December 1997


Earlier this month, I gave an overview of my annual State of the Campus address to students, faculty and staff, describing our current development, setting the basis for the proposed Campaign for IUPUI, identifying key movements in the next two years and reaffirming some important values. The address itself, which examines these issues in detail, is a draft for comment. You can read it, if you wish, on our web page, or receive a copy by calling my office at (317) 274-4417.

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A $991,000 grant from The Whitaker Foundation will further develop the state's only doctoral degree program in biomedical engineering, offered at both IUPUI and Purdue University-West Lafayette.

This program emphasizes the emergence of IUPUI nationally as a health university, positions the West Lafayette/Indianapolis/Bloomington research corridor to take advantage of increased federal investment in health research and enhances the state's standing as a significant factor in the national health industry.

Biomedical engineering is an integral part of the health industry. Some 15,000 biomedical companies registered with the U.S. FDA have sales exceeding $44 billion. Indiana is particularly prominent in this area. Some 700 medical product and service companies are located here, including national leaders such as Eli Lilly and Boehringer Manheim in Indianapolis and Cook Incorporated in Bloomington.

The biomedical graduate degree program was approved in 1996, the result of a partnership among West Lafayette and IUPUI faculty in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, science, engineering and technology.

Among other things, the Whitaker grant will be used to hire five new professors, including two at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, and help develop multimedia courses for students in Indianapolis and West Lafayette.

Benjamin L. Hooks, former executive director of the NAACP, will deliver the keynote address at the 28th Annual IUPUI Martin Luther King Dinner on Jan. 19.

The event is sponsored in part by the Black Student Union at IUPUI. This year's theme is Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Defining Our Future. The dinner, which is Indianapolis' longest standing celebration of Dr. King, has previously h osted such distinguished Americans as Maya Angelou, Shirley Chisholm and William Raspberry.

Hooks led the NAACP from 1977 to 1993, but attained national prominence long before he served in that role. He was among the attorneys who represented 41 students jailed in 1960 for a sit-in at the Memphis Public Library. Five years later, he became Tennessee's first African American criminal court judge. In 1971, Hooks was the first African American appointed to the Federal Communications Commission. He is currently a distinguished adjunct professor of political science and history at the University of Memphis.

This event is usually sold out well in advance. To get tickets now, call Jane Petty at IUPUI Campus Interrelations, (317) 274-3941.

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This year, we are adding to our celebration of Dr. King by hosting the first annual IUPUI Diversity Basketball Classic. The men's basketball team, which is on its way to NCAA Division I, will play West Virginia State College at 3 p.m. in Market Square Arena. Ron Hunter, Metros coach, and other central Indiana coaches will give a free youth basketball clinic at 11 a.m. at the arena. For game tickets or clinic information, call (317) 274-6622.

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Placing a call to loved ones during the Thanksgiving holiday is important -- even if you're orbiting the earth.

Hoosier astronaut David Wolf, a graduate of both the IU School of Medicine and the Purdue University Schools of Engineering in West Lafayette, has been aboard the MIR space station since September. On November 30, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, he saw and spoke with his mother, father, grandmother and other family members gathered at a videoconference room in the IUPUI Union Building. The 16-minute visit involved beaming the call from Indianapolis to Bloomington, then to Alabama, Maryland and Moscow. University Information Technology Services and the Virtual Indiana Classroom helped coordinate the link-up with MIR.

Former Gov. Evan Bayh this month helped dedicate a new global classroom at The IU Kelley School of Business-Indianapolis. Bayh, who holds the Harold A. Red Poling Chair of Business and Government at the school, and other dignitaries learned how this facility will offer distance education for business students. The lab provides video and Internet access to businesses, colleges and universities around the world.

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The IU Center on Philanthropy at IUPUI celebrated its 10th anniversary last month.

A highlight of the ceremonies was the awarding of honorary degrees to Virginia Hodgkinson, first executive director of the National Center for Charitable Statistics; James A. Joseph, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and author of such books as The Charitable Impulse : Wealth and Social Conscience in Communities and Cultures Outside the United States; and Charles Johnson, former vice president for development at Lilly Endowment.

Through his work with the endowment from 1976 to 1993, Charles Johnson made significant contributions to philanthropy both in Indiana and across the country. His work to foster the development of more than 60 community foundations in our state is nationally recognized. In addition, Charles was one of the Center on Philanthropy's founding fathers, working on behalf of the endowment to help shape its mission and support its development.

Thanks to people like Charles Johnson, Virginia Hodgkinson and James Joseph, the study of philanthropy, nonprofit management and fund raising has become nationally prominent, even as the Center on Philanthropy has become the premiere center for such studies in just a decade's time.

It has developed an outstanding, interdisciplinary faculty, a unique graduate program in philanthropic studies, and internationally recognized research and scholarship. It has conducted numerous conferences across the country and around the world and trained some 25,000 people in its Fund Raising School.

The center's 10th Anniversary comes amid unprecedented public interest in philanthropy. National headlines hail an upcoming golden era of philanthropy, predicated on a robust economy, a five-fold increase since 1982 in the number of American millionaires, and a growing number of affluent, elderly Americans ready and able to give to charitable causes.

The nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau International, also based on our campus, celebrated its 75th anniversary during its biennial convention this month at the Indiana Convention Center. The organization, formed in 1922 by six IU nursing students, is now the second largest nursing organization in the world with more than 220,000 members.

This number now includes IUPUI's chancellor, who received an honorary lifetime membership, a recognition by the nursing community for which I am very grateful.

A focus of the convention was a study by the University of Rochester School of Nursing showing that the news media often overlook the critical role nurses play in our health care system. Sigma Theta Tau urged the study to help journalists and the public understand nurses as men and women who do important research and regularly deliver -- and manage -- patient care. Good examples are found among alumni and faculty of the IU School of Nursing who teach, contribute to medical research, and practice at advanced levels.

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Dozens of IUPUI students gave clothing and toys to 40 children from the near westside neighborhood of Stringtown during a Christmas party this month at Ball Residence Hall.

Our thanks to Auyama Wright, a junior majoring in social work, for helping organize this effort. This is one of several ways IUPUI students, faculty and staff work to brighten the holidays for low-income families. The IU School of Social Work also has an annual Holiday Sock Drive, and several departments sponsor adopt-a-family programs for Christmas giving.

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A gift to a college or university also helps ensure a successful future for our children and fellow citizens. The state of Indiana recognizes gifts to Indiana's public and private colleges with income tax credits. We enclose a CC-40 form from the Department of Revenue listing eligible institutions and hope you will consider a gift to the college or university of your choice.

Wishing you a safe and joyous celebration of the holidays,

Gerald L. Bepko, Chancellor