"A United and Powerful Voice for Indiana University"

Hoosiers for Higher Education Statehouse Visit and Life Sciences Day
North Atrium, Indiana Statehouse
Indianapolis, Indiana
February 13, 2008

Introduction: The Power to Change Our World

I am delighted to be here this afternoon at Hoosiers for Higher Education’s Seventeenth Annual Statehouse Visit and Life Sciences Day. This is a tremendously exciting time for Indiana University and for the entire state of Indiana.

Education and democracy share a fundamental set of values. Both are based firmly on the idea that together we can create a brighter future. Both are expressions of optimism that require a belief in possibility. Both encourage and enable us to make a difference for generations we may never know.

The power to change our world: that is what Indiana University strives toward.

IU Educates the Leaders of Tomorrow

At IU, the next generation of local, state, and national leaders is learning how to harness that power.

Over the course of the past ten years, IU has conferred:

  • 67 percent of the state’s degrees in human services and public administration;
  • 47 percent of the state’s bachelors, masters, and doctorates in education;
  • 41 percent of the state’s degrees in communications and information technologies; and
  • 43 percent of the state’s degrees in health and life sciences including 47 percent of nursing degrees.

Today, those degrees in nursing and health and life sciences are keys to success in the Indiana economy. Indiana has the 2nd highest concentration of biopharmaceutical jobs in the nation. Currently, more than 578,000 Indiana jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the health industry. They account for more than $21B in wages and $8B in federal and state taxes paid. That is just over 20 percent of Indiana’s tax base.

As Provost Hanson mentioned, our outstanding faculty are deeply and productively engaged in life science research in many different areas. They are helping prepare IU students for success within this important industry.

Indiana University as a whole is also reaching out across the state to forge partnerships that will enhance our education and research in the life and health sciences.

Indiana Life and Health Sciences Initiative

As the many presentations and displays our faculty have presented here illustrate, life and health science research makes a critical contribution to the health and vitality of both the people of Indiana and the Hoosier economy.

IU has a magnificent tradition of excellence in the life and health sciences—from Nobel Prizes for fundamental discoveries about the basic building blocks of life itself, to cures and treatments for deadly diseases such as cancer. It is this tradition on which we sought to build and for which we sought support through our Indiana Life Sciences Initiative during the last session of the General Assembly.

Over the next year, we will work with state officials and local health industry leaders to broaden our life sciences initiative to include health sciences. This is a natural extension that includes research into preventable diseases that impact many Hoosiers. We will give special attention to health disparities among low income and minority populations.

We are most grateful for the $15 million appropriation for the Indiana Life Sciences Fund at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Please join me in applauding the General Assembly for making this investment in our life sciences initiative. I would like to offer a special thanks to Senator Vi Simpson, a fierce advocate for higher education. IU is indebted to her. Representative Matt Pierce has been a great teacher in our Telecommunications Department and an advocate for sustainability and historic preservation. We owe both our gratitude. We submitted our proposal to the State earlier this month and hope to make a major announcement soon.

I am pleased to report that we are working in close collaboration with Purdue University and Notre Dame to expand our research to make new discoveries, attract new funding, and give Indiana a great advantage in the battle for the best minds. We hope some of our sister institutions will join us in our campaign to improve Hoosier health at the same time as we help strengthen the Hoosier economy.

Basic and Applied Life and Health Sciences Research

One of the most important ways that IU reaches out to help Hoosiers across the state is through both basic and applied research in the life and health sciences.

IU Bloomington

In Bloomington, we can look to the work of Professor Richard DiMarchi, who is developing drugs to treat diabetes and obesity. Chemists and physicists at IU’s Biocomplexity Institute have developed a monitor to detect early signs of sepsis or infection in post-operative and trauma patients. Our outstanding faculty in the neurosciences, optometry, environmental science, bio- and geo-chemistry, as well as many other areas are also taking steps to improve Hoosier health at all levels and across all dimensions.

IU School of Medicine

With campuses in eight locations throughout the state, the School of Medicine works towards that same end. It is the second largest in the country and places more doctors in its home state than nearly all of its peers.

Essential to this effort is Clarian Health, one of the largest health systems in the nation, formed as a partnership of Indiana University and Methodist Hospital that includes Riley Hospital for Children and was formed in 1997. Our extensive network of partners in medical education also includes Wishard Hospital and the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Reid Hospital in Richmond, Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, as well as other health care facilities across the state.

In South Bend, we have a productive research collaboration with Notre Dame where our medical educators and life scientists work together in a common building on the Notre Dame campus. The legislature provided $10 million last session to match a private gift to expand the building. Please join me again in applauding the State for its support of this wonderful project.

In Evansville, the IU School of Medicine and Mead Johnson Nutritionals are developing the Center for Nutrition and Immunity, which focuses on research into infant nutrition and immune system development. The IU School of Medicine—Evansville is located on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana.

In Terre Haute, the IU School of Medicine and The Lugar Center at Indiana State University are working to address rural health needs.

In Muncie, our partnership with Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State focuses on family practice physicians.

In Gary, we have a unique partnership that brings together a variety of health disciplines to address urban health issues and medical education.

Working with these and many other partners, IU is striving to meet the increasing need for health care professionals in Indiana.

Economic Development and Vitality

IU’s contributions to our state have made a difference in the lives of countless Hoosiers, whether we are talking about a new cancer treatment, a program to build leadership skills, or a community education center. The same can be said of our efforts to improve the state’s economic development and vitality.

Innovate Indiana—our newest economic development initiative led by Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan—will further enhance these efforts. The first major project we will undertake under Innovate Indiana will be the construction of a new Indiana University incubator facility in Bloomington.

Currently, IU’s Emerging Technologies Center in Indianapolis is at capacity with promising life sciences start-up companies, and we are exploring the possibility of a further facility here.

In Kokomo, IU has been instrumental in helping create an incubator facility and technology park, and we are collaborating with Purdue in New Albany in the development of a new tech park.

The collaborations I just mentioned stretch across the state and include partnerships with all four-year universities in Indiana, hospitals and health care providers, and communities with whom we work in close cooperation.

And these partnerships are just a glimpse of a much larger picture.

Just across the rotunda in the south atrium, you can see a fuller picture of the tremendous efforts IU’s outstanding faculty is making in the quest to improve human health.

Conclusion

Here today, the classroom has been extended to give each of us a first-hand view of democracy in action. Many of you have given generously of your time and energy to support IU and to strengthen our voice in the Statehouse.

Thank you for your support!

Days like today remind us how powerful our shared voices can be. Days like today reinforce the importance of collaboration within the university and across the entire state.

Working together, side by side, we can make a difference as advocates for this great university, to ensure it will be one of the greatest universities of the 21st century.

Thank you very much.