On February 1, I took on some new responsibilities and a new title.
As executive vice president for Indiana University, I will have oversight for academic programs at IU’s regional campuses (IU East in Richmond, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest in Gary, IU South Bend, IU Southeast in New Albany, and IUPU Fort Wayne), in addition to retaining responsibility for IUPUI. Essentially, this organizational change separates the university-wide responsibilities from the IU Bloomington chancellor’s portfolio. President Adam Herbert will be the chief executive officer for IU Bloomington. Academic matters will be handled by the newly created position of IUB provost, currently held on an interim basis by Michael McRobbie.
Having been provost at Wayne State University and vice provost at Arizona State University, these new duties are a good fit with my previous experience. I look forward to working with my fellow campus chancellors to advance the access, affordability, and quality of educational experiences statewide.
At IUPUI, we are nearing the completion of our search for executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculties.
Bill Plater is stepping down from that role in June to pursue a fresh direction in his nationally known work on civic engagement. Beginning July 1, he will direct the newly established Workshop on International Community Development, a joint program of the IU Center on Philanthropy and the IU Center on Urban Policy and the Environment, to build the capacity of cities around the world for democratic processes and civic engagement.
Bill has been with IUPUI since 1983, initially serving as dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts. He became executive vice chancellor in 1988 and, together with Chancellor Emeritus Jerry Bepko, led the campus to new stature among urban research universities nationwide.
A change in leadership of this magnitude requires careful thought. The new executive vice chancellor will lead the campus in setting direction and aligning our organizational structure to accomplish our goals. The completion of this search will be a key decision point for our future. You will hear more about the search and organizational changes in the coming months.
Meanwhile, we have made our mission-critical activities the center of renewed attention. Prompted by President Adam Herbert’s Mission Differentiation Project, IUPUI took the opportunity to pull together years of focused discussion on strategic planning and to set forth more clearly than ever before a mission statement that reflects our historical role as well as our view of future opportunities for growth in service to Indiana.
Our new mission statement, as approved last year by the IU Board of Trustees, is:
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a partnership between Indiana and Purdue Universities, is Indiana’s urban research and academic health sciences campus. IUPUI’s mission is to advance the State of Indiana and the intellectual growth of its citizens to the highest levels nationally and internationally through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement. By offering a distinctive range of bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and Ph.D. degrees, IUPUI promotes the educational, cultural, and economic development of central Indiana and beyond through innovative collaborations, external partnerships, and a strong commitment to diversity.
That is a tall order, but it fits us well! It focuses on our academic strengths and the urban research university’s focus on translating research into practice. “Translational research,” a major new national priority, has always been a priority for IUPUI—whether in art, history, anthropology, education, dentistry, social work, or medicine.
In addition to advancing key areas of strength in Indiana’s economic development, we have pledged to double our achievements in teaching and learning; research, scholarship, and creative activity; civic engagement; diversity; and best practices. To meet the “doubling” challenge, first expressed in my 2003 installation address, we set up councils to explore how we can—by 2010—double the number of undergraduate degrees, the amount of external research funding, and the number of service learning courses offered, just to mention a few of the measures we are tracking.
In my February 23rd “Report to the Community,” I described how we will manage these priorities by investing strategically, reorganizing for efficiency, and supporting innovation. A key part of this effort will be to make IUPUI a “destination campus” for the life sciences. We plan to strengthen undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs so that high school students from Bangor to Bangalore, and every place in between, will come to IUPUI knowing that they will get the best education available anywhere in life and health sciences.
I am confident we will succeed. Last month, I represented IUPUI at the annual American Council on Education Conference, where we received the TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Certificate of Excellence for “Implementing the Principles of Undergraduate Learning.” My faculty colleagues took on one of the toughest challenges in universities—fundamentally reforming expectations in general education by defining successful student outcomes. I know they will be equally committed to helping to meet the new challenges we have undertaken.
Charles R. Bantz