Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Provost: IU Bloomington campus faces “progressive change”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington is experiencing exciting and fast-paced change, Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson said today (Jan. 15), delivering the 2007-08 Report on the Campus to the Bloomington Faculty Council.
"Our core missions -- education and research -- are enduring, and so are the values of academic freedom and respect that guide our mission," Hanson said. "Our environment, however, the environment for higher education, is changing, challenging. Thus it happens that, even as we reiterate our continuing mission and reassert our enduring values, our theme is change, progressive change."
In addition to giving the traditional account of campus budgetary decisions for the upcoming year, Hanson said she was using the report to "highlight some of our ongoing academic priorities and invite your consideration of some of our upcoming challenges."
The campus received strong support in the current state budget, Hanson said. It has held down tuition, and Matching the Promise gifts have led to increased funding for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. This year, the average out-of-pocket cost for tuition and room and board for in-state freshmen from families with incomes under $50,000 is only $341.
Applications to IU Bloomington increased by 18 percent last year, resulting in a more selective admissions process. The average SAT score for incoming freshmen rose by 25 points at a time when national average scores declined. One-third of freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high-school class and two-thirds were in the top quartile.
Hanson said she will share with the campus community a draft plan for increasing underrepresented groups among students, faculty and professional staff, and she will assemble a Campus Diversity Committee to implement the plan. "A commitment to diversity and equity is fundamental to the nature of our institution and to our educational mission," she said, "and we can fulfill that commitment only if all of us bring our voices and our particular perspectives to the discussion of our needs, only if all of us bring our energy and goodwill to the realization of our shared plans."
The campus will aggressively pursue recommendations from an upcoming IU strategic plan in international affairs and a campus self-study for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. While IU Bloomington is one of the nation's leaders in sending students to study abroad and in attracting international students and scholars, more can be done to focus institutional attention.
Faculty and Resources
"The recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty of course remains the key to an outstanding university," Hanson said. Funding from the Commitment to Excellence program allowed the campus to add exemplary faculty over the past five years. Now that CTE money is part of the base budget, "we must look for new ways to enhance our resources and keep pace with our needs."
The administration received a Campus Sustainability Report from a broad-based task force last week. "The university and campus administration will be studying the report with interest in the next few weeks, and I have no doubt that work on some of the report's recommendations will be forthcoming," Hanson said.
Arts and Humanities Infrastructure
There are concerns about resources linked to the arts and humanities and social sciences, areas of historic strength for IU Bloomington. A Lilly Endowment gift of $44 million to the Jacobs School of Music (and $25 million to the IU School of Law--Bloomington) and President Michael A. McRobbie's commitment of $12 million for a cinema facility and renovated theatre and drama space at the old university theatre are a "striking start" to addressing them. "Just as we need to build more lab space at IU Bloomington, we must also attend to the preservation and conservation needs of our museums and archives," Hanson said.
A life-sciences strategic plan presented to the Board of Trustees in 2006 guides efforts to leverage research prominence in the life sciences and promote collaboration between IU Bloomington and the IU School of Medicine. Deans and administrators will discuss how other academic specialties can pursue research and teaching on the impact of the life sciences on society and culture.
The campus will establish a task force to work with university master planners, with subcommittees on faculty life; student life; classrooms and teaching laboratories; health and wellness; libraries, museums and performance spaces; and campus support, administration and infrastructure spaces.
Increased admissions standards and selectivity may require the campus to find ways to bolster academic and co-curricular advising and support for transfer students. In the area of faculty governance, documents and processes may need to be revised to reflect a university administrative reorganization that took place in 2006.