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Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2008

Bloomington Herald-Times articles

January 18, 2008

Ivy Tech campus breaks enrollment record, again; Spring semester enrollment tops 5,000 at westside campus

Enrollment for the spring semester at Ivy Tech-Bloomington is at a record level, with the school reporting a double-digit percentage growth so far in 2008.

On the first day of classes this spring, 5,040 students were enrolled on the Bloomington campus, up from 4,505 at this time last year.

The upward enrollment swing on the Bloomington campus mirrors the trend on other Ivy Tech campuses across the state, but the Bloomington campus's growth is so steep, it has been named the third-fastest growing community college in the country among other schools its size, according to Community College Week.

For Chancellor John Whikehart, it is both good and bad news.

"As we've been experiencing semester after semester, we're now in double-digit growth," he said Thursday. "That growth exceeds the college's own expectations and goals for its regional campuses."

The bad news is that with so many students flocking to the Bloomington campus, the student population has now outgrown the physical infrastructure. The current Ivy Tech facility opened just in 2002, but it already is too small.

"When this building was designed, we anticipated we'd have 5,000 students by 2011," Whikehart said. "We're already at those numbers this spring."

Campus officials are already in the early phases of developing a 115,000-square-foot addition to the current facility off of West Ind. 48 (West Third Street extended), but it could be several years before completion.

"A 115,000-square-foot addition, even if we grow into it quickly, is a requirement at this point," Whikehart said.

"Absent that project, our challenges will make it extremely difficult to continue."

Whikehart said the increase in the student population is a sign that Ivy Tech is succeeding in offering a quality, accessible education to a wide array of people.

With many new degree programs and an expanded relationship with Indiana University, the chancellor said, Ivy Tech students have more and better opportunities than ever before.

"Our growth is an indication that we're fulfilling our mission," he said.

Bell concert tickets snapped up; For those who still want to go, stand-by tickets, lobby TVs offer hope

The prospect of seeing a free performance by favorite son Joshua Bell had hundreds of would-be concertgoers filling the lobby of Indiana University's Musical Arts Center Thursday morning.

Tickets for the Feb. 10 concert became available at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, with a line forming at 8 a.m., according to Alain Barker, IU Jacobs School of Music spokesman. Within two hours, all of the approximately 1,520 tickets were gone.

Tickets for the performance pairing violin virtuoso Bell with acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk had fans lined up in the MAC lobby through the early afternoon. Some waited up to two hours to score tickets.

For many, the free tickets were worth the wait. "He's probably the best violinist in the world, and he's home grown," said David Lyman, of Bloomington. Lyman waited in line with a friend for an hour and a half, and was even able to get the seats he wanted: first balcony, third row.

Bill Meyer, a freshman student at IU, said that he made an impromptu adjustment to his schedule to wait for tickets.

"I was supposed to go to class, but I walked by and saw the line and decided to get tickets," Meyer said.

Pat Kellar of Bloomington said she's been a fan of Bell's for years. "I've been going to his concerts since he was in his teens," Kellar said.

Many of the people waiting in line were eager to see Bell play in his hometown. Winston May said he's proud to have a musician of Bell's renown representing Bloomington. "The community is pretty lucky to have this kind of talent," May said. "It's a great thing."

For those who weren't able to get tickets Thursday, there's still hope. Barker said that stand-by seats will be available the day of the performance and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on the number of no-show ticket holders. Barker also said the MAC crew will try to squeeze in as many people as possible by streaming the performance on large plasma TVs in the lobby.

Denk is a former Jacobs faculty member, and both he and Bell are IU alumni. The two will give the free concert at the MAC at 4 p.m. Feb. 10.

IU excels at graduating Peace Corps volunteers; Bloomington campus ranked 14th last year

Indiana University ranks among the top producers of Peace Corps volunteers, putting the school among the top 25 in the country.

With 53 alumni volunteering for Peace Corps service last year, IU Bloomington ranked 14th nationally on the list of schools that produce the most corps volunteers.

IU Peace Corps representative Brett Kuhnert said the ranking shows a dedication to public service among IU students and alumni.

"This is great news for IU," he said Thursday. "It speaks to the international flavor of the campus that we are attracting a lot of students interested in international development and service."

Kuhnert himself was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 2000 to 2003.

Forty-four IU alumni volunteered for the corps in 2006, when the school failed to make the top-25 rankings. The school bumped up 13 places in 2007, a move Kuhnert attributed to an increased recruitment effort on campus.

He said there has always been a select group of students called into higher service.

"It just depends on who you're talking to," he said. "There's always been a corps of students for whom the trajectory of going to college, then going out and getting a job isn't quite appealing. There is that group that wants to have a different experience, and we've always managed to tap into that group."

With newer programs that allow corps volunteers to receive stipends toward a master's degree upon completion of service, the benefits of volunteering can be appealing.

"It makes it more attractive knowing that once you do Peace Corps you can make a graduate education more affordable," Kuhnert said.

For more information about the program, Kuhnert advised those interested to visit the Peace Corps Web site at or by calling his office at 856-1864.

OUR OPINION: 'And another thing …'; Creative ideas for marketing music

It's great to see that more people than can be accommodated turned out for free tickets for Joshua Bell's Feb. 10 concert at the Musical Arts Center.

Since many people could not get tickets, maybe IU will arrange for its radio and TV students to produce simultaneous broadcasts of the concert for the enjoyment of all.

And in the future, maybe the Jacobs School of Music should consider negotiating a deal wherein it charges admission for those rare Bell concerts and offers one night of an opera production for free.