Bloomington economic development corporation annual meeting

Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center
Bloomington, Indiana

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Thank you very much, Lynn [Coyne].

I think, as people know, Lynn served IU for nearly 25 years. He retired in 2014 as Assistant Vice President for Real Estate, but has also taught in the Kelley School of Business and continues to serve as an adjunct instructor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In that lengthy period at IU, he was truly one of the great servants of the university. So we appreciate all that you have done for IU, Lynn, and all that you are now doing at the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation. I believe you are taking over as chair of the board of IU Health Bloomington Hospital as well, so thank you for taking on that weighty task.

I should comment, since this is in Bloomington and this is the BEDC, that next Tuesday will be the 19th anniversary of my arrival with my family in Bloomington, and we have been residents of the city ever since. We love living here even though we commute and travel a great deal. But we have never regretted the move for one second. I am also proud to have been an American citizen now for about five years, and am proud to be a member of the Bloomington community as well.

I should also comment that there are a number of Indiana University vice presidents and deans here today. If I tried to enumerate them all, I would miss one and they would be terribly downcast for the rest of the day. So I won’t try. But I want to welcome all of the senior administrators of Indiana University who are here today. As I mentioned, I have served at the top level of the university now for about 19 years and have been a member of a number of administrations and have served with many vice presidents. Never in my time here, and never in my time at any other institution, have I ever served with such an extraordinarily talented group than the various vice presidents who play such a major role in all that we do at Indiana University.

Much of what Lynn mentioned—and I will offer some additional highlights of recent achievements at Indiana University—is very much the product of teamwork by dozens and dozens of extremely dedicated, intelligent, hard-working people. I am personally very grateful for the efforts of all of my colleagues for all they do every day to contribute to the truly remarkable changes we have seen in the university over the last few years and to the growing impact we are having not only around the state, but around the nation and around the world.

Preparing for Indiana University’s bicentennial

I mentioned the upcoming 19th anniversary of my arrival in Bloomington. There is, I think, a much more significant anniversary today. I think many of you know that today is the 196th anniversary of the founding of Indiana University by legislation signed by the then governor on January 20, 1820. We will celebrate our bicentennial during the 2019/2020 academic year. That whole year will be a year devoted to a variety of different activities, both to celebrate our history and to stimulate a rethinking of how the university will function for the next period of its existence, the kinds of major challenges it will take on, the way the world is changing and how the university will contribute to it.

We just announced the establishment of a Bicentennial Steering Committee, co-chaired by Steve Watt, who is the interim dean of our new School of Art and Design, and Kathy Johnson, who is the vice chancellor on the IUPUI campus. They will chair a large committee, with people from across all campuses, focused on planning events for the bicentennial year and everything we will be doing leading up to the bicentennial. Our goal is to look comprehensively at how to engage all of the communities around the state in which there are campuses of Indiana University as well as our more than 650,000 alumni around the state, the nation, and the world. The steering committee will make recommendations to me by the end of this academic year.

We recently launched a major initiative that will help achieve a range of goals that will stand the university in good stead for its next century—the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University. The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees in December of 2014. At the upcoming meeting of the board in about two weeks, we will present the first report on the first year’s progress. Hopefully, some of you have seen the Bicentennial Strategic Plan. It is a comprehensive, detailed plan, but is not a plan for platitudes that is destined to become credenza-ware, as they say. It is a plan of difficult though achievable goals in a whole range of different areas, and we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that we achieve all of them.

The second part of our preparation for the bicentennial was the announcement of what we call “For All: The Campaign for Indiana University.” It is a $2.5 billion campaign. It is one of the five largest campaigns currently underway and among the largest campaigns in the history of public universities in the country. The “For All” campaign is the first campaign we have ever conducted that involves all IU campuses—Bloomington, Indianapolis, and the regional campuses. When we had the public launch in late September of last year, we announced that we had reached the halfway mark in the campaign. I know there are many people in this room who have already contributed to the campaign, and for that, we are deeply grateful.

I won’t go into detail about the specific goals of the campaign. That information is available in the campaign literature, which we will be happy to provide to provide to any of you who wish to receive it.

So, those are the first two parts of our preparation for the bicentennial, and the third is the just announced committee that is planning the ways we will use the bicentennial as part of the intellectual mission of the university.

Much of the rest of what I will talk about are initiatives that are part of the build up to the bicentennial. But I also want to take this opportunity to update you on some things that have been happening at the university and try to weave together a whole range of different parts that people may not always realize are integrated into one coherent plan for the whole university.

The IU student body

First, I will make a few comments about the student body of Indiana University.

IU’s enrollment—excluding the Fort Wayne campus, which is managed by Purdue—is now about 110,000 students. In the next few days, we will release the figures for the spring semester. They are about the same as they were last semester. Enrollment in Bloomington is up again by about 1.8 percent compared to the same point last year. Overall, we are fairly steady at about 110,000. We expect that enrollment may decline a little in future years because of demographic factors, but the Bloomington campus, in particular, has been an enormous success story. Every year we have seen an increase in enrollment, every year we have seen a major increase in applications, and every year we have seen an increase in the quality of the student body. At the same time, we have kept the number of in-state students constant, according to what we are funded for by the state of Indiana.

The student body that lives in this town is as high in quality as it has ever been in the history of the university. IU Bloomington remains an enormously attractive destination for students. I talk to hundreds of students each year and consistently hear how dazzled they are by the beauty of the campus and by the quality of the instruction and the superb facilities the university has right across the board from athletics to the arts.

The state, through the Higher Education Commission, has made a major point of increasing the number of residents of the state and others with degrees. Last spring, we graduated, for the first time ever, more than 20,000 around the state of Indiana—more than Purdue and Ivy Tech put together. I think that says something about the impact that Indiana University, as the state’s flagship university, has on education and the provision of degrees. Our various graduation ceremonies around the state last spring were attended by about 100,000 people—so the impact on the state, even of our commencement ceremonies, really is quite substantial. And every year, we add about 20,000 new alumni. We now have about 650,000 living graduates, the third largest alumni body of any institution in the country.

The state, through a funding formula, rewards the production of a certain number of degrees in the STEM fields and certain other areas. We produce by far the greatest number and provided by far the greatest increase in degrees in these “high impact” areas. Consequently, we saw a significant increase in our budget—the largest increase of any institution in the state.

IU Bloomington continues to have the lowest net cost of attendance of any institution in the Big Ten, in spite of what you may hear in certain other quarters. We have the lowest cost of attendance in the Big Ten when you factor in financial aid, a very substantial amount of which we provide through the university, which has been provided by the generosity of alumni and supporters of the university. 

Transforming IU’s academic structure

One of the key things to ensuring that an IU education remains relevant to students and remains relevant to the future is the restructuring we have carried out of the academic structure of the university.

We have, over the last five years, established or reconfigured eight schools in the university. That is out of a total of 25, so about a third of our schools are either newly created or transformed. Every single one of these new schools is aimed at some contemporary area of societal importance or some contemporary area in demand by our students.

We established two schools of public health in a state that had no schools of public health and in a state which, sadly, as I think many of you know, has some of the worst public health indicators in the nation. So this is a very significant contribution we are making to try and improve the quality of public health in Indiana through the new schools of public health that we have established. They are graduating trained public health professionals very much focused on the kinds of issues that we face in the state, including obesity, cancer, smoking, and diabetes. I think people know of the outbreak of AIDS in some of the rural communities and the widespread drug abuse. These are the kinds of areas in which the schools of public health are working. The School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation here in Bloomington was converted into a school of public health, now accredited. And we established, based on the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine in Indianapolis, the Fairbanks School of Public Health, thanks to a very generous gift we received from the Fairbanks Foundation. It was also accredited last year, so we have the only two accredited schools of public health in the state.

In Indianapolis, we established the School of Philanthropy, the first school of philanthropy in the country. It is the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Lilly family over many, many years.

We merged Informatics with the School of Library and Information Science to form a much larger school of Informatics and Computing, which has roughly doubled in terms of the number of graduates in the last five years and more than doubled in terms of the amount of externally-funded research that they achieved under Bobby Schnabel’s leadership when he was dean of the school.

We established, by merging a number of units, the new Media School, which, again, is very much focused on the media as it is today, not the media as it was 20 years ago. It is focused very much on the world in which all media has converged because of digitization, where it is just as important to master social media as it is to master more classical print media—and then you have television and video integrated into it, and no longer are there discrete parts of the media. The whole thing is one great area of integration. And that’s what students will work in. No longer can they be compartmentalized in one area. The Media School is training them to develop broader skills across all these areas.

We recently established the new School of Art and Design, and we are very much focusing on design as part of that school. I always like to tell this as a way of trying to encapsulate the importance of design. It has been claimed that if Jony Ive, the chief designer for Apple, were to retire or leave Apple, their stock price would fall ten percent. There the argument is, of course, that Apple makes superb technology, but part of their success has been superb design, and Jony Ive and his design team have been the key people behind that. That indicates the importance of design to the economic wellbeing of that particular company. As with the media, design also is now a spectrum because of digitization. No longer is design comprised of discrete areas. Design really integrates together principles right across the board. And that is where we see the direction of the new School of Art and Design headed.

We, of course, established the School of Global and International Studies, bringing together an extraordinary array of language centers and all of our area studies programs into one new school. And we have also invested in a series of new initiatives. We cover nearly every major language group in the world. And we have at least one area studies center covering every single area of the world. They are housed in a superb new building. And, as I think you know, Secretary of State John Kerry came to speak to celebrate the opening of the new building late last year. It was the first visit by a sitting Secretary of State in IU’s history. He gave what I am told is the most comprehensive survey of American foreign policy that he gave anywhere in the world last year. I think that is a comment on the perception of the importance of our school that we were able to get Secretary Kerry come and speak.

In addition to all of that, I should mention that we converted the School of Continuing Studies into the IU Online program. We put out a news release about a week ago in which some new rankings were done that showed a huge increase in the standing of the IU Online program. IU Online moved more than 30 spots, from ranking 72nd in 2015 to 39th this year. Of course, that is very much a response to the fact that there is a demand for online education. It is a substantial and important part of what we do, and we have managed to do it in a methodical, organized way within the university.

And then there is engineering. When this program was approved by the Commission for Higher Education—and we are very grateful to them for doing so—we became the last of 60 American universities in the Association of American Universities, the AAU, to establish some kind of engineering program. I think it was arguably once the case that engineering was the preserve of name-brand institutions, but over the years, engineering, again, becoming integrated with other disciplines, had become so important that the difference between land grant institutions and non-land grant institutions broke down many years ago. We are all land grant institutions now when it comes to fields like engineering.

That program will become operational at the beginning of the next academic year, when we will welcome our first cohort of students. And our first graduates in the program will graduate in the university’s Bicentennial year. The program will be housed in a new facility for the School of Informatics and Computing.

New Facilities to Support IU’s Academic Programs

Combined with all of this is the investment we have made in new facilities to support these new schools and programs.

We did a major enhancement to the HPER building, which is now the School of Public Health. The Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis is in a new building. The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is in a new building. Informatics and Computing is getting a superb new building for which we should be starting construction in the next few months, designed by the world-famous architect Cesar Pelli. The Media School will be housed, at the end of this academic year, in Franklin Hall. That will be an extraordinary renovation which, we hope people will be able to see before too much longer. The design program is going into Kirkwood Hall, which is being renovated.

And Global and International Studies, as I said, has a new building that I think is fast becoming one of the most iconic buildings on the campus. And, as I always like to point out, half of the cost of that $54 million building was funded with revenue from the Big Ten Network. I have heard other universities talking about using Big Ten revenue to fund academic buildings. We have already done it. And, as I also like to say, I encourage people to support the Hoosiers by watching IU’s teams play on television, because that translates directly into dollars that come back to us, which is used to support the university’s academic mission.

All of this, and many other projects on the Bloomington campus over the last eight years that have been completed or are in progress or planning has totaled over $1 billion. Across all of the campuses of the university, that total is very close to $2 billion and includes about 70 major facilities.

One of the world’s most innovative universities

Many of these areas have been chosen because they are focused very much on innovation. They are focused on the generation of intellectual property of a kind that can be commercialized and turned into new products, new treatments and new cures in the health and life sciences, and technical innovations in other areas.

We recently launched the most ambitious research program in IU’s history—the Grand Challenges Research program. The program, launched in September, will invest up to $300 million over five years to address some of the most urgent challenges facing Indiana and the world. A faculty review committee recently selected five finalists from among the preliminary proposals. These five proposals impressed the reviewers as not only strong in their own right but as addressing issues of particular importance to the people and economy of Indiana.

The goal of this is to try to aggregate funding from a variety of sources in the university and focus on projects that are designed and planned to have a major impact. We expect that one or two projects will be funded each year between now and the bicentennial.

Last year, we held the record in the state, and set an IU record as well, for the largest number of patents that were issued to IU. 183 national and international patents were issued to IU last year. We were also responsible for attracting into the state over $100 million in follow-on funding for various start-ups based on IU innovations.

And just the other day, and I highly commend this to you, a press release came out of Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan’s office, showing a new Reuters study, based, I think, on a pretty impressive methodology, that ranked IU as one of the institutions, not just in the United States, but worldwide, that are having the most impact in terms of innovation. They listed the Top 50, and we are now seen as one of the world’s Top 50 most innovative universities. I highly commend that to you for more information. Imagine what our ranking would have been had we had engineering for the last 50 years at IU Bloomington.

New regional academic health center

Of course, a major part of the developments on the campus last year was the announcement that the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital would be built on Indiana University property at 10th and the Bypass, along the edge of the IU golf course. It was, of course, a major announcement and, I think, one that, for reasons I won’t rehearse because I think people know them very well, turned out to be a wonderful solution to the whole problem of where to locate the new hospital.

We have committed, as part of that on the IU side—and I am also on the IU Health Board of Directors—to invest about $50 million in a major facility that will bring together all of our academic health programs on this campus: our medical education program, nursing, speech and hearing, and social work. The dean of the School of Dentistry is exploring establishing a dentistry program here as well. Other programs, including parts of the School of Optometry, all will be brought together in a building co-located with the hospital. We are calling this a regional academic health center. This will be the largest collection of academic health programs anywhere in the state outside of Indianapolis.

All of that is going to have an impact on the quality of clinical care and on the quality of training. It will also allow us to expand our programs in those areas. Already the Medical Education Program here is the second largest in the state. We expect to double those numbers. We are hoping to double the numbers in nursing. And obviously, there is the opportunity to work with the biotech and health sciences industry to co-locate facilities with the hospital, and that is a matter that is in the planning stage.

And behind all this is the investment that IU Health is also making in Indianapolis that involves the IU School of Medicine, of which the Medical Education Program in Bloomington is a part, that will house the educational side of the School of Medicine with the consolidation of University Hospital and Methodist Hospital. That is going to be an investment of more than $1 billion by IU Health.

Someone once said that a new hospital is a once-in-a-century opportunity. To be a partner in the establishment of two new hospitals is probably a once-in-a-millennium opportunity.

Interestingly, there will soon be a third of these new generation academic health centers, and that will be in Evansville. We broke ground for a new building just a few months ago. That building will be somewhat similar, though smaller, to the program here in Bloomington, in that it will bring together our medical education and nursing programs in Evansville along with similar programs from the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville. So, based on Indiana University’s programs in Evansville, that will become the third such program in the state.

The extension of Interstate 69

And that is one part of why I believe the completion of Interstate 69 to Evansville is a very good thing. And I am delighted that it has been completed.

There was a wonderful editorial in the Bloomington Herald Times late last year that listed the many benefits of I-69. If you haven’t seen it, I commend it to you. But we have something like 1,000 students from southwest Indiana who have to commute. They can now commute over a safe and efficient highway. There are a couple of hundred students in this part of the state who commute in the other direction to attend USI and other institutions in that part of the state. They can do that now safely and quickly. About a third of the Crane workforce can now use I-69. It completely changes the perception of Crane from the point of view of Indiana University. It is now accessible to us in way that it just wasn’t accessible before. And I speak as someone who very nearly was hit by a car—and probably wouldn’t be here had that happened—because of the inadequacies of the roads in that part of the state.

When I first came here, because I had worked during a lot of my academic career with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, I was familiar with the impact of national labs. To me, and I think the Lieutenant Governor may have said this, too, Crane has always been the sleeping giant. But, slowly, I think the giant is awakening. I-69 is going to play a major role in that, and we intend to be a major part of that as well. We are now redoubling our efforts in engagements with Crane, which have incrementally built up over the years under Bill Stephan’s leadership and the leadership of other colleagues. And we see new opportunities now that Crane has been made so much more accessible.

International engagement

Finally, let me just make some comments about our international engagement.

About 30 percent of the students on the Bloomington campus have studied abroad by the time they graduate. This ranks us at number 13 out of about 1,200 universities in terms of the number of students who study abroad. It is not uncommon for small, liberal arts colleges to have numbers like that. But for a very large public university like IU, we rank as one of the largest in terms of students who are studying abroad.

To a person, all the students I have spoken to who have studied abroad—and this has been a priority of mine—have said that it has been a life-changing experience for them to study abroad.

We intend to continue to increase the number of our students who study abroad. Part of the campaign is aimed at raising funds to endow study abroad scholarships around the world. We are hoping that we can increase the percentage of students who study abroad to 35 or 40 percent over the next five years or so.

We have around 200 partnerships with quality institutions around the world. These partnerships are a significant part of providing the backbone for study abroad activity by our students.

We also have on this campus more than 6,500 international students and more than 8,000 international students across all the campuses of Indiana University. That ranks us, again, in the top 20. So we are, without a doubt, one of the most international universities in the United States. And I think you can see the impact of that on the city as well.

Of course, if you combine that with the School of Global and International Studies and the extensive international programs that just about every one of our schools on this campus has, you can fully appreciate how globally engaged we are.

We have established now three “global gateway offices” around the world. These three centers are used to host seminars, workshops, and conferences. They are used for student recruitment and orientation and alumni events. We established one in Beijing, one in New Delhi, and just a month or so ago, we opened our latest office in Berlin.

To give you an example of how we are using these offices, earlier last year I was involved in opening a joint conference we held with Peking University, one of the two ranked universities in China, on Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East. We used our Beijing facility for that. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann visited our Beijing office as part of a state delegation visiting Beijing last year.

Later this year, we will be opening a fourth office in southeast Asia in a location soon to be announced. And then, after that, we are planning to open one in Istanbul. Following that, we plan to open an office in Latin America. We have not yet determined where that will be. And we plan to open an office in Africa as well. Our goal is to have all seven of these global gateway offices established by the bicentennial. And they will become a vital part of the university’s international strategy and our international engagement.

As Herman Wells said in a different context, once we get them established, then “the sun will never set on Indiana University.”


All of what I have described this afternoon—this enormous range of initiatives involving thousands of people across the university—is a transformation on a scale that the university has not seen since the days of William Lowe Bryan when the first professional schools were established at IU.

Given that this is the flagship campus of Indiana University, all of this clearly has a major effect. It has an effect on jobs, on the culture of the city, on diversity, on economic development and wealth in the city, and on educational opportunities that are available including opportunities for lifelong learning. All of this, to a greater or lesser degree, impacts the city.

The changes on the campus also impact the city. For example, when one thinks about how the completion of the Woodlawn Corridor will impact the campus in an incredibly positive way by linking together the academic campus with the athletics campus, it reorients our thinking about how the two parts of the university and the city relate to each other. The extension of Woodlawn Avenue should be complete in October of this year.

So with that, I thank you very much, and I would be happy to take any questions on matters to do with the university.