KOKOMO, Ind. —Indiana University Kokomo is the first campus in Indiana granted permanent membership in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), an organization that drives awareness of the value of high-quality, public liberal arts education in a student-centered environment.
Chancellor Mark Canada noted the designation recognizes IU Kokomo’s high-quality liberal arts education.
“This is a watershed moment for IU Kokomo,” he said. “For years, we have been building a life-changing liberal arts experience here. COPLAC membership affirms the work we have been doing and the work that we will do as we continue to make IU Kokomo more and more of a destination campus.”
In this context, “liberal arts” refers not to political ideology, but to timeless, widely applicable academic subjects, such as science, math, history, and literature. Many private colleges are known as liberal-arts institutions, but public institutions such as IU Kokomo can provide the same kind of education for much lower tuition because state funding covers a significant portion of their operating expenses.
Canada added that the designation is just the latest in a series of achievements.
“Really, this is only the most recent ‘beat’ in the ongoing drumbeat of ascending moments for IU Kokomo,” he said. “Some people who have been in the area for a long time might remember us as ‘just’ a commuter campus or think of us as a mere extension of IU Bloomington. We’re proud of that history, but we also are proud of our present and future.”
As the IU Kokomo approaches its 80th anniversary, it celebrates its growth.
The campus has 13 varsity sports, including the new co-ed eSports team that begins competition this fall. Construction is currently underway on the new Innovation Hall, which will include a tech innovation studio and business analytics lab. The KEY Center for Innovation allows students to collaborate with local partners on projects to lift up north central Indiana. Faculty and staff have won national awards for research and leadership, have secured millions of dollars in grants, and are regularly invited to speak to audiences around the country on high-impact practices, digital literacy, and more.
“IU Kokomo is becoming a leading public liberal arts institution in Indiana and the United States,” Canada said.
Tuajuanda C. Jordan, COPLAC president, said COPLAC members look forward to collaborating with IU Kokomo faculty and staff to enhance the power of a public liberal arts education.
“The campus visit team was impressed with IUK’s students, faculty, and staff,” she said. “We enthusiastically welcome the IUK community and are excited to work with you.”