Indiana University

News Release

Friday, December 3, 2004

Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2004

IU Trustees approve six "Commitment to Excellence" funding proposals

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees today (Dec. 3) approved six "Commitment to Excellence" funding proposals that will boost faculty positions on the Bloomington campus by 34 positions, improve pay for graduate-student instructors, and expand course offerings in statistics, cybersecurity and American studies.

The board also approved the design of an estimated $79 million, 230,000-square-foot laboratory facility to be built on the IUPUI campus. The structure, preliminarily dubbed Research III, will provide space for cancer research and the Indiana University Center for Immunobiology. The building will be connected at each floor level to the existing Cancer Research Institute and Research Institute II on Walnut Street, thus enabling seamless access from one building to another.

The building will utilize red brick and glass on exterior elevations to remain consistent with other buildings in this area of the campus. Last year the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $33 million for the research structure, which will help establish the IU School of Medicine as an international leader in cancer research and treatment.

The Commitment to Excellence proposals were submitted for approval by Kenneth Gros Louis, senior vice president for academic affairs and IU Bloomington chancellor. They will be put in place over the next three academic years.

Funding for Commitment to Excellence initiatives comes from a fee increment of $1,000 per academic year that was first assessed with the incoming freshman class of 2003-04. The proceeds of this program must be used in ways that broaden the undergraduate experience at Indiana University.

Gros Louis said a committee led by law professor Fred Cate reviewed some 30 preliminary proposals from various academic units and then invited 11 of them to submit full proposals for final consideration. Gros Louis and IU President Adam W. Herbert selected six of the committee's top seven for funding.

"These investments are highly focused and strategic," Gros Louis said. "They will enable us to attract some very strong new academic talent to Bloomington."

Gros Louis and Herbert wanted to ensure that each of the proposals would not only enhance the reputation of the Bloomington campus but also improve and expand opportunities for undergraduate students.

Gros Louis said the recommendation to provide additional funding for graduate fellowships was rejected because he and Herbert felt it would not be appropriate to use undergraduate tuition dollars to fund graduate fellowships.

Projects that were granted were:

This round of funding totaled $5.7 million in base funding and $1.7 million in one-time costs.

This was the second and last round of Commitment to Excellence Funding on the Bloomington campus. The first round of proposals was submitted to the Board of Trustees in May 2003, and the proposals are now being implemented.

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