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Last modified: Saturday, January 14, 2006

IU Board of Trustees announces aggressive agenda for university's future

Two key administrators appointed to newly created positions

Jan. 14, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees announced an aggressive agenda for the future of Indiana University and appointed two key administrators to newly created positions.

During a special meeting on Saturday (Jan. 14), the trustees approved the title Executive Vice President and Chancellor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for Charles R. Bantz, effective Feb. 1. In a second motion, they approved the title Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bloomington, for Michael McRobbie, effective Feb. 1. In a final motion, the trustees approved the title University Chancellor for Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, effective Feb. 1.

Bantz became the fourth chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU Vice President of Long-Range Planning on June 1, 2003. Bantz challenged IUPUI to double its achievements in this decade -- including doubling the number of degrees awarded to undergraduates, doubling external funding for research, and doubling the level of student civic engagement.

McRobbie has served Indiana University for nine years and has led an extensive transformation in information technology, overseeing the development of many major new research projects and initiatives. McRobbie joined IU in 1997 as vice president for information technology and chief information officer. In May 2003, he was given the additional responsibilities of vice president for research.

McRobbie led the development of a high-speed, integrated information-technology infrastructure, linking all IU campuses and providing faculty members with a variety of new tools for research and a rich computing environment for students, such as the Information Commons at the IU Herman B Wells Library and the path-breaking Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement. This infrastructure has given IU one of the largest capacities of any research university in the world for moving and storing massive amounts of data in real time -- a prerequisite for many of the most complex life sciences research projects now being funded by the federal government.

Gros Louis was recognized for his 41 years of dedicated service to IU. Having already retired from his position of chancellor of the Bloomington campus, Gros Louis returned in 2003 at President Adam W. Herbert's request to provide the leadership that was needed at an important juncture in the university's history. "Ken's stamp will forever be on the university," said Steve Ferguson, president of the IU board of trustees. "Although his institutional responsibilities have been weighty, he has always found a way to personalize Indiana University, and to keep alive its history, its traditions and its spirit."

The trustees elaborate on their plans in the document "The Board of Trustees Response to the Resolutions Approved by the Faculty of IU Bloomington." (See the entire document at In the document, the trustees say they are augmenting the management structure immediately to address a growing realization both inside and outside of the university that the large and ever-expanding academic enterprise has changed significantly since the current structure was installed in the mid-1970s. According to the document, the changes must be addressed if IU is going to meet its academic aspirations and enhance its academic standing.

Also in the document, the trustees charge the president to accelerate all of IU's processes and urge the senior leadership, deans and faculty to contribute to a renewed spirit, bringing IU to the top rank of dynamic American universities.

The trustees expressed their support for Herbert, noting his long list of achievements at Indiana University. Ferguson said during the meeting that the president responded to and resolved a number of pressing problems the board presented him with on his arrival, including difficult organizational, financial and personnel issues. Ferguson said the trustees are confident that Herbert can guide the board's call for change and improvement, and launch programs that will move the university forward.

The trustees decided not to undertake a mid-year review of Herbert. Ferguson said such a review would only result in a state of anxiety and suspended animation on the IU Bloomington campus and would be an impediment to the pace that the trustees believe is crucial to moving forward.

"If it isn't already obvious, 'business as usual' is out the window at IU," Ferguson said. "We ask all of you to join us as we build a new future for Indiana University."

To learn more about Bantz's background, see his biography at

To learn more about McRobbie's background, see his biography at