February 15, 2017

Report to the Community

IUPUI Campus Center
Indianapolis, Indiana


Thank you, Trustee Eskew, and thank you all for being here for my annual Report to the Community.

It is my pleasure to welcome a number of university trustees this morning. Would our trustees please stand when I call your name, and remain standing until all have been introduced: IU Trustee Eskew, Trustee Mary Ellen Bishop, Trustee Jim Morris, Trustee Emeritus Tom Reilly, and Purdue University Trustees Emeriti John Hardin and Bill Moreau.

Would you please help me welcome our trustees?

I am pleased to offer a special welcome to members of the IUPUI Board of Advisors. Would our Board of Advisors members please stand for our greeting?

It is also my special pleasure to welcome Chancellor Emeritus Charles Bantz.  Would you please join me in greeting him?

I am also delighted that so many elected officials and their staff could join us today, including Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, and former Mayor Greg Ballard. Delighted at the bipartisan support for IUPUI!

Would our elected officials and their staff please stand for our welcome?

Global Access and Opportunity

In December 1968, then-Mayor Richard Lugar argued forcefully for the creation of a university in Indianapolis, saying that “a great city must have at its heart a great university.”

Here we are today nearly fifty years later, and the words of this international statesman continue to echo as we celebrate the evolution of this great global university campus at the heart of this city.

In 1969, the newly formed IUPUI was home to more than 9,500 students and just a few of those were international students.

By last fall, our campus had grown to nearly 30,000 students with more than 2,000 international students from 145 different countries. Like the story of American higher education, our story at IUPUI has been one of innovation that draws on global ideas for global solutions.

I’m sure you can tell by my accent that I’m a Hoosier, but I too am part of the global story of American higher education and its openness to people from around the world.

With that deeply personal connection, I reaffirm our commitment to international scholars and students. This commitment is central to our values and identity at IUPUI.

The IUPUI story is about opening doors of opportunity. It is a story about partnership. I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, at its heart, it is a story about people.

These three elements—opportunity, partnership, and people—come together in the Welcoming Campus Initiative at IUPUI, which I launched a year ago.

The goal of the Welcoming Campus Initiative is to create an environment that encourages and supports the highest levels of personal and academic achievement among faculty, staff, and students.

We want you, members of our community, to come to IUPUI and feel inspired, included, and encouraged to stay.

To achieve this goal, over the past year we have invited people from campus and the community to share their most exciting and creative ideas.

After about a year of enthusiastic work, our Welcoming Campus teams have generated well over a hundred recommendations each of which touches on one of five themes:

  • Creating a Vibrant and Inclusive Student Experience
  • Engaging and Integrating with the Community
  • Investing in Faculty and Staff
  • Designing an Accessible, Inspiring Urban Campus


  • Communicating Who We Are.

This morning, I am glad to share the great progress we are making in each of these five areas and what’s next for IUPUI.

Richard G. Lugar

A great city must have at its heart a great university.

Richard Lugar, Mayor of Indianapolis 1968-'76

Creating a Vibrant and Inclusive Student Experience

At IUPUI, our strategic priority is student success.

The way to achieve this is to Create a Vibrant and Inclusive Student Experience, a primary aim of many Welcoming Campus Initiative recommendations.

As I mentioned, IUPUI welcomed nearly 30,000 students to campus in the fall of 2016. That includes over 8,000 graduate and professional students, among the highest number in the state of Indiana. This also includes the largest, most talented, and most diverse freshman class to date. 

That class marked record increases in our minority student population as well.

We saw a 13% increase in beginning Latino students; a 20% increase in Asian beginners 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. A few months later, we formed Task Forces on the Recruitment and Retention of Latino Faculty, Staff, and Students. We are working to implement recommendations from both of these task forces.

Creating a welcoming and inclusive campus is in IUPUI’s DNA. For the fifth consecutive year, IUPUI was recognized for our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. IUPUI is among a handful of schools in the nation to have received this honor five times running and the only five-time winner in the state of Indiana.

In fact, I’m proud that we have the highest number of minority students of any Indiana college or university campus.

A rich and active student life on campus reinforces student success, increasing student involvement and creating a sense of belonging. With over 400 student organizations on the IUPUI campus and opportunities for service across the city, our students do much more than take classes these days.

They are building traditions like the IUPUI Regatta, our canoe race and fall celebration on the Indy Canal now in its 9th year. They give back to the community through Jagathon, the IUPUI Dance Marathon that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for Riley Children’s Hospital.

Do we have any Jagathoners with us today?

They grow as leaders in social innovation, student government and as athletes playing Division 1 sports as IUPUI Jaguars. And they are GRADUATING.

In May 2016, we awarded over 6,600 degrees. According to a recent survey, nearly ninety percent of our Class of 2016 undergraduates reported positive career outcomes prior to graduation, and nearly 92 percent said they were staying in Indiana following graduation. After graduation, they stay right here to launch careers as lawyers, dentists, teachers, writers, doctors, historians, artists, and, of course, engineers. This is great news for IUPUI, for the city, and for the state of Indiana!

With the right programs at the right times, students feel like they belong on campus. They feel like they are home here. They feel welcome. And this helps improve our retention and graduation rates, which are on the rise.

Students living on campus makes a difference. If we look back to 1969, we only had a handful of first-year students living on campus. Now nearly half of them do. Even as late as 2007, only 8% of our students lived on campus. Now nearly half do!

Our first short video this morning focuses on the powerful impact of IUPUI Campus Housing. Let’s watch.

Engaging and Integrating with the Community

As I’ve indicated, nearly 92% of our students stay right here in Indiana after graduating to build their lives, raise their families, and contribute their talent to state of Indiana.

In this way and others, we at IUPUI Engage and Integrate with the Community, another important theme of the Welcoming Campus Initiative.

IUPUI invests time, service, and resources at a staggering rate in our community with an annual payroll of $622 million and over $253 million annually spent on goods and services—66% of which is spent within the state of Indiana.

This is in addition to all that our thousands of graduates contribute every year.

It’s in addition to the millions in sponsored research that our faculty bring in.

It’s in addition to the special attention we pay to Indiana’s workforce needs.

Home to the most comprehensive array of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the state, IUPUI has dramatically expanded our offerings at the graduate level, a strategic priority for our campus.

Last year we added a record 11 doctoral programs. Eight of those eleven programs focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM fields.

In this way and others we are also addressing the critical need for STEM graduates on the local, state, and national level. We are also working with partners like the Duke Energy Foundation to literally put science on wheels and deliver it to younger students across the state thanks to our School of Science.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development as well as one from the National Science Foundation this year, our School of Informatics and Computing is preparing a diverse cross section of Indianapolis high school students for careers in information technology.

Our faculty, staff, and students are partnering with the community to transform lives. Last April, McKinney School of Law faculty brought justice to wrongfully convicted Darryl Pinkins and successfully argued for his release from prison.

The Student Outreach Clinic on the near east side provides free medical care to neighborhood residents with help from students in medicine, social work, nursing, health rehabilitation sciences and dentistry.

In addition, our School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI partners with and supports the community in many ways, including the Industrial Assessment Center. In December, we received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in support of this center, which provides free energy audits to businesses within 150 miles of our campus.

Let’s take a moment and watch this video about the center.

Description of the video:

The IAC, the Industrial Assessment Center is a program sponsored and
funded by the US Department of Energy.
To help small and mid-sized manufacturing companies
to cut back on their energy usage and lower their cost.
>> We do about 20 audits or 20 companies a year.
The amount of saving average is about 20%.
If you think about a company which has utility bills of $2 million,
which is very common, 20% is 400k, so
that will directly go back to their profit.
>> Recently we started a partnership
between the Industrial Assessment Center and the campus facility services.
Where we started looking more into optimizing the HVAC systems on campus.
>> We are also developing programs to train the energy engineers for the future.
>> It's very different to study a material in classroom and
to experience it on an actual facility or a plant.
>> Based on the statistics, 50% of the entire energy
consumed by United States, 50% are used for buildings and industry.
That can be translated into $400 billion a year.
If we can reduce the waste of the energy by 10%,
the impact will be very significant.
>> Every single machine uses energy and there are always ways to
optimize these processes, so that you can become more efficient.
>> By working with us, we will be able to help you to identify
the area where you can save energies.
So you don't need to invest additional personnels on this particular topic.
>> It's a free energy audit with a $10,000 value.
You will save big money.
You will maximize your profit and you will definitely save the world.
IAC is amazing.
By the way, IUPUI remains the only university in Indiana serving as a home for a Department of Energy Industrial Assessment Center.

Investing in Faculty and Staff

Dr. Chen, whom you saw in the last video, is among the thousands of employees at IUPUI working with the community and dedicated to student success. All told, we have over 3,400 full-time faculty members and over 4,200 full-time staff members.

Investing in our faculty and staff is among our strategic priorities at IUPUI—and another theme of the Welcoming Campus Initiative. Our faculty are incredibly active in the lab, in the studio, in the classroom, and in the community.

They experiment to create more effective teaching methods, inspire their students as mentors, and work with staff to develop innovative ways to track student accomplishments that draw on employer needs and interests.

Our faculty also incorporate new technology that creates a richer more productive online experience for our students. Over the past few years, in particular, we have expanded our capacity to offer many graduate courses and programs 100% online.

This level of progress and commitment can also be seen in the number of grant proposals our faculty submitted for sponsored research programs. Last year, all of our faculty outside the School of Medicine submitted 855 proposals for support. And our externally-funded research increased by a remarkable 15.7%.

The Welcoming Campus Initiative helps sustain and enhance this level of productivity, and strengthens our campus as a whole. We received well over one hundred innovative recommendations on ways to make IUPUI more welcoming.

And we need collective momentum as we make progress.

More than me, more than my cabinet, we need everyone to be involved at IUPUI.

That’s why I announced the $1 million Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund in my State of the Campus address last November. We are inviting proposals from all IUPUI schools and units for grants of up to $25,000 to support the most creative and collaborative Welcoming Campus projects.

We want everyone to have some skin in the game and to feel invested in these exciting changes.

Creating an Accessible and Inspiring Campus

As we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2018-19, we need only look around our campus to see the evolution.

We are a modern, urban university campus whose heart beats here in the Campus Center, whose residents sleep in North Hall, and whose traffic will soon flow two ways down Michigan Street just as it does now down New York.

In these ways and many others, we are working to make IUPUI a more accessible and inspiring physical space, our fourth Welcoming Campus theme. We want IUPUI to be a destination campus where we welcome the community to events throughout the year.

The physical transformation of our campus has already begun.

In fact, last summer, we redesigned several parking lots—one just across the street—to widen spaces, plant trees, and install other landscaping.

We are adding color and life across our entire campus with new trees, scheduled plantings, and glorious planters—some the size of small cars.

We have plans to create gateways to our campus so that you know the moment you step onto the IUPUI campus. Some of you may be familiar with Sample Gates in Bloomington.

They have been so named for 3 decades. Now imagine your name on the IUPUI gateway thirty years from now. . .

Talk to me. Let’s make that happen . . . .

Your gateways will become iconic features of campus just as the Natatorium already is.

With $10 million from the Lilly Endowment, $10 million from the city, and $10 million from the university, we fully renovated the space in time for the Olympic diving trials last summer.

Let’s take a look at this video about the Natatorium that features two of the hundreds of thousands of people who are part of Nat history.

Description of the video:

The IU Natatorium has had an amazing impact on the city of Indianapolis.
Having a rich collegiate participation in any city,
helps foster a sports environment.
I learned to swim here.
I competed here.
I coached here.
I trained here, and I attended law school here as well.
>> Being a student athlete at IUPUI has been a unique opportunity,
because I wouldn't be able to do it at any other school.
IUPUI, has let me educate myself in getting my Bachelors in Science and
Nursing, while also competing at a division one level.
Why StudentAthletes
>> It also creates a lot of student athletes with degrees that are important.
And I'm a big believer that collegiate student athletes
are a great asset to the workforce.
They take with them all the knowledge they learn in the classroom, but
they also bring those skill sets you develop as a member of a college team.
The dedication, the determination, that discipline, that commitment to
people outside of yourselves, it's through college athletics, and
in particular the athletics at IUPUI are very important to our city.
>> Being a student athlete at IUPUI has shaped my character tremendously,
because it's made me be more responsible and
more disciplined, especially being a nursing student.
They demand a lot out of you, and they expect very highly of people.
So I have to push myself harder to be the best I can be.
>> The IU Natatorium is the Yankee Stadium of swimming.
This is where Olympians become Olympians.
This has been the host of some of the most remarkable athletes in
the history of the sport, and it's really put Indianapolis on a national and
global stage.

Communicating Who We Are as a Campus

I love sharing our story at IUPUI. I’ve been doing it for over 31 years.

Now, as chancellor, I’ve pulled together a team that is working hard to communicate who we are as a campus and to share our story more broadly, our final Welcoming Campus theme.

For the first time ever, we have launched a coordinated and strategic ad campaign for our campus.

That campaign includes producing an annual community report that you will receive as you depart today.

I want to thank all of those who worked on this report, including Thomas Criss, who put together the videos featured in my presentation today this morning.

That campaign also includes bus wraps that put IUPUI on a fleet of IndyGo buses. When the wraps first launched, I found myself behind one of the busses, and I followed it about 2 miles out of my way, I was so delighted to see IUPUI on that bus.

And the strategy also 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 am very excited to share with you one of the IUPUI commercials that has been airing since late last year.

Description of the video:

IUPUI: Fulfilling the Promise