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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Applegate to lead IU initiative for regional campuses

March 10, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced today the creation of a new office to lead an initiative to develop and implement a distinct collective mission for IU's regional campuses which highlights their critical role within the university and the state's higher education system.

John Applegate

John S. Applegate

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The office will be headed by John S. Applegate, currently vice president for planning and policy. With his new responsibilities, his title will be changed to vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy (VPURAPP).

The responsibilities of the new office will include shared academic planning, standards and programming for the regional campuses, improved degree completion, as well as direction of the campuses' collective relationships with the university, state government, Ivy Tech and other similar campuses in Indiana.

The campuses that will report through this office are IU Northwest in Gary, IU Kokomo, IU Southeast in New Albany, IU East in Richmond and IU South Bend. Applegate will also work with administrators at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) on policy as it relates to IU's degree students on that campus.

McRobbie noted that the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has called for the roles and missions of regional campuses to be better defined, focusing on degree completion, affordability, regional economic development and expanding links with major research campuses and community colleges.

"The establishment of this office recognizes the importance of this need," McRobbie said.

McRobbie said that Applegate was chosen for this responsibility because he already has been working closely with regional campus administrations on key issues.

"He has extensive experience working on exactly the kinds of issues to which we need to be giving greater attention," McRobbie said.

Together, the regional campuses account for one third - about 35,000 - of the students attending IU, and these campuses extend opportunities for an IU education into almost every corner of the state. All of them are also involved in regional economic development activities through IU's Innovate Indiana initiative.

Hoosier students often choose regional campuses for their college experiences when they want to stay close to home or in a setting with smaller, student-centered classes and more personal attention. All of IU's regional campuses offer opportunities to pursue a variety of high-quality baccalaureate or masters-level degree programs, and their academic programs link with those of both the community colleges and research universities.

IU Northwest Chancellor Bruce Bergland, the longest serving among IU's regional campus chancellors, welcomed the appointment.

"The regional campus chancellors look forward to IU's new focus on the mission of these very important regional institutions," Bergland said. "John is a great choice - he knows the regional campuses and what they bring to IU and to the state, and he has been a strong advocate for their continued vitality in their regions and within the university as a whole."

Applegate said he looks forward to working closely with regional campus chancellors and faculty as well as university administration in his new assignment.

"IU's regional campuses have strong faculties, committed students, and people-oriented staffs," he said. "They are a great resource for the university and the state. Individually and collectively, they will play a critical part in responding to Indiana's need for citizens with high-quality degrees, who can compete nationally and internationally for the jobs and challenges of the future."

McRobbie also announced that he is appointing a Regional Campus Expenditures Review Committee to be headed by IU East Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

"With the state and nation facing severe financial difficulties unprecedented since the 30s, it is also essential for the regional campuses to be doing all they can within their missions to ensure they are using their state appropriations and tuition as efficiently and effectively as possible," McRobbie explained.

The committee will carefully review expenditures on all regional campuses to look for efficiencies and eliminate unnecessary duplication. The committee will present recommendations to McRobbie and Applegate by the end of summer.

"I know from my own campus that there are savings and efficiencies to be gained by taking a hard look at what we are doing and from cross-campus collaboration," Paydar said. "This committee will be an opportunity for all IU campuses to share their successes."