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Larry MacIntyre
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, December 3, 2004

IU Trustees approve six "Commitment to Excellence" funding proposals

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees today (Dec. 3) approved six "Commitment to Excellence" funding proposals that will boost faculty positions on the Bloomington campus by 34 positions, improve pay for graduate-student instructors, and expand course offerings in statistics, cybersecurity and American studies.

The board also approved the design of an estimated $79 million, 230,000-square-foot laboratory facility to be built on the IUPUI campus. The structure, preliminarily dubbed Research III, will provide space for cancer research and the Indiana University Center for Immunobiology. The building will be connected at each floor level to the existing Cancer Research Institute and Research Institute II on Walnut Street, thus enabling seamless access from one building to another.

The building will utilize red brick and glass on exterior elevations to remain consistent with other buildings in this area of the campus. Last year the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $33 million for the research structure, which will help establish the IU School of Medicine as an international leader in cancer research and treatment.

The Commitment to Excellence proposals were submitted for approval by Kenneth Gros Louis, senior vice president for academic affairs and IU Bloomington chancellor. They will be put in place over the next three academic years.

Funding for Commitment to Excellence initiatives comes from a fee increment of $1,000 per academic year that was first assessed with the incoming freshman class of 2003-04. The proceeds of this program must be used in ways that broaden the undergraduate experience at Indiana University.

Gros Louis said a committee led by law professor Fred Cate reviewed some 30 preliminary proposals from various academic units and then invited 11 of them to submit full proposals for final consideration. Gros Louis and IU President Adam W. Herbert selected six of the committee's top seven for funding.

"These investments are highly focused and strategic," Gros Louis said. "They will enable us to attract some very strong new academic talent to Bloomington."

Gros Louis and Herbert wanted to ensure that each of the proposals would not only enhance the reputation of the Bloomington campus but also improve and expand opportunities for undergraduate students.

Gros Louis said the recommendation to provide additional funding for graduate fellowships was rejected because he and Herbert felt it would not be appropriate to use undergraduate tuition dollars to fund graduate fellowships.

Projects that were granted were:

  • Cybersecurity: $348,296 base funding with $280,000 in one-time costs. The funding will add two faculty members and enable expansion of an interdisciplinary approach to cybersecurity involving business, economics, law, sociology and other fields outside of computer science and mathematics. Gros Louis said these changes will give the program the potential to emerge as one of the top three centers for cybersecurity in the United States.
  • Teacher education: $741,000 base funding with $125,000 in one-time costs. The funding will add eight faculty members in areas critical to preparation of K-12 teachers. While the School of Education has increased the number of teacher education degrees it awards from 462 to 599 in the past 10 years, it has not added faculty. This funding will enable it to significantly improve its faculty-to-student ratio, its reputation and its research capacity.
  • Renewing Leadership in the Arts and Humanities: $2.2 million base funding with $405,000 in one-time costs. Focuses on English, Fine Arts, History and Philosophy departments with funding for 15 additional faculty positions. Additionally, the college plans to replace 18 faculty members in these departments who will retire over the next four years with scholars of equivalent accomplishment and reputation.
  • Competitive Graduate Recruitment: $1.2 million. Allows the College of Arts and Sciences to add additional graduate-student instructors and increase their stipends in anthropology, biology, English, fine arts, history, philosophy, political science and psychology.
  • New Focus in American Studies: $527,000 base funding plus $170,000 in one-time costs. Enables the College of Arts and Sciences to add four new faculty members and create an interdisciplinary degree in American studies.
  • Establishing a Department of Statistics: $700,000 base funding plus $766,000 in one-time costs. Enables the College of Arts and Sciences to establish a Department of Statistics, which will consolidate and coordinate the various statistical classes now being taught on campus. Five faculty members will be hired and a new undergraduate degree in statistics will be offered.

This round of funding totaled $5.7 million in base funding and $1.7 million in one-time costs.

This was the second and last round of Commitment to Excellence Funding on the Bloomington campus. The first round of proposals was submitted to the Board of Trustees in May 2003, and the proposals are now being implemented.