Around IU Bloomington

Staff memberships for rec sports facilities suspended for health, safety

IU has suspended staff memberships to recreational sports facilities for the 2020-21 academic year to meet physical-distancing requirements and reduce capacity in facilities, which are part of the university's measures to prevent against COVID-19.

Students need to have first priority for recreational facilities because they are paid for by student fees, Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel said. The Student Recreational Sports Center, Garrett Fieldhouse, Woodlawn Field and Track, Woodlawn Tennis Courts, SRSC Tennis Courts, and Sembower Recreational Sports Field Complex are reserved for students for the academic year.

In the meantime, free virtual programs continue to be available on the Campus Recreational Sports webpage.

Panel discussions tackle topic of racism

The IU Arts and Humanities Council has joined with the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society and the College Arts and Humanities Institute to offer a weekly expert-led panel discussion tackling racism and its many related issues in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the surge of Black Lives Matter protests regarding policy brutality and racism in the United States.

"Confronting Racism: Conversations on Systemic Racism and Protest" streams live at 8 p.m. every Tuesday on the Arts and Humanities Council's Facebook page. Today's topic is protest and change.

Campus mail service resumes

Campus mail service has resumed at IU Bloomington with the reopening of the bursar's office and accountable mail service -- for checks and secure documents -- starting again.

Department heads or office managers should contact Mail Services to request that delivery resume to their department, and Mail Services will then contact the U.S. Postal Service. Departments are responsible for contacting independent delivery services about resuming pickups and deliveries.

Hoosier 2 Hoosier public sale canceled, items donated to nonprofits

Three female students roll up a section of carpet.View print quality image
The public Hoosier 2 Hoosier sale is canceled this year, and items are being donated to local nonprofit organizations. Photo by Ethan Gill, Office of the Provost

The popular Hoosier 2 Hoosier public sale, originally planned for August, has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoosier 2 Hoosier is an annual reuse program directed by the nonprofit Volunteer Associates, typically culminating in the sale the Saturday before classes begin. It diverts reusable items created during the transitional movement of students by selling collected items to the public and typically attracts thousands of potential buyers. This year, though, the items are being donated to local nonprofit organizations.

"Soon after the pandemic began to be felt here, Volunteer Associates realized that there was no way we could expect to hold an in-person, indoor sale for about 3,000 people in August, as we had in the past," said Marjorie Hershey, Volunteer Associates president and IU professor emerita of political science.

Steve Akers, Residential Programming and Services' associate director for environmental operations, posted signs inviting dorm residents to donate belongings to H2H, as usual, and many did, Hershey said.

From June 29 to July 7, about 30 volunteers gathered items that could be used by the Shalom Center/Crawford Apartments, Middle Way House and the animal shelter. Representatives of eight other nonprofits -- Teachers Warehouse, Monroe County Humane Association, St. Vincent de Paul, New Hope Family Shelter, Habitat ReStore, a Boy Scout troop, Monroe County United Ministries and a new nonprofit helping victims of domestic violence -- also retrieved carloads of needed materials. Goodwill took what was left.

Items that students left behind in the dorms will be available to nonprofits once they are approved for release, Hershey said.

Because there won't be a public sale, H2H is unable to collect materials directly from the public, but the public can donate items directly to local nonprofits, Hershey said.

Students can live in Biddle Hotel this year

Upperclass and graduate students have a new housing option this school year, and it's in a well-known location: the Indiana Memorial Union.

The Biddle Hotel is offering single-occupancy rooms for students with the ability to bill to the bursar.

Amenities include queen or king bed, Wi-Fi, a private bathroom, a large-screen TV, a small refrigerator and more.

Researchers study use of social-distancing robots

Researchers at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering are studying the use of social robots that can support communication and mental health during social distancing.

They are conducting online surveys to understand how people connect to friends and family while social distancing and are asking participants to design robots to learn how social-distancing robots could look and act to provide needed social interactions.

Some internal funding programs resume

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has restarted a subset of its internal funding programs after COVID-19 restrictions in late March caused such programs to be delayed.

Seven internal funding programs specific to the Bloomington campus have resumed, such as Grant-in-Aid and Public Arts and Humanities.

IU campus and university research offices continue to evaluate reopening programs in light of pressing funding programs being administered for COVID-19, racial justice and other university research priorities.

Former AD Glass receives President's Medal for contributions

A man gives a speech at a lectern, while a seated man listensView print quality image
Fred Glass, standing, who recently retired as Indiana University athletic director, received the IU President's Medal for Excellence. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University

Fred Glass, who recently retired as IU vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, received the IU President's Medal for Excellence.

The honor is for Glass' 11 1/2 years overseeing IU Athletics. He received the award during an unannounced appearance from IU President Michael A. McRobbie during a Zoom conference with IU Athletics' senior administrative staff in late June.

The medal, which reproduces in silver the jewel of office worn by IU's president on ceremonial occasions, is the highest honor the IU president can bestow.

Kinsey Institute names Garcia executive director

Justin R. Garcia has been named executive director of the Kinsey Institute at IU, effective July 1. Garcia has served as acting executive director of the institute since July 2019, and prior to that was the institute's research director.

The Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of Gender Studies and a Bicentennial Professor, Garcia also serves as a scientific advisor to the world's largest relationship company, Match. The award-winning researcher and educator has published dozens of articles and book chapters on people's romantic and sexual lives and is frequently featured as an expert in the media.

Zorn tapped for undergraduate education leadership role

Kurt Zorn has been appointed acting vice provost for undergraduate education for IU Bloomington. He replaced Dennis Groth, who is now the interim dean for the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.

Zorn is the associate vice provost for undergraduate education and a professor in the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He specializes in state and local public finance, with expertise in tax policy, transportation safety, economic development and gaming.

Groth had served as vice provost for undergraduate education since 2013. He oversaw the implementation of programs and initiatives to ensure the success of undergraduate students.

Institute named in honor of founder

The Russian and East European Institute has been named in honor of its founder, Robert F. Byrnes, and a distinguished scholar has been established within the school, after Shaun M. and Jill F. Byrnes presented a gift to the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

The institute is the oldest and largest area studies center at Indiana University.

Robert Byrnes came to IU in 1956 as a Russian specialist, founded the institute now bearing his name in 1958, and helped shape the careers of noted Kremlinologists including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia James F. Collins.

Honors and awards