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Herald-Times articles

Dec. 11, 2006

IU Trustees: Program will make up for Pell grant shortfall -- IU will use its own funds to bridge difference between grants, cost of tuition and fees
by Steve Hinnefeld
December 9, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 500 Hoosier students who qualify for federal Pell grants will have the full cost paid for Indiana University tuition and fees under a program that starts next fall.

The initiative, announced Friday at a board of trustees meeting, complements four other aid programs that IU unveiled recently in an effort to keep college affordable and attract high-achieving students.

To qualify to the new program, students must be eligible for a Pell grant and score at least 1,150 on the SAT exam — the IU average this year was 1,121. They maintain at least a B average at IU to keep the funding.

"It will take tuition and fees off the table for a student who is Pell-eligible," said Roger Thompson, the IU Bloomington vice provost for enrollment management.

The government awards Pell grants to needy students, using a formula based on family income and size. But the maximum grant is $4,050 a year, and many students get significantly less than that. In-state undergraduate tuition and fees at IU Bloomington total $7,460.

With the program, estimated to cost $1.8 million next year, the university will use its own funds to make up the Pell grant shortfall. Students will have to pay for room and board, books and other expenses.

Trustees praised the program. "That's accessibility as I read it," said trustee Tom Reilly Jr. "What you're doing here is pretty remarkable."

Minority enrollment concerns

But black faculty and administrators questioned whether IU is moving aggressively to meet a trustee-approved goal of doubling the enrollment of underrepresented minority students on the Bloomington campus by 2013-14.

Charlie Nelms, vice president for institutional development and student affairs, said minority student advocates should have been consulted about creating programs to improve access and affordability.

"We weren't included in the conversation, and I'm just a little bit offended by that," he said.

Nelms noted that the number of black first-year students at IU Bloomington declined last fall. He suggested Thompson's goal of having 370 black students in the freshman class of 2007-08 — 5.5 percent of the total — isn't good enough.

And he said a $1 million increase in funding for the minority-serving Hudson-Holland Scholars program, while billed as an expansion, merely eliminates a deficit.

Thompson said many students who qualify for IU's new financial aid programs will be from underrepresented groups.

"We've put $14 million on the table here, and most of these programs are going to hit 40, 45 percent underrepresented groups," he said.

Other programs

In addition to the Pell and Hudson-Holland initiatives, the new programs include:

  • The 21st Century Scholars Covenant, which supplements state grants to give a full-ride scholarship to low-income students.
  • The IU Excellence Award, which will pay full tuition for about 400 high-achieving students.
  • The Research Scholar program, a full ride for a handful of students who will work closely with faculty.
  • Life-science initiative gets commission support.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education on Friday endorsed IU's request for $80 million in state funds over two years to kick-start its life-science initiative.

The commission, in a recommendation to the Legislature, supported the request as an economic development measure, not part of its higher education funding proposal. It also endorsed funding for Purdue's advanced manufacturing initiative.

IU officials say the life-science funding will start a 12-year effort to recruit 500 scientists, attract $2.4 billion in research grants and contracts, create 100 businesses and add 14,000 Hoosier jobs.

The commission also endorsed:

  • Plans to build student housing at IU South Bend and IU Southeast.
  • A new research greenhouse and botany field and renovation of the Optometry Clinic, both at IU Bloomington.

IU hopes Pathways attracts more minority students
By Steve Hinnefeld
Hoosier Times
December 10, 2006

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University has raised its admissions requirements, and officials have made clear they will expect higher grade-point averages and SAT scores from students who attend IU Bloomington in the future.

But the board of trustees also has called for doubling the number of students from under-represented minorities at IU Bloomington by 2013-14.

Can the two goals co-exist? Only, said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education, if the university takes on the challenge of improving the educational pipeline in Indiana's urban areas.

That's the goal of Pathways to Success, an initiative the school hopes to launch with a request for $5 million a year from the Indiana General Assembly.

"It's a bold plan," Gonzalez said. "I don't know of any other university in the country that's put forward such a bold plan to do this on a statewide scale."

The program will serve public high schools and middle schools in Marion, Lake and St. Joseph counties, which produce the largest numbers of minority students likely to attend Indiana University.

It will link IU education faculty with teachers and students, with a focus on closing the achievement gap in "STEM" disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math.

Ultimately, Gonzalez said, the goal is to produce better-prepared teachers, offer more challenging courses and improve the rates at which students finish high school, go on to college and graduate with degrees.

He said IU education faculty from Bloomington, Indianapolis, South Bend and Gary will work with four or five high schools in each county and the middle schools that feed them.

They will coach teachers and provide professional development, access to technology and increased offerings of advanced placement courses.

"The research tells us this is the way to go," Gonzalez said, "but nobody I'm aware of has taken that idea and connected it to a major research university in a meaningful way, and made themselves accountable."

The Pathways initiative may have produced less buzz in Indianapolis than IU's other special state funding request: $80 million over two years for a Life Science Initiative aimed at producing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in research grants.

But Gonzalez said promoting educational success in underserved areas is just as much an economic necessity — as well as a key to meeting IU's objectives.

"We can't achieve our goals for increased quality and increased diversity of students," he said, "unless we help improve the pool of students that want to come to IU."

Our opinion: Hamilton a Hoosier on loan to the nation
December 9, 2006

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, co-chair of the Iraq Study Group (which released its report this week), has been long admired for his ability to achieve consensus on difficult matters of foreign policy. Yet even while earning an international reputation as elder statesman, he has maintained a strong connection to his Hoosier roots.

Hamilton is one of those rare leaders who truly believes that voices of the small communities are just as important as those who speak for the nation. How fortunate we are that such a gentleman statesman calls Indiana his home.

And how fortunate for that nation that he has made this recent contribution of common sense, intellect and leadership to the challenges facing us in Iraq and the Middle East.

Ivy Tech faculty get 4% pay raise: As community college expands its role in educating Hoosiers, salaries lag far behind
By Steve Hinnefeld
December 11, 2006

Most full-time faculty at Ivy Tech Community College got a 4 percent pay increase this year as part of an effort to move their compensation into line with other two-year colleges.

But that doesn't mean they're raking in the dough. In many cases, given their education and experience, Ivy Tech professors could make considerably more teaching high school.

"I think of the extremely dedicated people who work here, and I wish we did have more money for compensation," said John Whikehart, the Ivy Tech-Bloomington chancellor.

Raises at Ivy Tech took effect last summer. Whikehart said the standard raise for nonteaching employees was 3 percent, but the college's state board gave faculty bigger raises to move toward parity with Vincennes University.

Faculty base salaries are for the fall and spring semesters. Whikehart said most full-time faculty can boost their pay 25 percent by teaching full-time in the summer.

Several Ivy Tech-Bloomington administrators at the top end of the salary scale got raises this year of 6 percent or more. Whikehart said some increases resulted from added responsibilities, while others were part of an attempt to match what's paid for comparable jobs at other Ivy Tech campuses.

Meanwhile, Ivy Tech-Bloomington continues to rely extensively on part-time adjunct faculty.

The campus has about 50 full-time faculty. It added six this year, Whikehart said, in psychology, mathematics and the new programs of radiation therapy, health information technology and respiratory therapy.

But the number of adjunct instructors on the college's Bloomington payroll grew from 223 to 246. Of a $600,000 budget increase to accommodate enrollment growth this year, two-thirds went to pay for adjuncts.

Whikehart has said he would like to have more courses taught by full-time faculty. But with enrollment rising rapidly, the campus offered 849 course sections this fall, up from 680 a year ago. That meant it had to hire more adjuncts and offer them more sections to teach.

"I think they've making a significant contribution to us, to our community and to our students," Whikehart said.

Music beat: In their memory, it's a time to weep and a time to rejoice
by Peter Jacobi
H-T columnist
December 10, 2006

BLOOMINGTON— We mourn the loss, in recent days, of two women who gave their lives to music: Sarah Ann Stevens, for 30 years the inspiring teacher of music for youngsters at University Elementary School, and Martha Lipton, the longtime star of opera and the concert stage who capped her career as faculty member at IU's School of Music.

We celebrate their legacies: the multitudes that benefited from their talents and their accomplishments, the children inspired by Stevens to find their muse; the audiences, then the hopefuls won over by Lipton's honest approach to craft and artistry.

We celebrate also what the two, as musicians, represented: the mysterious, sublime art that, in some form or other, leaves no one untouched or unchanged, the art that, thank the Lord and the loyally devoted likes of the two departed, remains ever with us to offer pleasure and provide solace, to instill purpose and enrich life.

Take note that while we weep, we can also reap music's delectations. This very day, opportunities to experience music abound, including a pair of concerts that speak eloquently to its continuity. This afternoon at 3:30 in Carmichael Hall of Bloomington South, the Camerata Orchestra, now in its 18th season, brings back two favored musicians to help realize a program called "Glitz." Conductor Imre Pallo, the popular conductor who retired from the IU Jacobs School only to continue teaching and conducting at the Sydney Conservatory in Australia, returns to lead the orchestra in works of de Falla, Gershwin and Ravel. Kenny Aronoff, the internationally respected drummer and IU alumnus, joins the festivities for what's simply labeled "Afternoon with Kenny," meaning he's free to roam with his talent and imagination.

The Camerata, founded by concertmaster Lenore Hatfield, is testimony of her perseverance and support. It is she who has kept the orchestra going as an outlet for talented musicians, from those making their way into the profession all the way to those in retirement but still desirous of playing. And that is cause for celebration.

As is, most certainly, the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra (MAYO), which performs this evening at 7 in the Auditorium of Bloomington North. The theme of the concert: "All the World's a Stage." The content: music occasioned by the works of Shakespeare, by the Danish composer Niels Gade, Tchaikovsky and Verdi.

The orchestra was, from pre-inception on, the vision of Julia Copeland, who remains president of its board and speaks ardently of its mission: "We've wanted to provide a wide array of students of all ages and backgrounds with musical training through individual development and by coming together to play music in an orchestra, above and beyond what they can take advantage of in school."

She notes that enrollment in the program has "increased dramatically, so much so that we may soon form a second orchestra, a chamber-sized one to go along with the current full ensemble." For much that has happened of late, Copeland gives credit to MAYO's music director, Thomas Loewenheim.

He's an enthusiast, for sure, pointing to orchestra membership representing 12 counties and to "how unbelievably involved the students are." Should any of the players go into music professionally, that's "wonderful," he says, adding, "and it's possible because we have some very talented young people in our ranks, including a few who've graduated out of the orchestra and are now studying music at IU. But for me, what's most important is that we plant seeds. We create excitement about music, give kids an outlet beyond practice, show them that they are not alone in their musical pursuits, and that they have a way to share music and enjoy producing big sounds."

Loewenheim says music directors at area schools have expressed "enthusiastic support" for the program. "They've come to hear what we do. They've brought students. They've given extra credit to students participating. They've seen members of MAYO become principals in their high school orchestras. We mean to enhance opportunities, never to supplant the great work being done in area schools, and I think we've been quite successful."

Loewenheim speaks of building future audiences for classical music. "Those who continue will, of course, be into it," he says. "But those also who shift life directions will return to Brahms, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky because of having played their music. And you should know that our players bring their parents, many of whom did not attend classical concerts before but now do so and come as new friends. We have much to be grateful for."

That includes Timothy Noble, the acclaimed world class baritone on the IU voice faculty. "We came to him and asked if he might somehow contribute to our Shakespeare concert. He said, 'Of course,' and that acceptance has turned into an act of generosity. Not only is he going to sing (tonight) Iago's 'Credo' from Verdi's 'Otello' and, with fellow baritone Jason Pruitt, from 'Falstaff' the extended scene in the second act involving Falstaff and Ford, but he's bringing members of his studio to join him in the big fugue that ends the opera." And another of his students, Elizabeth Baldwin, will contribute the "Ave Maria" from "Otello." Loewenheim calls Noble's contribution "absolutely astounding" and "much appreciated." Again, cause for celebration.

Though the tie between two deaths and two performances may to some seem tenuous, to this writer, it is binding: Music of the past taken into the present and, potentially, into the future. I believe Sarah Stevens and Martha Lipton would have been pleased.

If you go


Its concert at Carmichael Hall of Bloomington High School South begins at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon and features guest conductor Imre Pallo and, as soloist, drummer Kenny Aronoff. The soloist will offer an "Afternoon with Kenny" section. Pallo leads the orchestra in de Falla's "The Three Cornered Hat," Gershwin's "American in Paris" and Ravel's "La Valse."

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $4 for students.


Its Shakespeare-themed program at Bloomington High School North begins at 7 this evening. Thomas Loewenheim conducts a program that includes the "Hamlet" Overture of Niels Gade, Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" Fantasy, and arias and ensembles from two Verdi operas based on Shakespearean plays, "Otello" and "Falstaff," to be sung by baritone Timothy Noble and members of his studio in IU's Jacobs School of Music.

Admission is free.

Teachers get a taste of live insect biology: Teachers on bugs: 'We're loving it'
By Nicole Kauffman
December 9, 2006

Just three items are needed for the experiment: a cheap blue ballpoint pen, a clean piece of paper and a live, local termite.

Yes, a termite.

They're often seen on wood, and that's where Armin Moczek, an Indiana University assistant professor of biology, found those he gave out during a workshop for teachers Friday at WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology.

"I love this experiment because it's highly reliable," Moczek said. "I've done this with like 100 students in the classroom, and it works."

About 20 participants sat in groups of four and drew circles on the paper with their blue pens. They then gently tipped the termites out of their tiny containers, and the bugs quickly made their way to the circles, tracing the circle again and again, rarely leaving the line.

"Do they just like the color?" wondered Katie Browning, who works with science-based Girl Scouts programs in Indianapolis.

Actually, a chemical in cheap, blue ballpoint pens mimics the trail pheromone of termites, Moczek explained.

Moczek trained as a tropical ecologist in Borneo before turning his focus to biology.

"I see insects, and I'm like, 'Oooh, interesting!'" he said.

He started leading workshops at WonderLab last year to provide a resource in insect biology for local educational needs. He says people should realize how important insects are to their lives; they are pollinators and competitors for food, for example. And he believes when people start looking closely at details about insects, they begin to ask big questions: Why? How?

"Before you know it, you are practicing the scientific method," he said. "Exercising that logic, I think, you can't start early enough."

Termites weren't the only insects studied during the daylong, hands-on workshop. Did you know honeybees do a figure-eight "waggle dance" with their abdomens — which Moczek demonstrated — and present the only case in which abstract language has evolved outside primates? "We're loving it," said Jaime Burkhart, a fourth-grade teacher at Summit Elementary School.

Moczek described the day as "a tasting of different flavors of insect biology," but with modules teachers can adapt to a variety of ages right away.

Jane Vandenberg, who teaches second grade at Templeton Elementary School, said she heard the workshop was being offered and thought it was a good fit for her class.

"We teach about insects in our classes, and I (wanted to) get more activities to do with the kids," she said.

Second-grade teacher Patty Harpring, of University Elementary School, said she had been looking forward to getting background information for insect study — and some free materials.

Participants took home starting materials for insect collections, including a case containing local representatives of the insect world — a roach, a beetle, a fly, a bee, a leaf-footed bug, a butterfly, a grasshopper, a dragonfly, an earwig and a praying mantis.

Other workshop participants came from Lighthouse Christian Academy, Bloomington High School North, and St. Charles, Batchelor Middle, Marlin, Grandview, Arlington, Nashville and Gosport Elementary schools.

More workshops will take place at WonderLab in the spring, Moczek said. Interested participants should contact the museum at 337-1337.