Provost Robel shares latest Bicentennial Strategic Plan accomplishments for Bloomington campus

Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel shared a progress report on the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington at Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting.

Lauren RobelView print quality image
IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel speaks to the IU Board of Trustees on Aug. 8, 2019. Photo by Alex Kumar, Indiana University

She recalled IU's early history -- when IU President Andrew Wylie's family housed the students and classes were taught in just one room -- and then sped up to today, when IU Bloomington has a campus of over 43,000 students, about 3,000 faculty and 6,000 staff and sits in the higher education landscape as one of just 62 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, out of 4,300 four-year degree-granting institutions.

In addition to new academic spaces, schools, programs and majors, Robel shared that IU Bloomington is now more diverse and inclusive, more engaged throughout Indiana and the world, and more focused on the next generation of research and invention than ever as the university heads into its third century.

Other highlights:

  • Since 2014, IU Bloomington has successfully proposed 145 new degrees, majors and certificates. That includes the M.S. in cybersecurity risk management, which offers classes from the Kelley School of Business, Maurer School of Law and School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. Of the enrolled students in this program, nearly three-quarters are Indiana residents.
  • The introduction of Siân Mooney, new dean of the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Mooney shared brief comments on her esteem for the school's research profile and multidisciplinary nature and noted its recent rankings as the nation's No. 1 master's program in public affairs in the nation and the world's No. 1 program in public administration.
  • A $970,000 grant to the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies will establish a Language Training Center program, which is administered by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office.
  • The Media School's new Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Reporting will conduct multimedia investigative reporting on issues of importance to Indiana residents, including matters that reach beyond the state. "The center's work will be available at no cost to local, regional and national news outlets and will seek to supplement their reporting at a time when many are losing newsroom staff," Robel said.
  • The School of Public Health-Bloomington has hired new faculty to work on the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative.
  • The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design and the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs received naming gifts that will expand their potential and provide for new opportunities for students and faculty.
  • One hundred and seventy-five students enrolled in the intelligent systems engineering program for fall 2019, IU's first-ever engineering program.
  • Multidisciplinary programs such as the Integrated Program in the Environment, jointly administered by the College of Arts and Sciences, the O'Neill School and the School of Public Health, are thriving. The program is the portal for all of IU Bloomington's educational, research and creative activities focused on the environment.
  • The more than 700,000-square-foot Regional Academic Health Center, expected to be completed next year, will help address the shortage of health care services in our region and will be a space where IU students in varying health professions can work together. It will also accommodate students in the expanded nursing program and School of Social Work at IU Bloomington.
  • The Media Digitization Preservation Initiative has digitized 200,000 items since its inception.
  • The Bloomington campus has doubled the number of Pell Promise recipients and 21st Century Scholars and increased Hudson and Holland Scholars by 101 percent.
  • The Center of Excellence for Women in Technology has grown 300 percent, with over 7,000 faculty, staff and alumni affiliates, offering 224 programs that reached 4,000 participants in 2018-19.
  • A 3D Innovation Gymnasium will serve as a next-generation maker space for undergraduates where students from any discipline will make their ideas tangible.

Robel also provided an update on the growth of IU Corps, which has engaged with domestic and international students at schools across campus to ensure that all students have an opportunity to serve communities in the U.S. and around the world. IU Corps documented 650,000 service hours in the 2018-19 academic year, and this year hopes to document 1 million service hours in honor of the IU Bicentennial.

In other news, IU Bloomington students have the highest on-time completion rate in Indiana (68.5 percent, compared with the average of 47.3 percent), and 84.5 percent graduate in six years. Retention of African American students, 21st Century Scholars and Hispanic students has risen to an average 92.6 percent.

Finally, she shared a video preview of IU 2020, a four-year documentary project following the same 12 students throughout their college careers at IU. These students come from different backgrounds and have varying passions and interests.

The documentary is just one of a number of special projects, programs and initiatives that are designed to celebrate, chronicle, document and explore the extraordinary success of IU and its flagship campus during the yearlong IU Bicentennial.

"We are going to be doing a lot of showing off this year," Robel said.