IUPUI this year celebrates the 28th Anniversary of our founding. On January 28, 1969, the Trustees of Indiana University and the Trustees of Purdue University said in joint resolution that the public education needs of Indianapolis and the State can be best served by the unification of the Indianapolis operations of the two universities.
Not everyone thought this New Year's prediction would come true. Critics voiced doubts about the ability of this new university to retain and recruit quality faculty, gain accreditation, or get adequate funding.
Others had a different view.
Shortly after he was named IUPUI's first chancellor, the late Dr. Maynard K. Hine said that just as the land grant institutions began to serve farmers in the nineteenth century, the new twenty-first century institutions now taking form will improve the quality of life in the city.
Nearly three decades later, IUPUI has indeed become a model urban university for the 21st century.
Another anniversary: This newsletter celebrated its 20th year of publication last December. It was started by former Chancellor Glenn Irwin, Jr., in December of 1976. As described by Chancellor Irwin in that first newsletter, IUPUI was a much different place. Many classes were still held at our former 38th Street campus. The School of Education was based at the Marrott Building. And plans for new buildings for the School of Business and the School of Engineering and Technology were just that.
We've come a long way since then, but the mission of this newsletter remains the same. It is to keep community and corporate leaders, elected officials, and others committed to higher education in central Indiana informed about IUPUI and to thank those who make our community a wonderful place to live and work.
The start of our 28th year is an appropriate time to announce plans for what could prove to be another milestone in our history -- the formation of a new center of undergraduate education called University College.
University College would be headed by a dean and have a faculty drawn from the many schools at IUPUI, but primarily the arts and sciences. Its purpose is to provide a more coherent, compelling, and supportive undergraduate experience, especially in the first two years. It should serve as a magnet and create a better bond between students and the institution. The result should be better persistence by our students toward earning their degrees and better academic preparation before they enter the school in which they plan to take their major. We want IUPUI's undergraduate experience, which will include a renewed general education program, to be so exciting and relevant that it is seen as offering just the right experience for today's students.
University College will include the programs designed to increase retention and persistence that are now part of our Undergraduate Education Center, but more. We hope it becomes a model for large urban public commuter campuses and, coupled with some new campus housing, creates an optimal environment for learning.
Plans for University College are now before the Faculty Council and the Council of Deans for formal approval. A series of town meetings on the proposal this month will solicit comment from students, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the public.
An educated citizenry pays dividends in more ways than one. A report by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges shows adults with college degrees are more likely to support scientific research, volunteer, and give to charity than those without degrees.Those findings complement a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that those with college degrees earn an annual average of $35,672, versus $27,924 for an associate's degree, and $22,464 for a high school diploma.
Enrollment at IUPUI is up for the spring semester, to 25,793 students, a 1.2 percent increase from last spring. Credit hours taught are up 2.9 percent over last spring to an all-time high of 252,724, topping the previous spring semester record set in 1993. We believe this record-setting enrollment results in part from a student-oriented business operation, such as enhanced ease of registration, expanded admissions activities, and popular promotional events such as Campus Day.
Our 1996 student survey shows high levels of satisfaction with faculty and overall quality of instruction at IUPUI, as well as with relevancy of classes to students' career objectives. Also high on the list of what students said they like is the ability to register for classes by phone.
While they gave high scores to IUPUI academics, our students were least satisfied with their social experiences on campus, including convenience of parking, availability of child care services, and courses providing credit for community service.
Nearly 1,800 students participated in this fourth annual IUPUI Student Satisfaction and Priorities survey, released last December and overseen by our Office of Information Management and Institutional Research. The survey is far more than a sounding board. It helps set the course for the university.
We are confident that efforts such as University College, a new child care facility scheduled to open in 1998, and plans to create a full-fledged student center will help us better meet the needs of our diverse student body.
The IUPUI Alumni Association annually awards the Maynard K. Hine Medal to alumni who represent the very best of our university. This year's recipients are no exception.
Kenneth A. Beckley is vice president of corporate relations for H. H. Gregg Appliances Electronics, a past president of the IU Alumni Association, and the director of university relations at IUPUI from 1977 to 1983. He is involved with dozens of community volunteer efforts. Dr. William B. (Joe) Moores is president of Dermatology Inc. in Indianapolis. His charitable activity on behalf of IUPUI and the School of Medicine have earned him the Spirit of Philanthropy Award and the Distinguished Medical Alumni Award. Richard Schilling is a systems analyst for Eli Lilly and chairs the IUPUI Alumni Association Board of Directors. He serves on the School of Engineering and Technology's Alumni Board and helped form the IUPUI Alumni Advisory Council. The three will be honored Feb. 27 at the 1997 Alumni Leadership Dinner at University Place Hotel. To join us, please call our Office of Alumni Relations at 317-274-2317.
The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs is 25 years old and starts its anniversary celebrations with a February 25 reception at the Indiana Statehouse, which will include colloquia on public finance, criminal justice, and health care. Governor Frank O'Bannon and former governors Robert Orr and Edgar Whitcomb will be on hand in recognition of SPEA's contributions to Indiana.
The Indianapolis Education Assocation, which represents teachers working for the Indianapolis Public Schools, last month gave its annual Leadership in Business Awards to Don Marsh, chief executive officer of Marsh Supermarkets, and Payton Wells, president of Payton Wells Automotive Group. Don Marsh was recognized for his work with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension to offer food industry internships at Arlington and Northwest High Schools. Payton Wells was recognized for his extensive involvement in a variety of youth and charitable groups.
Our congratulations and thanks to both these business leaders for their support of youth and educational opportunity in our region.