INDIANAPOLIS — On Nov. 17, hundreds gathered to celebrate the installation of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor and Indiana University Executive Vice President Nasser H. Paydar at the IUPUI Campus Center, the hub of student life in the heart of campus.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie presided over the ceremony, which featured remarks from Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and campus and community representatives.
Witnesses to the installation of IUPUI’s fifth chancellor included IU executives and trustees; IUPUI faculty, staff, students, alumni, emeritus chancellors Gerald L. Bepko and Charles R. Bantz, and Board of Advisors members; Purdue Board of Trustees representatives; community, civic and business leaders; Paydar’s family — including his mother, who traveled from Iran for the momentous occasion; and close friends.
Paydar, whose appointment began Aug. 16, has been a faculty member for 30 years and has held various administrative and executive leadership positions since he joined IUPUI in 1985 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He has been executive vice chancellor since 2012; he served as vice chancellor and dean of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus from 2004 to 2007 and as chancellor at IU East in Richmond from 2007 to 2012.
“During his 30 years with Indiana University, Nasser has time and again demonstrated outstanding leadership,” McRobbie said. “Nasser is a man of great integrity and conviction who is dedicated to the values at the heart of the very best liberal education. We are most fortunate to count him among the leadership of this great university at this historic time as IUPUI prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary as a campus in 2019, and as all of us at Indiana University recommit ourselves to building the foundation for the university’s enduring strength.”
As a part of his installation address, Paydar outlined several specific goals critical to IUPUI’s success:
- Increasing the number of African-American students at IUPUI by more than 50 percent over the next five years: “Diversity is directly tied to our pursuit of academic excellence and benefits all students, faculty and staff.”
Increasing the amount of need-based aid IUPUI offers by 100 percent within one year: “Access is fundamental to student success, and a key element in our recruitment strategy has been, and will continue to be, scholarships and financial aid.”
- Continuing to develop and improve IUPUI’s academic offerings, including increasing the number of hybrid, online, interdisciplinary and accelerated programs: “This will save students time and money and prepare them for the challenges of the contemporary workforce.”
- Developing an action plan to increase IUPUI’s success in securing funding and opportunities for faculty to develop their scholarship and creative work: “As a research institution, our collaborative approaches will be crucial as we address some of the most urgent challenges facing Indiana and the world.”
- Designing and supporting professional and leadership programs that help staff members continuously improve their careers: “Our staff ensures that IUPUI runs efficiently and remains responsive to our stakeholders.”
Paydar also spoke of the need to significantly increase experiential learning and community-engaged research, the importance of community engagement and the necessity for IUPUI to work closely with community partners and the city of Indianapolis to address critical urban needs, the desire to strengthen campus community and create a more vibrant student life, and the need to shine a spotlight on IUPUI’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
Paydar concluded his remarks by saying, “As we look to the future together, we will continue to aim for academic excellence, ever-stronger connections with our partners across the city and state, and a more well-defined campus community. Working together, we can build on IUPUI’s great strengths as a destination for engaged scholars and students from Indiana and beyond and as an engine for positive change.”