December 1999

In last year’s State of the Campus address, I mentioned the education reforms launched by Zell Miller during his popular terms as governor of Georgia. Last month, we were pleased to have Stephen R. Portch, the chancellor of the University System of Georgia, on campus to talk about his partnership with Governor Miller in some major state investments in higher education. Stephen Portch has been called the "Wayne Gretzky of higher education, because he goes to where the puck will be, not where it is." He was here as part of the Chancellor’s Fall Convocation, an opportunity for our campus community to hear from visionary leaders in higher education.

Georgia gained national attention for such initiatives as the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship program, which awards in-state students with at least a B average their full tuition and fees at a public campus, or $3,000 at a private campus in Georgia, regardless of family income. In just a few years, the work of Stephen Portch and Zell Miller has been credited with noteworthy results. Freshman in Georgia’s colleges are better prepared, and Georgia has been successful in stemming its brain drain while increasing college enrollments. Georgia also established a statewide P-16 Council to harmonize the standards, curricula, and expectations of the university system with those of the precollegiate grades.

This year’s State of the Campus message focused on the transitions at IUPUI in which we find ourselves as we approach the turn of the century and the millennium.We find that we are in transitions in terms of technology applications, research leadership, community service, relationships with K-12, our international focus, the development of Clarian Health Partners, and our adaptation to new health care phenomena. At the top of our list of transitions, however, we have placed our progress toward diversity, commitment to the development of Indiana’s new economies, reshaping to accommodate Indiana’s new community college, and the upcoming Campaign for IUPUI.

As we emerge from these periods of transition, we should be recognized as a 21st century leader in American higher education.

***

Researchers at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology’s Institute for Forensic Imaging (IFI) at IUPUI plan to use a new $400,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to make school surveillance systems more effective in protecting students and teachers. The IFI is a not-for-profit organization that researches, develops, and implements new digital imaging methods and technologies in support of criminal justice and law enforcement professionals. Although based at IUPUI, the IFI serves criminal justice agencies nationwide by offering expert advice and training.

In this project, IFI researchers will test surveillance system components in partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, in the hope of finding ways to reduce the limitations of current security measures. In addition, the IFI, in partnership with our Schools of Education, Public and Environmental Affairs, and Law will examine confidentiality and privacy rights associated with school surveillance systems.

***

Are Hoosier children with special medical needs receiving timely and effective care in Indiana’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)?

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Nancy L. Swigonski, M.D., is the principal investigator for the $1.18 million study funded by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. Others involved in the project are Assistant Professor of Medicine Lisa E. Harris, M.D., an investigator with the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, based at the IU Medical Center, who will research patient satisfaction, and Deborah Freund, formerly of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and now with Syracuse University, who will evaluate health care costs. Donna Gore Olsen of the Indiana Parent Information Network will provide help in understanding the views of families.

***

For years, Debbie Peirick, head coach of the IUPUI women's tennis team, and Kris Emerson Simpson, coach of the Jaguars' women's basketball team, have given Indianapolis area youth a chance to spend time with IUPUI athletes, take part in sports‑related programs that promote self‑esteem, and encourage them to dream of getting a college degree.

Both were honored for those ongoing public service efforts. Debbie Pierick was one of 10 men and women to win Collegiate Community Service Awards from the United States Tennis Association. Kris Simpson received an "Unsung Hero Award," from the Marion County Commission on Youth. She was nominated by the YWCA.

By the way, in only their second season of NCAA Division I play, three of the IUPUI Jaguars fall sports squads qualified for Mid-Continent Conference tournament play: men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

***

Republican Jim Nicholson and Democrat Joe Andrew spoke at the Bulen Symposium on American Politics at IUPUI on December 3. The event is named for the late R. Keith Bulen, who for three decades was a key political figure in Indiana, best remembered for his management of major political campaigns and leadership of the Indiana Republican Party.

Nationally renowned political commentators such as Walter Shapiro, of USA Today, and Ken Bode, dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and former political commentator for NBC and CNN, were among the reporters, scholars, and politicians on hand to debate the impact of early political primaries on America’s political process.Both parties have formed task forces to look into ways the presidential nomination process might be improved.

The Bulen Symposium is sponsored by the IU School of Liberal Arts and IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, both at IUPUI.

***

On November 18, the IU School of Law - Indianapolis was host to a presentation by Robert M. O’Neil, past president of the University of Virginia and former Indiana University vice president. The author of Free Speech in the College Community (IU Press, 1997) analyzed the difficulties of establishing - a proper balance between liberty and license in a society as deeply committed as ours to freedom of expression -- particularly when weighed against society’s revulsion to racism and desire to punish hate crimes.

O’Neil’s book is one of the recommended readings for IUPUI’s Bookmarks Program, sponsored by our University College as a cocurricular activity for students and a shared reading experience for the larger campus community.

The newly launched Ameritech Fellows Program at IU is taking proposals for the first round of semiannual awards for innovative uses of information technology in teaching and learning. The program is made possible by a $1 million gift to IU from the Ameritech Foundation. A unique feature of the program is developing a database of information on best practices in teaching with technology, including examples drawn from the fellows’ experiences.

***

A three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is funding an acute care nurse practitioners program for graduate students at the University of Southern Indiana and our Indiana University School of Nursing. The students’ home campus will award degrees, and classes are delivered to students through distance education technologies.

***

In this season of giving and sharing, it was uplifting for me to learn that our campus community went "over the top" in our Thanksgiving "Jam the Jaguars" bus food drive. Students, staff, and faculty filled not only a full-size city bus but also two vans.The donations of food and hygiene supplies assisted 10 agencies when we had anticipated helping only 2. Currently, IUPUI faculty and staff are organizing to "adopt" needy families for the holidays.

Community service continues to be one of IUPUI’s special qualities -- a tradition born of practice-based education in the caring professions of nursing, medicine, and social work and expanded to other disciplines through service learning courses. In the past year, nearly 800 students contributed 30,618 hours of community service as part of a service learning class. In a pilot survey conducted by our Center for Public Service and Leadership, we found that more than 6,500 students, faculty, and staff participated in community service activities last year.

***

Because studies show that college-educated people are more likely than others to engage in community service, a gift to a college or university can spread the spirit of giving. The state of Indiana recognizes such gifts with income tax credits. We enclose a CC-40 form listing eligible institutions and hope you will consider a gift to the Indiana college or university of your choice.

Wishing you a joyous celebration of the holidays,

Gerald L. Bepko

Chancellor

Return to IUPUI Home