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2022 State of the University address

Thursday, September 29, 2022.

In her first State of the University address, IU President Pamela Whitten focused on the future, outlining IU 2030, a framework for developing seven-year strategic plans.


State of the University address

Welcome to the faculty and staff members, students, colleagues, and members of the broader university community who have joined us in person and online today for the 2022 State of the University address.

I am very pleased to welcome a number of members of the Indiana University Board of Trustees who are with us this afternoon. I will ask them to stand as I introduce them, and I ask that you hold your applause until all have been introduced. With us are Kelsey Binion, of Fishers, our student trustee, Trustee Donna Spears, of Richmond, and Trustee Vivian Winston, of Bloomington. Please join me in welcoming our trustees.

The relevance and impact of public research universities

Having served as president of IU for just over a year, I have come to more fully understand and embrace the distinctive complexity of IU, the expansive reach and impact of the university throughout the state, and the academic excellence that pervades this institution. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Hoosier. IU is truly the state’s flagship public university.

Our nation’s large public research universities—like Indiana University—are more relevant today than ever.

Why is this the case?

First, America’s public research institutions provide an education of the highest quality to nearly four million students each year, who come from all backgrounds and income levels. And that education changes lives. A study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that college graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of their lifetimes.

But these are just numbers. The value of a college degree lies in more than a salary. It can be measured in the ways our graduates use the knowledge and critical thinking skills they have gained at IU to contribute in countless ways, to the civic, economic, and cultural life of communities across Indiana and around the world.

We witness the life-changing impact of higher education every day at Indiana University in the accomplishments of our outstanding students. Kadidiatou Diallo, for example, a health services management major here at IUPUI, was recently selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service, also known as the Voyager Scholarship. She is one of a hundred students selected from some 1,800 applicants for this prestigious new national scholarship. We see IU’s impact in the achievements of Erin Hennessey, Donald Bradley, and Meghan Paradis, doctoral students at IU Bloomington who were selected this year to advance their education and research under the U.S. State Department's highly prestigious and competitive Fulbright Award program. And we see this impact in the accomplishments of Elvin Irihamye, who graduated in May as the 19th Rhodes Scholar in IU history and is now pursuing master’s degrees at the University of Oxford.

Second, public research universities matter more than ever because their faculty and students engage in the fundamental research that drives discovery in science and technology and in pathbreaking scholarship that improves public health, addresses national challenges, and contributes to the nation’s economic strength.

And at IU, we see the enormous impact of IU research and scholarship every day in the work of faculty members like Distinguished Professor Bernice Pescosolido, who is internationally renowned for her work on mental health and the stigma surrounding it, and who now leads IU’s Irsay Family Research Institute, which is focused on these critically important issues. We see it in the work of Distinguished Professor Richard DiMarchi, who discovered and developed the very first biosynthetic human insulin analog approved for use for those with diabetes. We see it in growing numbers of students who are engaged in undergraduate research, including Sam Roberts and Sidne Thompson, who were among last year’s winners of Student Research Day Awards at IU East.

And third, the nation’s large public research universities continue to matter through their roles as anchor institutions that make enormous contributions to the economic development, creative economies, and quality of life of their states and regions.

At IU, we see the results of our impact in the state in countless ways. We see it here in Indianapolis in IU’s partnership in the 16 Tech Innovation District, which is dedicated to world-changing innovation and economic opportunity. We see it in the work of faculty members like IUPUI Associate Professor Holly Cusack-McVeigh, who has been recognized by the FBI for her efforts to repatriate stolen artifacts to indigenous and international communities and has provided outstanding service-learning opportunities for her students. We see it in the work of faculty members like Associate Professor Margot Morgan, whose work as the coordinator for the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge led to the IU Southeast campus being ranked last year as among the best colleges for student voting. And we see it in the work of students like Haley Weiland of IU Northwest, who, as a McKinney Climate Fellow with the IU Environmental Resilience Institute, worked to help to preserve the natural landscape of Northwest Indiana.

Strategic planning for the future

These are just a few of the remarkable achievements of IU students, faculty, and staff over what has been a banner year for Indiana University. But we are also casting our eyes ahead, with an opportunity for our entire university community to determine how we will meet and exceed the needs and challenges of a rapidly changing world in the years to come.

Last week, we announced IU 2030, a framework for the development of strategic plans for each of our campuses. Over the next six months, faculty, staff, and students across the university will have an opportunity to adapt this framework to address what is unique about their campus.

Now is the time to dream, to think big, and to imagine the university we want IU to become.

The framework we have established, with its ambitious goals, reflects our determination to occupy the highest tier in American higher education. It emphasizes three critical interconnected spheres—student success, research, and service to our state and beyond—that form the foundation for our future.

But this framework is only a beginning. Bringing it to life in unique ways for each campus will allow members of the IU community to play a meaningful role in shaping the destiny of each part of our university.

At the end of the process, we will have a plan that inspires each component of our university to greatness, with a meaningful impact on society that ranges from each individual student to our state, our nation, and the world.

This afternoon, I will share some highlights of what members of the university community have accomplished in our three designated pillars in the last year, and outline some of our bold goals within each pillar for the path ahead.

Serving students first, ensuring their success

Let’s begin, as we always should, with students.

The primary goal of any university in the 21st century should be to provide the highest quality education to its students and to prepare them for success in our rapidly changing, globally interconnected world. The laudable rankings that many of our schools—including our Kelley School of Business, the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the School of Nursing at IUPUI—received in the last year from US News and World Report and other publications are one indication that Indiana University continues to excel in this mission. In addition, many of our programs that support student success have also received high rankings, including our programs for veterans and the First-Year Experience program at IU Bloomington. IU East and IU South Bend are ranked in the top 10 among regional public universities for social mobility—a category that emphasizes prioritizing the graduation of students from lower-income backgrounds, reflecting our commitment to making an IU degree accessible to all.

At IU, we are ambitious to do even better for our students. Further enhancing student success at IU will mean not only increasing our retention rates and ensuring that students graduate on time, but also improving the overall student experience in multiple ways.

The IU 2030 strategic plan framework notes that in developing the ideal educational experience for IU students, we will recognize and acknowledge the changing dynamics and demands in the work force. Our educational offerings, our curriculum, and our pedagogy must remain cutting-edge, but at the same time, we will continue to embrace the strong value of a broad-based general education that encompasses the sciences, the arts, and the humanities.

In addition, as part of our educational mission, it is imperative that we actively seek to ensure equity and inclusion for all students. IU has made tremendous gains in the diversity of its student body in recent years. In fact, this year’s student body is the most diverse in IU history, with nearly 25,000 degree-seeking students of color enrolled, reflecting a record enrollment level of over 30 percent. But we must—and will—build on these gains. And it is up to all of us to work every day to build a community where diversity is our strength, where differences are respected, and where inclusivity is the norm.

We will recognize as well that the funding models for public higher education have changed dramatically over the past few decades, and that students and families increasingly share a greater financial burden for their education.

Indiana University has given a great deal of attention in recent years to keeping an IU education affordable. Net in-state undergraduate tuition at IU Bloomington is the third lowest in the Big Ten. IUPUI and the regional campuses also remain highly affordable compared to their peers. Tuition rates on IU’s regional campuses are the lowest among four-year public universities in the state.

In the spring of this year, we established an Academic Tuition and Fees Task Force designed to develop recommendations to simplify the process of setting undergraduate tuition and fees, to ensure more transparency for students and families around the rates, and to find ways to minimize overall costs of attendance. The task force is working to develop a student-centric process to help inform tuition and fee changes for adoption in June of next year.

Of course, financial aid is a vitally important component of keeping an IU education affordable. Sixty-four percent of IU degree-seeking undergraduates received gift aid in 2021–22 from federal, state, institutional, or private sources. And IU has increased institutional undergraduate gift aid by 56 percent to $235 million over eight years to help keep an IU degree affordable. 

Thanks, in part, to IU’s groundbreaking student financial wellness and education programs, annual student loan borrowing has dropped by $155 million, or 23 percent, since 2011-12. One highly impactful component of those programs is the guidance students receive from peer financial educators, who understand what their fellow students are going through. Surabhi Karambelkar, a current peer educator, who is majoring in Economic Consulting and Public Policy Analysis in the Kelley School, is with us today along with fellow peer educator Hannah Wang, and staff member Phil Schuman, who directs the Office of Financial Wellness and Education. Surabhi says: “I have the privilege of building a sense of community with IU students surrounding a topic that can be overwhelming and burdensome, and I’m grateful to be a part of a program that makes financial stability more accessible.”[1] Surabhi and Hannah, all of us at IU are grateful for the important work that you and your fellow students do.

As relatively new leaders at IU, Bloomington Provost Rahul Shrivastav and I are grateful to the student academic appointees who voiced their concerns about minimum stipends last year—and to the faculty who support them. With input from voices across the Bloomington campus, our Task Force on Graduate Education made thoughtful initial recommendations, and we acted swiftly to implement key components of them. We increased minimum stipend pay such that IU Bloomington moves from the bottom of Big Ten universities in average graduate stipends to the top half. We have provided relief from existing graduate student mandatory fees and waived the international student fee. And we have taken steps to improve graduate student health and wellness offerings, to strengthen and improve transparency in the grievance process, and to establish a new graduate student advisory committee to foster communication with campus leadership. To better serve graduate students on our two largest campuses, the University Graduate School has been restructured to create separate graduate schools serving the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses, with interim deans appointed for each campus. All of these actions are evidence of what can be accomplished on IU’s campuses with a collaborative, solutions-focused process. We know there is more work to be done and we are committed to working together to provide the best possible student experience for our graduate students.

A major focus of my first year has also been assembling an exceptional executive team to help position IU for a bright and successful future. I am grateful to the faculty, staff, and students who served on the search committees that helped identify outstanding candidates to fill ten critical posts in the last year. One of these positions demonstrates—in a highly visible way—IU’s commitment to students. Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, who comes to us from Northwestern University, where she served as vice president for student affairs, now serves as IU’s first vice president for student success. In this position, Julie, who took up her post at IU on August 1, advocates for the student perspective in all university decision-making and leads the development and implementation of initiatives to enhance the student experience across IU. We also added the role of vice president for regional campuses and online education, now filled by former IU Kokomo Chancellor Sue Sciame-Giesecke, to support student success through focused strategic leadership for IU’s five regional campuses and its online programs.

And we have placed a renewed focus on our students’ mental health and well-being. Transitioning to adulthood, to college, and to a new living situation with new people can be challenging and stressful—all the more so during a pandemic. Under the leadership of IU’s chief health officer, Dr. Aaron Carroll, we have conducted a thorough review of our current mental health services. Members of three task forces developed a series of recommendations that account for both ensuring students know how to access all of the resources on their campus as well as understanding what to do in a crisis. Nearly a dozen students from our campuses around the state served on these task forces along with faculty and staff. A Student Mental Health Initiative Strategic Plan has also been developed. Many of its recommendations are now up and running, and you will be hearing more about the implementation of additional recommendations in the weeks and months to come. We appreciate Dr. Carroll’s work on this and other timely issues, including a new initiative related to preventing and responding to incidents of sexual assault on IU’s campuses.

Students on all IU campuses benefit from the support of outstanding staff members who routinely go above and beyond the responsibilities of their office, including Barbara Dahl, director of the Office of Counseling Services at IU Northwest; Sara Erbes, who advises more than 825 graduate students in the Jacobs School of Music; and Jake Huffman, assistant director of student success, engagement, and retention at IU Fort Wayne—all of whom were honored by their campuses in the last year for their outstanding work.

Of course, on all our campuses, students themselves are working tirelessly to help to create a positive environment and enhance the college experience for their fellow students through their leadership of hundreds of student organizations and their service as student government leaders. I am grateful that a number of student government leaders from several of our campuses are with us today.

So, as you can see, students have been the focus this past year—from creating a senior level position to give them a voice at the table, to finding ways to make their education more affordable, to a renewed focus on their well-being. I assure you that a student focus will continue to be the foundation of all decisions that we make in the future. IU will be known as a place where every student matters. I look forward to hearing more about how each campus finds ways to enhance the student experience through their strategic planning work. 

Expanding excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity

Our second pillar involves impactful research.

You have also heard examples today of how Indiana University faculty and students are engaged in a wide range of creative activity, scholarship, and research that helps prevent and cure disease, protect our environment, secure our nation, grow the economy, and advance art and culture in our communities. Indiana University has been one of the nation’s premier research universities for more than 200 years. During those centuries, IU's world-class researchers have driven innovation from developing fluoridated toothpaste to curing testicular cancer, and from discovering the double helix structure of DNA to collaborating with NASA to search for life on Mars.

IU faculty have had great success in recent years in competing for sponsored awards, which speaks to the quality of our faculty and their work. IU received $732.2 million in sponsored funding in fiscal year 2022 to support research, instruction, and service. This total includes $520.7 million in research support, a six percent increase over the prior year due to large gains in funding for the IU School of Medicine. 

The IU 2030 strategic plan framework calls for us to be ambitious in the coming years about expanding excellence in research, discovery, entrepreneurship, and creative scholarship, including an ambitious goal for the expansion of support for externally funded research from last year’s $520.7 million to $700 million annually.

The IU School of Medicine, the largest in the nation in terms of enrollment, has research programs in neurodegenerative, musculoskeletal and pediatric diseases that are widely considered to be among best in the country. The school currently ranks 14th among public schools of medicine in the nation in terms of the amount of funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health, the leading source of federal funding for biomedical research. We recently announced that it is our goal for the school to move into the top 10 in this regard in the next five years, a goal we believe that is made even more attainable by the new opportunities for bioscience research that will be created by the transformation of the Indianapolis campus.

Investigators in the IU School of Medicine are also leading the way nationally in research into Alzheimer's and related dementias. Their search for new methods to detect the disease early and their discoveries that help slow and prevent neurodegenerative disorders are changing lives. Anita Gartland, who serves on the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center’s Community Advisory Board, is one of a growing number of people who has personally witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s. She spent more than a decade as a caregiver for both of her parents who eventually died with the disease. Her father was part of an Alzheimer’s clinical study at the IU School of Medicine in the early 2000s, which helped prolong his life. Anita notes that the IU School of Medicine has the top technology and the top Alzheimer’s researchers in the world and says that she has “no doubt that they are going to be the leaders in finding the cure.”[2]

IU researchers are also at the forefront of addressing the difficult cybersecurity problems facing our state and our nation—and they are collaborating with partners in Indiana and beyond to help address them. Multiple grants from the National Science Foundation to IU in the last year are being used to find ways to ensure trustworthy cloud computing, to increase computing privacy for marginalized and vulnerable populations, and to help IU train the next generation of AI and cybersecurity professionals.

As we work together throughout the university and with our partners to increase research productivity and achieve specific goals, one of our aims in the coming years will be for IU to focus on high-impact research and creative activity. Impact may be measured in many ways, but the ultimate purpose of our research is to improve the lives of people in Indiana and beyond. 

IU is also placing greater focus on facilitating research that crosses disciplinary, geographic, and institutional boundaries. This applies not only to the hard sciences, but also to the arts and humanities and social sciences, where IU faculty are engaged in important scholarship and world-class creative activity. The work of Elaine Monaghan, of IU’s Media School, as an editor for Reuters to support correspondents covering the war in Ukraine, and the work of IU South Bend history professor Lisa Zwicker to organize a workshop on the history of women, religion, and emotions at the IU Europe Gateway in Berlin, are just two examples of the work of IU faculty that transcends these boundaries.

Our goal is to work to reduce or eliminate barriers to research, whatever form they might take. We intend to create a more pervasive culture of research and creative activity by providing rational, proportionate incentives, recognition, and rewards for research productivity and impact in predictable and transparent ways.

The work of the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office to take IU innovations to market is one of the many ways that IU’s research enterprise benefits the state. In fiscal year 2022, IU received 149 new invention disclosures, filed 293 new patent applications and had 129 patents issued, generating four new startups and $11.9 million in revenue.

Among the IU technology licensed this year is a new technology developed by IU Bloomington biology professor John Patton and graduate student Asha Philip that changes the readily available rotavirus vaccine to also protect against norovirus. No vaccine currently exists that can prevent norovirus infection, which is increasingly recognized as a major cause of disease around the globe, accounting for 50,000 to 100,000 child deaths every year. The technology has been licensed to GIVAX, Inc., a start-up biotech company established through seed funding provided by RA Capital, a Boston investment firm dedicated to the support of public and private health care and life science companies. Once the rotavirus platform technology is fully developed and its effectiveness has been studied and verified, Professor Patton and his colleagues hope to expand the idea and make new generations of combination vaccines that will protect against other pathogens in infants and even adults.

The 2030 strategic plan framework also calls for the expansion of our efforts to translate IU’s research and creative activity to the public through a shared commitment to disclosure and licensing of inventions, discoveries, and innovations; entrepreneurship; and partnerships with key constituencies.

So, as you can see, our vision for research and creative activity is bold. We will work to increase our research productivity, to engage in high impact research and creative activity, and to translate our efforts to provide more discoveries and innovations that will enhance the lives of Hoosiers. 

Service to the state

Our third and final pillar addresses public service and outreach.

As I noted at the beginning of this address, IU is the state’s flagship public university, and to that end, we have an obligation to deploy our expertise and resources in a manner that helps improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers and contributes to the economic vitality of our state.  

As I mentioned earlier, one way we are doing this is by helping to advance the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI, across the entire state. All IU campuses have partnered in this initiative on projects that have enormous potential to enhance Indiana’s quality of life, to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and to attract new talent to the state. Two that stand out are the new Uplands Science and Technology Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the vitality of the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, and the creation at IU Kokomo of Innovation Hallway, a physical space on campus where students are paired with community partners to solve regional problems.

We announced at the beginning of this year that IU has partnered with Purdue University in Ascend Indiana, the talent and workforce initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, to keep more graduates in the state and fill the Hoosier talent pipeline with highly skilled workers. This partnership provides Indiana's leading employers with a unique platform for hiring the state's college students for internships and jobs.

Given the state’s declining college going rates, we are also working with students and high schools across the state to make the transition to college more seamless while lowering common barriers to post-secondary education. Last month, we announced that all IU regional campuses have eliminated the application fee, student parking fees, and the per-credit-hour fee for Advance College Project courses for high school students who are Indiana residents. We hope that schools, students, and parents will avail themselves of these pathways for easier access to our regional campuses.

Indiana University also has an opportunity to directly contribute to Indiana’s future economic prosperity by leveraging its strengths and resources in areas the state has targeted for investment and growth. As part of our 2030 strategic plan, we intend to work to deepen strategic relationships with partners across the state—including the legislature, state agencies, and local governments—so that Indiana University becomes a “go-to” resource on data analysis, best practices, and policy. And we intend to support the abilities of our regional campuses to partner more effectively with local business and industry on workforce needs.

Leveraging the strength of the university’s health disciplines to improve public health in Indiana has never been more critical, particularly for low-income and minority residents of the Hoosier state. Just last month, the Governor’s Public Health Commission—whose members included Paul Halverson, founding dean of IU’s Fairbanks School of Public Health—issued its report. As the report noted, Indiana persistently ranks among the bottom 20 states, and often the bottom 10, on key public health metrics. The report also highlighted public health disparities in our state, and it made recommendations that Indiana should take to transform its public health system and to deliver essential public health services equitably across the state. Through the work of our two schools of public health, through research projects in many disciplines that help to decrease health disparities, and through our partnership in the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, IU is working every day to help achieve these vitally important goals.

As we build on our commitment to the public good, we must integrate our work for the betterment of Hoosiers. Our fellow citizens must see us as a partner in the success of this state. I call upon all of you to find ways to connect to the issues facing our state, so that by 2030, our impact will be more widely and fully realized. 

But let’s not forget that we also positively impact the state through our cultural contributions, including the arts and athletics.

Indiana University’s longstanding tradition of excellence in the arts and humanities is based on the eminence of the university’s outstanding scholars. From language and literature, to the fine and performing arts, they have established IU’s programs as among the best in the world. IU has long believed that the arts are a vital part of a well-rounded education. IU’s museums, galleries, and performance spaces draw not only students, but citizens from across the state and around the region to view art installations and music, theater, and dance performances of the highest quality. I recently had the pleasure of attending an outstanding performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni by the talented cast and crew of IU’s Jacobs School of Music. I am consistently impressed by what IU students, faculty, and staff are able to create.

And, across all of IU’s campuses, thriving athletics programs are an important part of student life that also bind alumni and friends to the university. Our student athletes learn the importance of teamwork and communication and develop leadership skills as they represent IU with distinction on the field and in the classroom. They bring pride to their campuses as they earn conference academic honors and compete for championships. Most importantly, our coaches and athletics staff on all campuses embody the commitment expressed by IU’s 10th president, William Lowe Bryan that the goal of IU Athletics should be to develop “first-rate athletes as well as first-rate (people).”[3]

Now that we have addressed IU’s three pillars--student success, research, and service to Indiana and beyond—I want to acknowledge that we have also launched a number of initiatives in the last year that involve all three pillars.

Initiatives that impact all three pillars

These initiatives will enhance and strengthen the student experience for undergraduate and graduate students; they have the potential to help take our research enterprise to the next level; and they offer enormous benefits to the people of Indiana.

The first of these is the bold new vision we announced last month for the future of the Indianapolis campus.

In time for the start of the fall 2024 semester, the IUPUI campus will be transformed into separate academic organizations in which IU and Purdue will each govern their own programs. We intend to build on all the campus has achieved over 52 years to propel Indiana University-Indianapolis into becoming one of the nation’s finest urban research university campuses.

In addition to expanding our science and technology programs, we plan to grow across the board, create more opportunities for students, and become even more deeply integrated with the Indianapolis community through close relationships with local businesses, nonprofits, sports organizations, and more.

In partnership with Purdue, we will create a new joint biosciences engineering institute. This new institute will harness the power of the universities’ collective academic and research strengths and ongoing collaboration between Purdue, the IU School of Medicine, and other IU health-related disciplines to develop new life-enhancing therapies and technologies while simultaneously creating a highly sought-after pool of professionals whose unique research and training will create startups and attract new companies to Indiana.

In the coming decades at IU-Indianapolis, you can expect to see an acceleration of innovative degrees and solutions that prepare all students for rewarding careers and fulfilling lives, an even stronger research enterprise that drives economic growth and attracts top faculty and students, and an increased culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will strengthen Indianapolis’ position as one of our country’s great urban centers.

The work of making what we are calling Vision 2024 a reality is now underway. Details are being worked out through careful planning and consultation with all affected groups. We have assembled ten task forces to begin the important work of addressing operational details for the transition in areas such as academic affairs, research, communication, IT systems, HR and finance, and facilities, among others.   

A second broad initiative that impacts all three of our pillars is all that we are doing to reimagine what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean at Indiana University.

After nine years of serving IU admirably as both dean of the Indiana University Graduate School and vice president for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, James Wimbush has stepped down from his University Graduate School role to focus solely on efforts surrounding advancing our culture of inclusion, accessibility, and belonging. Vice President Wimbush will work to build on the success of IU’s existing DEI programs, including the Presidential Diversity Hiring initiative.

The Presidential Diversity Hiring Initiative is an ambitious seven-year, $30 million initiative to hire a more diverse mix of faculty, including researchers, across IU. In its first year, the initiative has been a tremendous success, with 54 accepted offers. IU Bloomington is home to 35 of these new underrepresented minority faculty members, eight have joined the IUPUI campus, four are at IU Northwest, four in the IU School of Medicine, two at IU South Bend, and one at IU East. This bold initiative is providing our students with access to more world-class teachers and researchers who bring diverse perspectives to the classroom and the lab.

Of course, the retention of our current underrepresented minority faculty is also vitally important, and so we hired Pamela Jackson as our first associate vice president for faculty and belonging. Pamela began her new duties on June 1, and she is providing leadership and a university-wide vision for recruiting, retaining, and recognizing underrepresented faculty.

And there is a third initiative that crosses all three pillars.

In April of this year, an important task force was appointed that also touches all areas of IU’s tripartite mission. The Climate Action Planning Committee is made up of students, faculty, and staff, and has been charged with developing a plan by spring of 2023 that will develop recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on all IU campuses. The committee met regularly throughout the summer months and is now holding open forums on all campuses and beginning working on the climate action plan elements this semester. We are grateful to them for doing the hard work of coming up with big goals and identifying the steps to be taken that will allow IU to put its words into action.

Generous philanthropic support

Of course, none of IU’s accomplishments would be possible without the generous philanthropic support the university receives. Last year, our alumni and friends supported the university with record levels of philanthropy, creating more opportunities for our students to succeed.

Among the gifts received are funds that will improve the standard of care for people with bipolar disorder and dramatically increase access to psychiatric care for children and adolescent youth in southwestern Indiana. Other significant gifts will support promising breast cancer research, pediatric surgery, and newborn screening programs through the IU School of Medicine. Still others are establishing dozens of new scholarships through the IU Student Foundation, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Jacobs School of Music. Each of these—and so many more—truly inspire.

In the last fiscal year, the total funds raised were more than $251 million, which is 20 percent over last year’s goal. Interim IUPUI Chancellor Andy Klein, Vice President Sciame-Giesecke, and Provost Shrivastav have worked with chancellors and deans to set even more ambitious goals for the coming year.

I extend thanks to the IU Foundation for stepping up to help defray IU’s cost for front-line fundraising staff, identify new donor prospects, and more actively manage gift officers in achieving goals set for their units.

Philanthropy is vitally important to IU in that it helps us positively impact the lives of our students and to grow the wealth of knowledge and experiences that an Indiana University education can offer. Indiana University benefits greatly from the faith and generosity of our donors, and I extend my most sincere thanks to the more than 100,000 donors who supported IU last year.


And so, the state of Indiana University is strong.

We are home to a large, diverse, academically talented student body; to a community of outstanding faculty whose superb teaching, scholarship, and creative activity contribute to the university’s reputation for excellence; and we are home to campuses and centers that extend our reach to all corners of Indiana and contribute enormously to the social, cultural, and economic life of their regions, the state, and beyond.

What can we expect to be at Indiana University by 2030?

We can expect to be a university that

  • ranks highest among its peers in attracting, retaining, and graduating students who receive a cutting-edge, broadly based education that prepares them both professionally and personally, and incorporates experiences that distinguish those who earn a degree from Indiana University.

We can expect to be a university that is

  • open and affordable to students from all sectors of society,
  • and that boasts a faculty that excels among its peers in producing high-impact research that makes a difference in people's lives, and creative activity that inspires and elevates the human experience.

We can expect to be a university

  • that attracts new levels of government grants and philanthropic support for research that builds on all its strengths, including a host of new big ideas, and helps bring the fruits of that research to life through innovative ideas, discoveries, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

And we can expect to be a university

  • that serves the educational, healthcare, economic, and cultural needs of our nation, our state, and our communities, with an impact that spreads from Indiana to every part of the world. 

In short, we can expect to see Indiana University achieving ever greater heights, with all of this guided by our 2030 strategic plan.

We are embarking upon an unprecedented opportunity to collectively create a future of unbridled impact that will result from our ambition and imagination.

I'm honored to have the opportunity to take this journey together. 

Thank you very much.



[1] Surabhi Karambelkar, personal correspondence with the IU Office of the President.

[2] Lauren Ulrich, “IU School of Medicine expands Alzheimer’s research, searches for cure,” Indiana Daily Student, November 16, 2021, Web, Accessed September 15, 2022, URL:

[3]William Lowe Bryan, as quoted in Thomas D. Clark Indiana University Midwestern Pioneer, Volume 3: Years of Fulfillment, (IU Press, 1977), 316. Original quote read “first-rate men.”

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