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Jane Jankowski
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, October 17, 2003

IU hosts state budget committee

Members of the Indiana State Budget Committee were briefed by university officials on matters ranging from Drosophila research to incubator space and athletics to informatics during a visit to the Indiana University Bloomington campus before conducting their regular monthly business meeting today (Oct. 17) at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

Following tours of Assembly Hall and the IU Cyclotron/Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute facility on Thursday, IU President Adam Herbert described Indiana University as one university with eight campuses, emphasized the importance of university responsiveness to state issues, and updated the committee on a number of university initiatives and activities.

"Your support of the nearly $6 million allocation for research in the next biennium is enhancing our ability to conduct quality research that will make a difference in the quest to transform Indiana's economy," Herbert said. "Your support of our operating needs has been very important. It has enabled the university to take a critical role in shaping the new image of Indiana, which is increasingly linked to knowledge, life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing and logistics."

Herbert said that in the weeks and months ahead he will work with IU's campuses to more clearly define their missions. That process, he told the committee, will include obtaining feedback from members of the communities served as well as members of the campus family.

Herbert also said that creating and maintaining stronger partnerships is an important part of IU's vision to meet the challenges before the state.

"I've had several conversations with the president of Purdue about how we can work more closely together in service to the state," Herbert said. "The challenge for us is to tap this deep reservoir of intellectual capital in ways that facilitate the economic transformation of the state."

Herbert, who has been IU president since Aug. 1, said he continues to learn something new about the university each day.

"One of the most important things I have learned is that IU's core identity is built on strength in the liberal and fine arts, and that strength continues to grow each year," he said.

Today the committee heard a number of presentations, primarily focused on how research makes its way from university laboratories to the marketplace.

"Investing in higher education pays itself back in economic development," said Ted Widlanski, associate professor of bioorganic chemistry, who explained that university faculty are developing technologies to use in existing industry, providing the intellectual impetus for new start-ups, increasing collaborations between industry and academia, and enhancing partnerships across the state.

Committee members also heard from David Clemmer, chair of the Department of Chemistry; Elizabeth Raff, chair of the Department of Biology; Dennis Gannon, director of the Indiana Pervasive Technology Labs; and Mark Long, president of the Advanced Research and Technology Institute. Two tenants in the new IU Emerging Technologies Center also made presentations. George Stookey, a retired IU dentistry professor who is pursuing research in oral health, and Dr. Julie Meek, chief executive officer of the Haelan Group, a health improvement solutions company, explained the technologies at work in their businesses.