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Herald-Times articles

February 4-6, 2006

Becoming a life-sciences leader; New plan includes spending more than $1 billion to build on IU's strengths
by Steve Hinnefeld
February 4, 2006

Indiana University will spend more than $1 billion over 10 years to establish itself as a national leader in life-sciences research and education, according to a plan presented to IU trustees Friday.

The strategic plan calls for building on the university's strengths in analytical chemistry and cancer research and developing highly ranked programs in new areas.

The 60-page plan, focusing on IU's Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, claims a leading role for the university in training the state's life-sciences work force and helping Hoosiers live healthier lives.

"We believe this plan will catapult Indiana University into the forefront of life-sciences research universities," said Michael McRobbie, provost of IU Bloomington.

McRobbie presented the plan to the trustees' long-range planning committee Friday with Kumble Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Craig Brater, vice president for life sciences and medical-school dean.

It says IU should become a national or international leader in six areas: analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, cancer biology, neurosciences, diabetes and metabolic disorders and model biological systems.

The plan calls for promoting collaboration by faculty and facilitating the use of information technology for life-sciences research. It says IU will promote "technology transfer" that turns scientific discoveries into business opportunities.

It includes 15 goals, each supported by specific actions, such as hiring faculty and establishing dedicated research centers. It pulls together planning work done by the School of Medicine in Indianapolis and by the Lilly Endowment-funded Indiana Genomics and MetaCyt initiatives.

"Indiana University will contribute to a robust 21st-century economy for the state of Indiana and help it attain a position of leadership within the U.S. in life-sciences industries, while contributing to a foundation of improved personal health and economic well being," the document says.

Subbaswamy, who will leave IU this summer to become provost of the University of Kentucky, said the Bloomington campus needs to move faster to build research facilities to reach the plan's goals. He said IU has recruited science faculty but had to delay hiring them until construction is finished on Simon Hall, a new science building.

"Space is now the biggest limitation," he said.

McRobbie said implementing the plan is estimated to cost between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion over 10 years, with at least half the expense going for research buildings and labs.

Brater, the life-sciences vice president, said it's critical that IU make a serious, ongoing financial commitment to the plan.

"The worst thing that could happen is, you build it and you can't sustain it," Brater said. "None of us wants that."

IU life sciences strategic plan


• Maintain and enhance research in analytical chemistry.

• Build national research strength in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

• Become an international leader in cancer research and clinical care.

• Become a national leader in research and care for diabetes and metabolic disorders.

• Build top-tier research programs in neuroscience.

• Elevate research on model biological systems to top-10 status.

• Provide research and education to help Indiana residents live longer, healthier lives.

• Enhance research infrastructure with labs and buildings.

• Develop new theory and techniques in bioinformatics, computational biology, medical and health informatics.

• Develop cyberinfrastructure to support research.

• Support interdisciplinary research and service centers.

• Double clinical research funding by 2013 and expand cutting-edge medical services and health care.

• Increase technology transfer to private sector.

• Educate next-generation life scientists and Indiana workforce.

• Promote inter-campus collaboration.


IU's new admission policy: seeking more 'quality' students

Freshmen test scores are last in Big Ten; trustees plan to raise admission standards
by Steve Hinnefeld
February 4, 2006

A plan created by Indiana University administrators calls for enrolling more students with high SAT scores at IU Bloomington over the next five years.

The goal: to keep up with Big Ten peers Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa in "quality indicators," test scores and high-school class rank.

But that wasn't good enough for some IU trustees, who have a goal of making IU one of the nation's top 30 research universities. They said the campus should measure itself against the Big Ten's academic elite.

"What is the student profile of a top research university?" said trustee Tom Reilly. "I think the perception is it's more like Michigan and Wisconsin."

Ken Gros Louis, who retired this week as IU Bloomington chancellor, led a panel that developed the plan, which he presented Friday to the trustees' academic affairs committee. It also calls for enrolling more students from under-represented minority groups, with a goal that they will make up 14 to 15 percent of the student body.

Gros Louis said IU has traditionally balanced high admissions standards against serving a cross-section of Indiana's population and providing access to college.

Scores posted by IU freshman on the SAT college-admissions test have crept up in recent years, he said. Average scores this year were 1111 for in-state freshmen, the highest in 10 years; and 1153 for out-of-state students.

But IU is at the bottom of the Big Ten in the SAT measure used in U.S. News & World Report rankings: scores at the 25th and 75th percentile of freshmen.

SAT scores for IU freshmen this year were 990 at the 25th percentile and 1230 at the 75th percentile. That means one-fourth of them scored below 990, and one-fourth above 1230.

The enrollment plan says IU will try to raise the numbers to 1050 and 1250 in five years.

Don Hossler, an education professor and until recently the IU vice chancellor for enrollment services, said trying to do much more wouldn't be realistic. He said Indiana produces relatively few high-scoring students and there are two public "flagship" campuses -- IU Bloomington and Purdue -- competing for them.

"The only way you can change quickly is, frankly, to buy students" with a lot of scholarship money, he said.

He said high SAT scores are less associated with college success than other factors, such as taking rigorous classes and earning good grades in high school.

But trustees said they were responding to Bloomington faculty in pushing to raise admissions standards and the academic quality of students.

Reilly said Butler University in Indianapolis raised SAT scores by 170 points in the 20 years he was on its board of trustees.

"The years that you had a 15-point gain, the faculty came in absolutely energized," he said. "They could tell the difference."

He and trustee Pat Shoulders questioned whether IU has a plan to get more high-scoring students.

"We're going to have to have a program and a strategy, and we haven't heard one here," Reilly said.

Trustee action
Indiana University trustees took the following actions Friday:

• Approved 2006-07 campus housing rates. Combined rates for housing and food will increase an average of 3.2 percent.

• Added IU-owned Kent Farm and Bayles Road parcels to the IU Teaching and Research Preserve.

• Approved an updated 10-year capital projects plan.

New IU technology leaders named

Brad Wheeler has been named acting chief information officer for Indiana University, and Garland Elmore will be acting deputy chief information officer.

Michael McRobbie, the IU Bloomington provost, announced the appointments Friday. McRobbie had been chief information officer. He remains vice president for information technology.

Wheeler, an IU Bloomington business professor and associate vice president for research and academic computing, will provide overall leadership and focus on strategic and priority initiatives. He has been a leader of the Kuali and Sakai projects to provide open-source computer software for universities.

Elmore is a professor of informatics and communication at IU-Purdue University at Indianapolis, where he has been an associate vice president for teaching and learning information technologies.

Former mayor passes on IU job
by Steve Hinnefeld
February 4, 2006

Former Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez decided against taking a job with Indiana University's College of Arts and Sciences.

He had been scheduled to start Wednesday as executive director of development and alumni affairs for the college, IU's largest academic unit.

But he said he changed his mind because of changes taking place at the university. IU's plans for a quick search for an arts-and-sciences dean meant he could have had a new boss by summer.

"As much as I care about Indiana University, it makes sense for everybody to wait," Fernandez said.

David Ellies, the interim director of development and alumni affairs at arts and sciences, was made permanent director after Fernandez backed out.

Fernandez said he will continue as a senior vice president at Finelight Strategic Marketing.

"I've got a wonderful position at Finelight. I work for a great company," said Fernandez, who joined the firm in 2003 after his second term as mayor.

IU officials announced in December that the College of Arts and Sciences hired Fernandez. Two weeks later, Kumble Subbaswamy, the dean of the college, was named provost at the University of Kentucky. He will leave IU July 1.

His departure wasn't a surprise. But IU trustees have been calling for faster searches to fill administrative vacancies. Two weeks ago, IU officials named a search committee to find an arts-and-sciences dean, with a goal of filling the job this year.

Fernandez resigned from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which directs state higher-education policy, when he was planning to work for IU. He won't have a chance to change his mind about that.

"I very quickly got a letter from Harry Gonso thanking me for my service," Fernandez said.

Gonso, chief of staff for Gov. Mitch Daniels, tried to get holdover members of state commissions to step down when Daniels took office last year. Fernandez pointedly refused.

IU: Increase staff pay
Bloomington Herald-Times
February 4, 2006
To the editor:

The time is now! This year, Indiana University must do something about poor salaries paid to staff. There has never been a better time to aggressively take steps to fix a broken system. Why now? Because the IU trustees plan to conduct a "complete review of Responsibility-Center Management" to, among other things, "free funds for reallocation." This reallocation provides an unprecedented opportunity to increase staff pay, and it must be seized. It is no secret that staff salaries have been stagnant for years, leaving hundreds of staff below self-sufficiency levels. Recent raises have not for most even begun to keep up with the cost of living and increases in gas, heating and health-care costs.

Increased funds must be allocated to salaries at a level that will allow real progress toward properly paying all staff, and especially those long term employees whose dedication to the university has long gone unrewarded. If the trustees and the university truly care about what is working and what is not, they have no excuse but to act on this issue, using some of their increased flexibility and reallocated funds to properly pay their staff, the unsung and underpaid backbone of the university.

Peter Kaczmarczyk, Bloomington
The writer is president, CWA Local 4730.

Kids go to great (and illegal) lengths to get in; Fake IDs
by Sarah Morin
Hoosier Times
February 5, 2006

BLOOMINGTON — The doorman saw four college-aged guys get out of a new Jaguar and climb up the stairs at the Video Saloon to test their luck.

They each handed over an out-of-state driver's license — two from Colorado, one from Louisiana and one from North Carolina.

Fake. Fake. Fake. Fake.

Denied. Denied. Denied. Denied.

The foursome walked back down the stairs, dejected, but their journey didn't end there.

Afterward, one called the bar to say his father was very influential with Indiana University and that their IDs must be returned.

When that approach didn't work, they tried another — false representation to retrieve their false identification.

The phone call went something like this: "Hi, I'm with Indiana University Police Department, and someone from the department will be stopping by to pick up those IDs."

That effort failed too.

In Bloomington and other college towns across the country where fake IDs are wildly popular and easy enough to find, some underage students will go to great lengths to get them and hold on to them.

Bribes can happen if an attempt at using a fake ID falls flat. The doorman at the Video Saloon was once offered $500 cash; another time a girl tried to change his mind about her bogus driver's license with her credit card and pin number.

"Short of keeping them, I don't know how to get them out of circulation," Mike Black, owner of the Video Saloon, said about fake IDs.

He has stacks of them in his office.

While Black's doorman has been checking IDs at the Video Saloon for years, other carders — usually part-time and underage — don't have the incentive to keep out underage patrons, according to bar owners.

Linda Prall, who runs two popular college bars, Kilroy's Bar & Grill and Kilroy's Sports Bar, said she'd never know if the carders were letting in their underage friends.

To change that, Prall hired an outside security group to check IDs at Kilroy's Sports Bar.

"It gives us a comfort level. They're professionals, this is what they do for a living," Prall said.

And that living is checking IDs and separating the real ones from the fakes.

Out of a thousand people who show up at Sports, probably 200 don't make it through the door with their fakes, Prall estimated.

"It's just amazing how many fake IDs we turn away," Prall said. "There's always an influx of a specific state or two states."

Black calls it the "flavor of the week" — but it's not rocky road ice cream the under-21 crowd is after. It's alcohol and the bar scene in Bloomington.

For some, getting — and testing out — a fake ID is a rite of passage in college. It's also enticing because there aren't any real repercussions, according to bar owners.

"As far as the kids are concerned, it's a big game. You win and you get in the bar. They have nothing to lose," Prall said.

Except their fake ID at some bars, which can lead to another game — trying to win it back.

Changing technology keeps excise cops busy; Fake IDs
by James Boyd
Hoosier Times
February 5, 2006

BLOOMINGTON — While standing in a Bloomington drug store, Excise Police officer Brent McKinney overheard two girls waiting to get passport photographs taken.

But it was pretty obvious that the pair had no intentions of traveling to a foreign country.

Instead they kept talking about what size pictures they needed, and from what angle they needed to be facing so they could have the image put on a piece of identification.

"Girls, let's end this right now," McKinney told them after he heard them discussing which state driver's license they wanted.

Little did they know they were standing in front of a man who is paid to enforce alcohol and tobacco laws, a man who often blends into a store without being noticed — until it's too late.

McKinney and Travis Thickstun are just two of the officers who patrol Bloomington and Monroe County.

Their office is based in Vincennes, but they and other officers are here several nights a week.

They often find themselves dealing not only with kids possessing false identification, but the businesses that admit them or sell them alcohol, too.

And with the availability of high quality computer programs and printers capable of producing vivid images, the battle to enforce those laws is constantly changing.

"Technology is making a difference," McKinney said. "You can create something today that you couldn't do a few years ago."

That includes microprinting (type so small that it appears as a straight line to the naked eye, but is readable under magnification), holograms and security bars that can be scanned by portable ID checkers.

Thickstun said most "high quality" fake IDs can cost anywhere from $60 to $150.

"Most forged ones have the right name, address and picture on them," Thickstun said. By providing the possessor's real information, a fake makes things easier.

"It gives them a lot fewer things to lie about," he said.

Bar staffers and alcohol retailers often quiz a patron about vital information on their IDs.

Sometimes they'll even try to trick the patron by asking questions whose answers aren't even contained on the ID itself, just to judge their reaction.

Through a grant-funded "Cop in a Shop" program, officers work undercover at local drug and liquor stores, on the lookout for underage patrons acting nervous, fidgeting or taking a long time to answer what should be an easy question.

Hard at work

Indiana University police officers, at the forefront of dealing with the campus population, also come in contact with those passing off fake IDs.

Between Feb. 1, 1996, and Feb. 1, 2006, they've charged 234 individuals with possession of false identification.

Because excise officers don't make a written report for every ID they've recovered, it is impossible to calculate the actual number of IDs confiscated.

"Officers normally only come in contact with them if they arrest someone and catch the fake ID in a property inventory, or when an intoxicated person tries to pass it off to the officer as legitimate ID," said IUPD Lt. Jerry Minger.

Sometimes, "while fumbling through their wallet or purse during a traffic stop, the officer sees multiple driver's licenses in (someone's) possession."

While on duty in a local drug store a few weeks ago, Thickstun said he wrote 11 tickets, four for possession of false identification.

"The better they get, the better we have to get," Thickstun said of the constant training and alertness officers have to have in order to spot fakes.

"We work with guys on the door" at bars and retail locations, McKinney said. "We work with local law enforcement, former employees, kids who have been kicked out."

They use any tactic available in order to find the latest trends or the source of the fakes.

Such information led IUPD and Excise Police to raid a campus dorm room in April 2000, seizing a computer and printer system used for the manufacture of fake driver's licenses.

Excise officers will often visit bars and ask for identification from people who have already been admitted.

McKinney said oftentimes they'll check out a bar in response to complaints from other patrons. Sometimes they'll even visit the bar before they do a raid, just to see if the complaints are justified.

'Stupid people'

You'd be amazed at some of the poorer quality examples of fakes. McKinney has a baseball card binder filled with them.

From New York to Wyoming, some are nearly impossible to detect as being fakes without any training. Some have horrible quality photographs seemingly Elmer-glued to the front of a piece of cardboard.

"If it weren't for stupid people, I'd be out of a job," McKinney joked.

He and Thickstun see their roles not as party-crashers, but rather as safety enforcers.

"So many problems are based in substance abuse," McKinney said, referring to violent crimes and other criminal activity stemming from abuse issues.

"Alcohol always seems to be in that mix."


What happens if you're actually caught with fake identification?

That usually depends on how cooperative you are.

Once a law enforcement officer has determined the piece of identification is fake, there are several charges that can be filed depending on the circumstances.

FALSE INFORMING: Providing false information to the officer. Class A or B misdemeanor.

COUNTERFEITING A DRIVER'S LICENSE: A person who falsely reproduces a driver's license with intent to use the license or to permit another person to use the license commits a Class B misdemeanor.

POSSESSION OF FALSE IDENTIFICATION: It is an infraction for a minor to have in his or her possession false or fraudulent identification.

MINORS IN TAVERNS: It is a Class C misdemeanor for a minor to recklessly be in a tavern, bar or other public place where alcoholic beverages are sold, bartered, exchanged, given away, provided or furnished.

Most first-time offenders have their fraudulent identification confiscated and are issued a fine if cited.

Source: Indiana Criminal Code

Law students help violence victims
by Bethany Nolan
Hoosier Times
February 5, 2006

Domestic violence victims in need of help can obtain a protective order and join a support network through an Indiana University program.

It helps IU law students obtain hands-on experience and gives local attorneys an opportunity to both mentor students and help domestic violence victims.

It's part of Indiana University's Protective Order Project, a student-run clinic that operates under the law school.

Run with funds given by the Women's Law Caucus, the organization has helped many domestic violence victims obtain protective orders.

A protective order is a civil order from a judge that tells an offender he or she cannot contact or harass a protected person.

About 40 IU law school students participate in the project and between 18 and 25 local attorneys offer their time for free to help, said Peter Wozniak, assistant director of the Protective Order Project and a second-year law student at IU.

"It gives victims back a bit of the power they've lost," Wozniak said. "Students get practical appearances in court, but they're helping out too."

Bloomington attorney Marc Abplanalp, who ran the project as a law student in 2002, still works with it.

"All of the cases I've worked on, there's definitely a need," he said.

Project volunteers work closely with Middle Way House, a nonprofit organization that helps abuse victims, said Middle Way House legal advocate Patricia Cummings.

"It's an excellent program," she said. "They do good work."

Who will speak up for the endangered Kappa Sigma house?
February 6, 2006

This guest column was written by Chris Sturbaum, president of the Bloomington City Council and an advocate for historic preservation.

An old fraternity house sits unused. Full of stories of Hoagy, from the days of Herman Wells and fraternity kids coming back from World War II, it was a witness to the golden age of Indiana University. But this handsome building might have no future if plans to demolish the 1926 Chateauesque historic structure go through. This stately house is listed on both the university's and the city's survey of historic structures. Does its history belong only to the current Indiana University management?

Historic buildings create the beautiful character of the IU campus. The history of IU's and Bloomington's past echoes and inspires new scholars every year. Who will speak up for these things? Is this just a dollars-and-cents issue? Is this all a university considers anymore?

Beautifully built of brick and limestone, the Kappa Sigma house also represents materials and labor, energy used and wood from forests no longer standing. Its loss represents a waste of resources on a major scale. In this new era of recycling and sustainability, this decision echoes back to the old "Urban Renewal" of tear them down (and put up a parking lot) or plant grass. In an era of New Urbanism, which puts a high value on a walkable campus, and with fraternities searching for places to locate on campus, an obvious re-use opportunity for the old fraternity house exists. Restored, it could serve students for another 80 years while keeping IU's traditional architecture and history alive.

Other prominent university-owned buildings also sit unused and decaying. The most obvious one sports peeling lead paint and broken windows at the end of Restaurant Row, just east of the Siam House restaurant. Is IU's new answer for its old historic buildings to be the wrecking ball now, if they need repair?

The IU business school is surely teaching the effect of quality of life on a city's or university's economic vitality, as Richard Florida found when he studied what attracts people to successful cities. IU competes for students in a similar fashion. One reads in the paper countless statements about the wonderful IU campus from students, sports recruits and, most recently, a law student from New Orleans. This campus character is always mentioned as one of their reasons for attending IU.

So there are historic, ecological and economic reasons to save the old Kappa Sigma house. But who will speak up for these visions of a future that are threatened to end up instead in dumpsters and landfills?

If we remain silent, there will be a vacant lot memorial to our inaction. It will be located at 1503 East Third. If you want to do something, please write or e-mail the president of Indiana University, the city, The Herald-Times or Indiana Daily Student. The Bloomington Historic Commission will meet Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the McCloskey Room next to the council chambers. The Kappa Sigma House will be on the agenda, and public comment will be encouraged.