Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Jane Jankowski
Media Relations

Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2003

Plans for Commitment to Excellence funds announced

Indiana University Bloomington will hire more full-time tenure-track faculty and establish comprehensive programs in human biology and interdisciplinary science as a part of its Commitment to Excellence plan presented today (May 9) to the IU Board of Trustees.

The Commitment to Excellence program will be funded by a $1,000 per academic year fee increment assessed to new undergraduate students at the Bloomington campus beginning this fall. For 2003-04, the new fee is expected to generate $7.1 million. Over the next five years, the investment will provide approximately $28 million in new base funding for Bloomington campus programs.

IU trustees approved the new fee in 2002 as a way to enhance the academic excellence of the university. The academic fee increment will be $800 at IUPUI and $500 at the regional campuses for full-time equivalent students.

IUB Chancellor Sharon Brehm created a strategic planning committee in September 2002 which outlined broad themes and academic priorities for the campus as well as the process used to evaluate Commitment to Excellence proposals.

"These investments are intended to significantly enhance Bloomington's academic reputation, benefit our students, and contribute to the long-term well-being of Indiana," Brehm told the trustees.

Of total base funding available over the next five years, $4.28 million (15 percent) will be dedicated to match private financial aid contributions for students; $21.2 million (75 percent) will be used for new faculty and the supportive academic program costs; and $2.78 million (10 percent) will be used to match graduate fellowship contributions.

As these funds are phased in, various start-up costs also will be incurred, such as academic equipment and space needs. Because the programs will be introduced over a period of several years, the one-time costs will be covered by general Commitment to Excellence funds.

Brehm outlined seven projects that have been selected for this first year of development. These include:

  • Comprehensive Human Biology Program. This project will hire 21 additional faculty members with expertise in vertebrate systems, pathogen microbiology and biochemistry, brain imaging, molecular neuroscience, vision science and biotechnological law. New undergraduate degrees would be established in human biology and biotechnology, a new masters degree in biotechnology and two professional degree paths spanning biomedical and biotechnological sectors.
  • 21st Century Interdisciplinary Science. This broad-ranging initiative would hire 16 additional faculty with expertise in proteomics, materials science, quantitative biology, physical biochemistry and biophysics. New undergraduate and masters degrees would be created in applied science and a joint K-12 science education initiative would begin with the School of Education.
  • Understanding the Two-Thirds World: At Home and Abroad. This program, which would result in hiring 25 faculty members, focuses on geographic areas outside of the West that contain two-thirds of the world's population and would enhance the study of social and cultural issues pertaining to third-world diaspora communities in the United States. Faculty members with expertise in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Latin America would be added, as well as a new undergraduate degree in international studies and a residential program for 400 students focused on the study and experience of languages, cultures and international topics.
  • Cognitive Science: New Frontiers in the Interdisciplinary Study of Mind, Learning, and Intelligence. This initiative would add 14 faculty members and establish IU Bloomington cognitive science as a leader in new forms of interdisciplinary study of mind, learning and intelligence. Faculty strengths would be built in the emerging field of biomorphic robotics, and in the learning sciences, computational linguistics and human-computer interaction design.
  • Launch of the Second Era in the School of Music. This project would add four eminent master teachers to the musical performance faculty. It also would fund major guest stage directors, well-known conductors, choreographers and set and lighting designers for productions in the Musical Arts Center. The initiative also would support two new opera productions per season and one new ballet every other year, co-commission a new opera and add a production/stage manager to the staff of the IUB School of Music.
  • Patient-based Research in Ocular Disease and Systemic Diseases Affecting the Eye. Two new faculty members in the School of Optometry would be hired to build a patient-based disease research program. The school would coordinate with the College of Arts and Sciences to make the degree program a minor in the comprehensive program in human biology.
  • A New Program in Interdisciplinary Environment Sciences. This project would partner two new faculty members in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs with two new faculty positions in COAS to facilitate joint investigations of the movement of natural and man-made compounds through our ecosystem.

"We expect to hire more than 135 faculty members through this program. That is a 10 percent increase in the number of full-time tenure track faculty at our campus. We'll also build an undergraduate scholarship endowment and a graduate fellowship endowment," said Brehm. "The investment we make now in programs will help us leverage the grants and contracts that our researchers receive and will maintain our competitiveness among top-tier research universities."

Here is a synopsis of how Commitment to Excellence funds will be used at other Indiana University campuses:

  • IUPUI -- Proposed projects focus on three areas: excellence in teaching, learning and retention; excellence in research and scholarship, and excellence in civic engagement. In the first year, IUPUI would use some funds for financial aid for undergraduates -- specifically the Bepko Scholars -- and graduates, as well as work to convert part-time lecturers to full time. Funding allocated in the first year: $3.2 million.
  • IU East -- The campus will use funding to work toward replacement of part-time faculty with full-time faculty, including new lecturers in fine arts and humanities and a new tenure-track line in nursing. Retention programs will target multicultural affairs and academic advising. Funding allocated in the first year: $158,000.
  • IU Kokomo -- The focus will be on part-time faculty, specifically new lecturers in art, speech and geology. IUK also will expand retention programs to enhance internship and other experiential learning opportunities for students in the schools of business, arts and sciences, and public and environmental affairs. Tutorial services also would be expanded in course-specific areas. Funding allocated in the first year: $200,000.
  • IU Northwest -- Major goals are to add three new full-time lecturers; support retention initiatives, such as improved academic counseling; improve the physical learning environment on the campus by upgrading classroom and other facilities; and provide matching grants for start-up costs for collaborative community projects. Funding allocated in the first year: $325,000.
  • IU South Bend -- The campus will work toward reducing dependency on part-time faculty, including adding two new tenure-track faculty and two new full-time lecturers; increasing retention through promotion of expanded student life activities at the new Student Activities Center; improving electronic library materials; and providing more opportunities for under-represented students. Funding allocated in the first year: $525,000.
  • IU Southeast -- The campus will make investments to hire four new lecturers in 2003-04 and continue efforts to improve student retention and success. IU Southeast also is engaged in planning for an honors program and working toward increasing student engagement in intellectual and cultural life through such opportunities as arts and cultural programming, mentoring and advising and a visiting scholar speakers program. Funding allocated in the first year: $475,000.