Indianapolis this month welcomes the NCAA men's basketball Final Four Championships and an expected 80,000 visitors. Many will revisit a city that has changed considerably since 1991, the last time we hosted the Final Four, and dramatically since 1980, the first time the championships were held here. Circle Centre Mall, the IMAX 3D Theater at White River State Park, the IWERKS CineDome at the Children's Museum, Victory Field and major additions to the Indiana Convention Center are only the more recent arrivals to the city's continuing renaissance.
The NCAA is no stranger to Indianapolis and, with civic leaders and our White River State Park neighbors, we hope they will soon call this city their home. NCAA officials came to Indianapolis in January to scout possible sites for their new headquarters, and visited the IUPUI campus. They were familiar with the surroundings. Some 30 NCAA Division I championships, in sports ranging from basketball to water polo, have taken place in Indianapolis since 1983. Many of those events were held at our Track and Field Stadium and at our Natatorium, which hosts the NCAA Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships from March 20-22.
Christopher Darden spoke with IUPUI students, faculty and staff here March 7 about his role as a prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson criminal trial and on how the trial impacts civil rights, the criminal justice system and race relations today. M. Cherif Bassiouni, an alumnus of our School of Law, also visited campus this month to discuss his charge as vice chairman of a special United Nation's committee exploring establishment of a permanent international criminal court. His presentation was part of the School of Law's Distinguished Visitor Series, which on April 10 features the Hon. Harry T. Edwards, chief judge of the U.S Court of Appeals, District of Columbia. For more information about the series, call the law school at (317) 274-1908.
With $23 million spent here during the 1991 championships, the economic benefit of hosting the Final Four is clear. But what about professional sports? Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It is a new book by Mark Rosentraub, associate dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and director of the Center on Urban Policy and the Environment. The book examines the impact of professional sports on local economies and analyzes the expenditures that local goverments are making to keep professional teams. Indeed, last month's national ABC news special "Freeloaders" featured an interview with Mark on municipal financing of professional teams.
For several years, IU and IUPUI have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with Thomson Consumer Electronics in developing new programs and supporting academic studies to help prepare our students for future careers. It seemed a natural progression, then, in our relationship with Thomson to offer assistance to the 1,500 Hoosier workers who will be laid off as Thomson closes its Bloomington manufacturing plant and restructures its headquarters in Carmel. The IU School of Continuing Studies, its Division of Labor Studies, and the IUPUI Community Learning Network have submitted a plan to Thomson that offers comprehensive educational opportunities, ranging from GED certificate or college degree courses to stress control, fiscal management and career counseling programs to help laid-off workers. Courses will be available by TV or video as well as evenings and weekends in shopping malls and high schools.
Few political leaders understand the synergy between a community's quality of life and its system of education as well as Senator Richard Lugar, who spoke recently with the IUPUI Board of Advisors. "I can't think of a great city that does not have a great university at its heart," said Senator Lugar, who, as mayor of Indianapolis, was instrumental in the formation of IUPUI. Discussing challenges confronting the nation on welfare, job training, trade and other issues, the senator warned that the "consequences are terrible" if they are not met with visionary leadership from all levels of government. Conversely, he said "opportunities are great" if we join together to support world class education as the answer to many of these challenges. Senator Lugar is an honorary lifetime member of the IUPUI Board of Advisors.
Solutions to problems facing urban America don't come easy. Last month's Joseph Taylor Symposium -- named in honor of the first dean of our School of Liberal Arts -- gave national experts a forum to examine urban health issues in depth, aided by the POLIS Center, our Department of Anthropology, and the Lilly Endowment Inc. Juarlyn Gaiter of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mohammad N. Akhter, director of the American Public Health Association, and Tony L. Whitehead, professor of medical anthropology at the University of Maryland, spoke on the need to build creative, lasting community health care systems. Our thanks to Clarian Health Partners, the benefactor sponsor of the event, and the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis Inc. for providing additional support.
Our central location in Indiana's capital allows us to bring many of the state's top elected officials and policy makers into our classrooms. As many of you know, former Governor Evan Bayh has been appointed to the Harold A. "Red" Poling Chair of Business and Government at the IU School of Business. Former Congressman Andrew Jacobs, Jr., teaches political science students in IUPUI's School of Liberal Arts. Many of the state's leading public servants have taught part-time at our School of Public Environmental Affairs, including Mayor Stephen Goldsmith; Mary McHatton, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections; Louis Lopez, a top aide to Senator Lugar; Anne Delaney, former chair of the Indiana Democratic Party and now executive director of the Julian Center; Randall Shepard, Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court; and William Moreau, an attorney with Bingham, Summers, Welsh & Spillman who was Evan Bayh's chief of staff and who is now chairman of the IUPUI Board of Advisors.
Enriching one IUPUI classroom last month was Peggy Zeglin Brand, a prominent author and artist, who spoke at a Herron School of Art symposium on "Unframing the Visual Arts: Feminist Influence in American Culture Today." She told some 200 Herron students how since the 1970s women's art has been shaped in concert with and even in reaction to feminist criticism in art scholarship. Peg holds graduate degrees in fine arts and philosophy and has faculty appointments in both philosophy and women's studies at IU Bloomington and in women's studies here at IUPUI. Yes, she is also the spouse of IU President Myles Brand.
Few challenges set before our communities could be met without the philanthropic activities of any number of institutions and individuals. A new study by the IU Center on Philanthropy adds significantly to our knowledge of giving and serving by African Americans.
The study indicates a unique, community-based philanthropy that, among other things, values contributions of time as much or more than contributions of money. Paula Parker-Sawyers directs the center's Transmitting the Philanthropic Tradition program and the research team that produced this groundbreaking work. Copies of African-American Traditions of Giving and Serving: A Midwest Perspective and its companion video, The Ties That Bind, are available by calling the Center on Philanthropy at (317) 274-4200.
Thousands of central Indiana high school students have learned about the value of higher education -- and the means by which they can qualify for financial aid at the college or university of their choice -- at our semi-annual Campus Days. But college will remain a dream for many students unless they're ready for the financial hurdles and academic rigors of university life. That's why the Office of Admissions and Office of Financial Aid hosted a special college preparatory program during last month's Campus Day for nearly 80 area students in grades seven through nine.
Enclosed with this newsletter is my State of the Campus address. I hope you'll agree with me that IUPUI stands at a unique moment in its history. Nowhere is this more evident than in our proposal for University College, which I described in last month's newsletter. The speech outlines the present and future conditions that have led us to propose this next important development. While we face great challenges, this university is truly poised to become a state and national leader in urban higher education by the 21st century. Thanks to all of you for your help thus far in the journey.