Following approval last month from the Trustees of Indiana University to proceed with our application for NCAA Division I status, IUPUI has been invited to join the Mid-Continent Conference (MCC).
We anticipate NCAA approval to compete in Division IAAA -- the designation for Division I institutions without football programs -- by Fall 1998. Membership in the MCC, which includes Valparaiso University as well as urban institutions such as Chicago State, Oakland University, the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Youngstown State University, would allow IUPUI to compete in Division I in 1998-99.
High-level competition is important to our athletic program. It should help us recruit and provide scholarships for talented student athletes and allow them to play against institutions that are similar to our campus in size, scope, and urban location.
But Division I status has implications for IUPUI that go far beyond our athletic teams. Across the nation and particularly in Indiana, there are numerous examples of how intercollegiate sports can enhance the total educational experience offered by a college or university. They have helped create a campus life and spirit that forges lasting bonds between students and the institution, between students and faculty, and among students themselves. These relationships have been important to building student self-confidence, pride, and high expectations for academic achievement.
Such relationships are especially important to IUPUI. We are a commuter campus with a sometimes confusing name and identity. More than 60 percent of our undergraduates are first-generation college students. In this context, the need for a Division I program at IUPUI that builds institutional pride, promotes campus cohesion, and sharpens our identity nationally through competition with our peer urban universities is clear and compelling.
The global economy is changing the way we think about the workforce, the behavior of stock markets, the dissemination of information, and the management of multinational corporations; now, it is more important than ever for businesses small and large - East Coast, West Coast, Midwest - to learn to communicate better across languages and cultures. While some believe the only language of business is money, understanding cultural differences and being more familiar with customs associated with commercial transactions in other countries can help negotiators develop better - and more profitable - business relationships.
International business is booming for many central Indiana companies. IUPUI has created a new Center for Intercultural Communication in the IU School of Liberal Arts to help businesses recognize pitfalls and clear hurdles. Directed by Professor of English Ulla Connor, an expert in applied linguistics, faculty and researchers from various disciplines, will provide practical training for companies on and off campus, while gathering first-hand knowledge for incorporation in education texts, manuals, and training sessions.
The center began operations July 1. For information, call (317) 278-2441.
The Indiana University School of Medicine is one of six National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health designated this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the only one in the Midwest.
The designation provides funding for four years and the leverage to seek additional support at the local, regional, and national levels to expand programs. Assistant Dean and Professor of Medicine Rose S. Fife, M.D., directs the project, which will develop a comprehensive, well-integrated women's health care program in Indiana. It encompasses clinical training and services that address both physical and mental health needs, include women from all stages of life and varied sociocultural backgrounds, enhance multidisciplinary research, increase participation of women in clinical trials, and advance women in the medical profession.
The professional development component is modeled on that of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore whose work in gender-equality has been widely recognized of late in medical periodicals. The IU initiative also includes identifying women locally and nationally who can serve as members of advisory and review groups.
On November 17, Cheryl Sullivan becomes IUPUI's new vice chancellor for external affairs, overseeing community and alumni relations, communications, public relations, and intercollegiate athletics. She succeeds Eugene R. Tempel, who was named executive director of the IU Center on Philanthropy last summer.
As head of the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) -- Indiana's largest state agency -- under former Gov. Evan Bayh, Cheryl demonstrated outstanding leadership directing the state's administration of welfare, Medicaid, developmental disabilities, and other social service programs. She helped complete a nationally recognized reform of Indiana's welfare system, oversaw a significant statewide expansion of community-based care for people with disabilities, and restructured the state's Medicaid plan.
Cheryl is an eloquent advocate for family and social services on both the state and national levels. Lt. Gov. Joseph Kernan recently appointed her to his Jobs Council as cochair of the state's Welfare-to-Work Committee, and she served on the American Public Welfare Association's board.
Before serving as Secretary of FSSA, Cheryl was Gov. Bayh's executive assistant and director of health and family policy, where she led the governor's effort to articulate and implement the state's reform of health insurance and health care services. She was a research associate from 1986 to 1989 at the Riley Hospital for Children's Child Development Center and assistant director for administration at IU Bloomington's Institute for Developmental Disabilities.
Among her numerous honors are the Outstanding Alumni Award from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the Woman of Distinction Award from Soroptimist International of Indianapolis, and the Sagamore of the Wabash.
Cheryl earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in environmental sciences from IU, and a certificate from the executive program in state and local government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
She and her husband, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr., have three children, Denis, Douglas and Thomas.
Last month, IUPUI hosted the first meeting of development officers from the "Urban 13 Plus" -- 21 public institutions from across the country with urban locations and orientations. Our institutions face unique challenges in raising funds, and it is important that we join together in rallying awareness of the growing prominence of urban universities nationwide.
Unique challenges also produce unique innovations. I testified recently on behalf of the Urban 13 Plus before the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education in Washington, D.C. We presented evidence of how urban universities manage resources to keep higher education affordable and accessible even though expenses in urban areas often can be higher.