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Last modified: Monday, November 10, 2003

Herbert speaks to Economic Club of Indianapolis

NOTE: The full text of President Herbert's speech is available at

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert today (Nov. 10) outlined ways he expects the university will "Advance Indiana" as the state pursues economic growth and transformation, during an address to the Economic Club of Indianapolis.

Herbert, who has been president of the university since Aug. 1, told about 1,000 people gathered for the luncheon that his vision for the development of Indiana University in the years ahead involves a strong commitment to the state's economic future. Describing gains arising from earlier investments in strategic areas such as information technology and the life sciences, Herbert said he believes IU will contribute significantly to job growth in these sectors and to attracting new talent and resources to Indiana.

The president said the Indiana Genomics Initiative (INGEN), created through grants from Lilly Endowment, is enabling IU scientists to investigate feared diseases as well as to build intellectual capital that will benefit Indiana. The IU School of Medicine also is continuing its quest to become a leader in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment through a variety of facilities and services.

"We have plans to build a new cancer treatment hospital in partnership with Clarian," Herbert said. "Our goal is to become one of the top five cancer centers in America and the best in the Midwest within the next five years."

Herbert said he will press for an expanded research agenda for the university as well as educational accessibility and increased focus on academic excellence.

Within a month of joining IU, Herbert established a university economic development task force now charged with developing a university-wide strategic plan for the role IU should play in economic development activities.

"Starting the first of next year, members of the task force will be contacting many of you to determine additional contributions IU may be able to make to initiatives currently under way and discuss productive directions for the future. Working together, we can create unparelleled resources for Indiana," he said.

IU also recognizes the importance of creating a culture of entrepreneurship, Herbert said, citing the IU Emerging Technologies Center (IUETC) that opened earlier this year and is already nearing capacity.

"Just this year, the Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) assisted faculty members in patenting more than twice as many of their discoveries as in 1996, the year ARTI was established," he said. "The IUETC has been so successful that we are now planning another incubator to which ETC companies will graduate."

But to ultimately be successful in attracting new businesses to the state, Herbert said education is the key. "An educated workforce with great diversity, quality and depth is the single most important factor in attracting new businesses. In such an environment, universities become critical.

"If the state of Indiana is to compete successfully in the new economy and halt the brain drain, two things are clear. First, we must improve the quality of education, pre-school through college. Failure to do so means that we lack qualified workers to fill the new positions created through an expanded economy," he said. "Second, we must increase the college participation and graduation rates for minority and under-represented populations."

Recognizing the importance of a quality education for elementary and high school students, IU recently appointed a university-wide committee to develop strategies for creating a seamless education system in Indiana.

"Through vision, strategic action, teamwork and Hoosier resolve, we will build an Indiana as good as its promise -- an Indiana that no longer worries about a brain drain," Herbert said. "We can look to a future in which we struggle not to find jobs for workers, but to find enough workers for all the new jobs."