up to $25,000, with a match by the proposing unit, to support implementation of recommendations emerging from the Welcoming Campus Initiative. Our goal is to strengthen our campus community in ways that we can sustain and that will make a powerful difference in the lives of IUPUI faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the broader community.
More information about the Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund will be announced in a few weeks with proposals due in spring.
Let me close with a number of challenges:
To the deans, I thank you for your strong and steady leadership, for aligning your school’s plans with those of the campus and the university as a whole, and for your constant work to improve the quality of your programs. As always, I challenge you to continue this good work, be bold in your thinking, visionary in your ideas, and collaborative in your approaches. I also look forward to receiving Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund proposal from all of your schools.
To the faculty, I congratulate you for pushing curiosity and creativity towards discovery and innovation through teaching, community engagement, research, and creative activity that change our world. And I challenge you to heighten your efforts especially in working together to address next generation challenges.
To the staff, I appreciate the vital work you do in making IUPUI successful in our teaching, research, and service missions, and I challenge you to continue to help us create a culture focused on excellence, exemplifying IUPUI’s welcoming and inclusive campus in every interaction you have.
To students, I encourage you to engage with peers, professors, and staff members across campus and embrace the opportunities that IUPUI offers. For many of you this is the one moment in your life that you can give yourself the gift of time to concentrate on improving through education, the depth and breadth of which depends on what you, yourself, invest.
To our alumni, I invite you to remain connected to the IUPUI campus to help us maintain strong traditions like Jagathon and Regatta that reflect who we are as Jaguars. Your continuing commitment to IUPUI provides inspiration for our students who see in your successes their own futures.
To all of you, I am proud to count myself among your colleagues and friends.
The past year—my first as chancellor of IUPUI—has been remarkable.
YOU have made that happen.
Working together, we'll make next year even brighter.