Economic Club of Indiana


Monday, October 05, 2020

Welcome and acknowledgements

Thank you, Cathy. I appreciate your kind introduction and I am very pleased to be back to speak to the Economic Club of Indiana. I spoke to you not long after I started as president of IU in 2007, and I am glad to have this opportunity to speak to you again.

In my remarks today, I will share with you some highlights of some recent initiatives and developments at Indiana University that I hope will be of interest to you, including the enormous impact IU has on the state of Indiana.

The COVID-19 pandemic

I want to begin, though, by saying a few words about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The way we have responded to the pandemic is directly relevant to our role as an educational institution. That is, our goal is to, within the bounds of safety and public health, be sure that we can continue the education of the nearly 100,000 students who come to IU, that their education can remain on schedule, and that they will be able to graduate on schedule. The more that falls behind because of the pandemic, the bigger impact that will have on the economy of the state and, more broadly, the nation, in term of our contribution to them.

Comprehensive public health strategy on all campuses

This, of course, has been all-consuming over the last six months.

We have put in place a comprehensive public health strategy on all of our campuses. Much of this will be very familiar to all of you as many of these elements are now part of all of our daily lives and will continue to be until there is a comprehensive solution to the pandemic through vaccines and/or more effective therapeutics.

We require signed commitments by all IU community members to abide by pandemic rules and policies. This has been a very important part of what we do. Masks, of course, are compulsory.  Physical distancing, obviously, is required, especially in all our classrooms. We have taken the opportunity to open up a whole range of other spaces that are not normally used for classes, including outdoor spaces.

In Bloomington, in particular, there is an order limiting gatherings to 15 people. This allows us to enforce IU policies on public health guidance. There are similar orders in other counties in which we have campuses as well.

And, of course, extensive continual cleaning is taking place on all public spaces.

IU's testing strategy

The key to all of this is our testing strategy. We believe it is one of the most effective testing strategies that any university has in place. It took a lot of work to devise and implement, and as I discuss it, you will get a sense of how it has been effective.

The strategy is led by a number of doctors in the IU School of Medicine, the largest school of medicine in the country, including doctors who specialize in infectious disease.

First, we mandated pre-arrival testing for all students living in residential housing. We realized this would not be completely effective, but it was an initial screen and filter.

The key was on-arrival testing. All students who were living in dorms at Bloomington, IUPUI, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast had to undergo rapid, 30-minute antigen testing when they arrived on campus. That allowed us to identify fewer than 200 students who actually had the coronavirus. They would then, of course, not go into the dorms until they recovered so that they would not infect other students. I think we all we from the news, not only every day, but almost every hour, just how infectious this virus is.

Then 25,000 more students underwent saliva-based PCR testing on all of our campuses. The overall positivity rate was just under one percent. For people who are symptomatic, we put into place an arrangement with IU Health for testing through a process they use which has been very effective in dealing with those who are symptomatic. We have facilities on all of our campuses that enables that testing to be done, samples to be taken, and sent to IU Health laboratories.

The real key to what we are doing is the asymptomatic testing. We are testing more than 11,000 people a week. This is a combination of random and focused testing: some who are tested are chosen randomly and we also identify parts of the university where we want to give particular attention or where we have seen outbreaks. This goes on every week and the statistics are posted on our COVID dashboard.

We are in the process of putting into place three laboratories—one in Bloomington and two in the IU School of Medicine—which will enable us to carry out our own PCR testing. These will be operational within a few weeks. We will then be doing 5,000 tests a day for people who are asymptomatic. We expect to scale this up, but we will begin with 5,000. This will enable us to greatly expand the amount of testing we are doing, and continue the process of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus on our campuses. We are very grateful to Eli Lilly and Company for the loan of robotics equipment for our Bloomington lab that will allow us to get that lab up and running within a few weeks.

Everyone who tests positive goes into isolation in an IU facility or at home. Our facility in Bloomington is, at the moment, only at about 17 percent of capacity. Extensive contact tracing carried out for all contacts of anyone who tests positive. We can normally begin that process within about an hour of someone testing positive. Close contacts of those who test positive go into quarantine.

The positivity rate last week for whole of IU was 1.26 percent, down from about six percent the first week of the semester. So, given how infectious this virus is, that is a considerable improvement, and, of course, translates into vastly less opportunity for the virus to spread. We calculate the IU background prevalence rate calculated at .6 percent, which is likely lower than the estimated state figure of 1 percent, which results from work done by our Fairbanks School of Public Health. What this says, in effect, is that our campus environments are safer than being in some arbitrary point in the state.

This Wednesday, we will reach the halfway point of the in-person part of the fall semester. We are becoming cautiously optimistically that we will be able to get to the end of the semester without any major steps backwards. We think we have testing now working so efficiently—not to mention that we will be massively expanding it a couple of weeks—and we believe we will be able to control any outbreaks if and when they occur on any of our campuses.


Let me say a few words how the pandemic has affected academics.

For the fall semester, IU went from 77 percent to 12 percent of classes given completely in-person. In-person classes are the staple of a university like IU, and we have implemented a massive reduction in this area. Hybrid classes, that is, those that feature a mix of in-person and on-line instruction, have gone from five percent to 60 percent. So now, the majority of our classes are taught in hybrid mode. We went from 17 percent to 28 percent of classes given completely on-line.

This involved the conversion to hybrid mode or online mode of about 7,400 courses. It took a major effort, of course, to convert that many classes.

Since August 1, IU constituents have held 3.8 million hours of Zoom meetings, equivalent to 433 years of continuous meetings. I’m sure some of you probably have nightmares about that. Students and others have logged into Canvas, our online learning platform, over 12 million times. And members of the IU community have watched 38 million minutes of lectures and meetings uploaded to Kaltura, another learning management program, which is equivalent to about 72 years of continuous videos. These three platforms have become the workhorses on online instruction and hybrid instruction at IU.

It is worth noting that the investments we have made over a number of decades in information technology, networking, classroom technology, and software infrastructure has been enormously important to us and has enabled an almost flawless transition from the traditional mode of instruction to this mixed mode of instruction that we will be in for the rest of this academic year.

Educating knowledgable, highly trained, and creative graduates

As I said, the main goal is allowing our students to continue their education so they can progress and graduate at the expected rate. That is vital for them in terms of their employment prospects and vital for our state in terms of the impact they will have.

Fall student enrollment

Enrollment this fall was basically flat, that is, the same as 2019. We regard this as being an enormous achievement. In the spring, we were expecting it to drop. There were apocalyptic projections that enrollment would decline by something on the order of 25 percent, which would have obviously been devastating for us as an institution. But due to an enormous amount of hard work, our enrollment was within a couple of hundred students of what it was in the last academic year.

We saw the number of international students, sadly, drop considerably, but we saw an increase in domestic enrollment.

We have also seen a record increase in minority students. The total percentage of minority students at IU as a percentage of the overall student population is 28 percent, which is about 23,000 students. This compares to the minority population of Indiana in that demographic of 24 percent. And this represents a doubling of minority enrollment at IU in less than 15 years. We also regard it as an enormous achievement that we much better reflect the demographic profile of the state, which seems completely appropriate for a large state university.

Nearly 4,000 IU students are pursuing a professional education in the health science fields.

And our summer session enrollment set a record. This may have, in part, been the result of employment opportunities not being available to students over the summer.

IU campus enrollment 2020

We have about 90,000 degree-seeking students enrolled at IU. We have another roughly 20,000 non-degree-seeking students doing various other forms of course work.  Seventy percent of our students are Indiana residents. IU is the largest educator of both in-state and minority students.

About 28,000 students are enrolled in health and business programs. These business programs include, more broadly, information technology and related areas.

Students are enrolled in more than 1.2 million credit hours—about the same as last year.

Unprecedented academic transformation

Following from that, let me say something about the major transformation of the university’s academic structure that we have undertaken at IU.

To be completely responsive to student needs, a university must provide the kinds of courses and degrees that students want. In 2010, we began a process to review IU’s academic structure. We asked the question: “Are we providing the kinds of degrees and opportunities that students want?” The conclusion of a key committee I put together in this area was that we were not and that there were multiple opportunities for academic restructuring.

10 new schools established

This analysis led to the establishment of 10 new schools on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.

Somewhat presciently, the first two of these were the Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis, which, as you know, has played a significant role in addressing the pandemic in Indiana, and the School of Public Health in Bloomington, which emerged out of the former School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. These are the only two schools of public health in Indiana. Both have been engaged to a significant degree in aspects of addressing the pandemic. In the future, I think, they will only become even more important to public health in Indiana. Both are now producing public health professionals with accredited degrees.

This audience does not need me to explain who Lee Hamilton is or who Dick Lugar was. Our trustees approved the naming of our new School of Global and International Studies for them. It was an enormous privilege that Dick was still with us when we named the school, and both he and Lee were able to attend. I was on a call this morning with the Department of Education. We are undergoing a review of our federally-funded language and area studies programs, of which we have more than any other university in the country. Most of these are housed in the Hamilton Lugar School. Forming the school has taken an area of strength that we had that was probably unknown to the great majority of people in the state, and catapulted it to become, very rapidly, one of the leading schools of international studies in the nation. It was a great pleasure to pick up the latest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine just a few weeks ago and to see a wonderful advertisement for the Hamilton Lugar School, prominent among advertisements for some of the other great schools in this area, including Johns Hopkins, the Kennedy School, and others.

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which we named after the Lilly family in recognition of the extraordinary generosity of the family and Lilly Endowment to the school over time. It is the first school of philanthropy in the country.

The transformation of what is now the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering began in 2012 with the merger of our School of Informatics and the former School of Library and Information Science. It has continued to grow and transform. We are, as I am fond of saying, an engineering school now. And, of course, the area of engineering we are focused on is intelligent systems engineering, which involves artificial intelligence and other areas. This school was named in recognition of a generous gift from Fred Luddy, a former IU student and the founder of ServiceNow. Fred’s gift is also establishing a major program in artificial intelligence with a new AI building in Bloomington.

The Media School aggregated all of our programs in journalism, communications, and film studies.

The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design enabled us to start a new program in architecture—the J. Irwin Miller Program in Architecture in Columbus.

Two new schools of education emerged out of our previous School of Education. Both had new missions developed for them in Bloomington and Indianapolis.

And finally, the last school we restructured was our School of Health and Human Sciences, again relevant to the state’s response to public health issues.

A record period of construction and renovation

We are also in the midst of a record-breaking period of construction of new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings at IU.

Most of our new schools now have new or newly renovated space.

Here you see the beautiful new building where the Hamilton Lugar School is based.

Of course, thanks to the tremendous generosity of Cindy Simon Skjodt, Assembly Hall underwent an extensive renovation.

And this is the renovation of Franklin Hall, which is now the home of the Media School. Franklin Hall was an almost derelict building that became a buzzing hub of student life.

In the last few years, we have built or renovated close to 200 major new buildings or facilities. Our major focus has been on renovating existing buildings. This is taking facilities the people of Indiana have invested in over more than a century and ensuring that we are getting maximum usage out of them, which, frankly, we were not doing before.

The total value of this is approaching $2.75 billion, 70 percent of which has been funded through private or IU sources. Thirty percent of this funding has come from the State, for which we are enormously grateful. The State, in fact, has funded some of the less glamorous projects that have involved the renovation of buildings like Ballantine Hall and Franklin Hall, and these would not have been possible without the generous support of the State Legislature.

We have all but eliminated our deferred maintenance backlog. In 2010, IU had a of around $1 billion. It is now down to just over $100 million. this means that our investment in the future will be forward-looking investment and we will not be catching up with the past.

We also completed, under Fred Glass’s leadership, the Master Plan for the construction and renovation of the athletics complex in Bloomington. This has brought nearly all sports together in one central athletics complex.

Record levels of external research funding and private philanthropy

Last year, for the first time in its history, Indiana University achieved an annual total of more than $1 billion in external research awards and private philanthropy.

IU faculty received a university-record $854 million in external funding for research and other activities. This is the highest total of external grant funding obtained by any research university in the state during the last fiscal year, and it represents a 25 percent increase over last year's total of $680.2 million.

IU's total private and institutional philanthropy of $296.4 million represents an increase of more than 24 percent in philanthropic support over the previous year, and it reflects the support of more than 97,600 IU alumni and friends.

IU's combined research and philanthropy funding for fiscal year 2020 totaled $1.15 billion, which was, by far an IU record.

Our first-ever university-wide. all-campus philanthropic campaign—For All: the Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign—concluded last Wednesday. The final total, which we will announce on Thursday, is in excess of $3.5 billion.

The numbers are very nice, but the real impact of the campaign is in things like the number of new scholarships and new endowed faculty positions it has heled to fund. The campaign has funded 5,800 new scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students, which is a 45 percent increase over the total number of scholarships and fellowships previously funded at the university. It has also funded 235 new endowed chairs and professorships, which is a 50 percent increase in the total number funded over the previous 190 years of IU’s existence. That is the kind of impact that the generosity of hundreds of thousands of donors has had on the university.

I know that many people who are watching today made generous gifts in support of the campaign, and I want to express the university’s most sincere thanks to them and to all of the generous alumni and friends whose support helped make the campaign so successful.

A leader in information technology

IU continues to be a national and global leader in information technology. We have been grateful for support from the State and from Lilly Endowment in this area.

When I was vice president for information technology, we established the Global Network Operations Center, or GlobalNOC. It is the premier network operations center in the world for advanced research and education networks. It manages multiple national and international networks and now employs over 130 network engineers and associated technical staff, nearly every one of them funded externally. It is effectively like a medium-sized start up.

As I mentioned, the new Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence, affiliated with the Luddy School, is now under construction in Bloomington.

And this year, on the day of our bicentennial, we dedicated the Big Red 200 supercomputer, the first AI supercomputer in the state, and, at the time the most powerful university-owned AI supercomputer in the country.

Life and health sciences

IU is also the prime mover in life and health sciences across Indiana.

Indiana University has the largest collection of health science schools in the state by far. As I mentioned, we have the largest school of medicine in the country, as well as schools of dentistry, nursing, optometry, social work, two schools of public health, and the School of Health and Human Sciences.

The IUPUI campus is the epicenter of IU’s strengths in the academic health sciences and its schools have enabled IU to play an essential role in the provision of health-related services to the people of Indiana and the nation and in educating the overwhelming majority of health sciences professionals in Indiana.

All of these are coordinated under the University Clinical Affairs Office, which is headed by Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs and Dean of the IU School of Medicine, Jay Hess. We have, over recent years, brought all of the health sciences schools to work together in the University Clinical Affairs Office—and Executive Vice President Hess serves as the key liaison for clinical activities with IU Health, on whose board he sits along with myself and the chair of the IU Board of Trustees, Mike Mirro, who I believe is on the call today.

IU School of Medicine

And, of course, the IU School of Medicine is the only medical school in the state of Indiana—and it is the largest medical school in the nation. Its main campus is in Indianapolis. Its faculty are engaged in various areas of COVID-19 research.

More than 20,000 living graduates of the school practice medicine and conduct research in Indiana, across the country, and around the world.

Much of IU's record total is funding medical research at the IU School of Medicine. The school is IU's largest grant recipient, and it brought in a total of more than $549 million last year.

The school has grown to include eight regional medical education centers across the state, including the second largest, which is in Bloomington.

The School of Medicine—and IU overall--partner closely with IU Health, IU’s affiliated health partner. As I mentioned, IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy is with us today, as is Judge Sarah Barker, who serves on the IU Health Board of Directors. This partnership absolutely essential to both our organizations. It is essential to IU and the IU School of Medicine in that it provides the clinical environment in which research can actually be trialed and tested in real world environments. And, of course, it provides the specialist research faculty who ensure that IU that IU Health’s facilities are academic health centers providing quaternary care—the kind of high-level care that is normally only associated with a major medical school.

IU Health Bloomington Regional Academic Health Center

This is the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center is currently under construction on the Bloomington campus. This is the IU Academic Health Sciences Building, which is integrated and part of the new hospital complex. This is almost complete. I toured it just a few weeks ago. This will house IU education programs in nursing, social work, speech and hearing, and the School of Medicine’s Bloomington program. It is interconnected with the magnificent new IU Health Bloomington Hospital. It is a superb facility as well.

New Indianapolis Academic Health Center

Of course, you are well aware of the new Indianapolis academic health center. IU Health is investing approximately $1.6 billion to consolidate its two existing downtown hospitals into one new state-of-the-art facility. This will again be similar to Bloomington in that it will incorporate all of the educational activities and many research activities of the School of Medicine in a new medical education building, which will be co-located with a new IU Health Hospital in Indianapolis.

Economic contributions to the state

On Thursday at the IU Board of Trustees meeting, we announced the results of a study done by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm and an affiliate of the Strada Education Network (which is headquartered in Indianapolis), on the university’s statewide economic impact. This was a large-scale, comprehensive study that is now available.

In short, it demonstrated that IU created $9.9 billion in added income for Indiana in FY 2019.

One out of every 26 jobs in Indiana being supported by the activities of IU and its students.

For every dollar that a student invests in their education at IU, they will receive $3.50 in higher future earnings.

Since 2007, IU has had 1,468 patents issued, 92 startups launched, 514 licenses executed and more than $85 million from these.

I won’t go into this in great detail, but one unexpected component of the Emsi study is the nearly $80 million annual impact of visitors, that is, people who come to our campuses for sporting events, conferences, arts or social events, or other activities. And of course, our students have an enormous impact on the state’s economy, with their spending resulting in a nearly $270 million annual impact on the state.

I should also mention, in terms of jobs, that IU employs more than 40,000 people full- or part-time. IU Health, our close partner, employs about 35,000 people. Put the two together, and you have about 75,000 people employed between us. That makes us, combined, by far the largest employer in the state of Indiana.


These are just a few highlights of what we have done over the last 13 years to sharpen Indiana University’s edge and to ensure that the university enters its third century of service as one of the very best public research universities of the 21st century and one that helps Indiana emerge as a major force in the global economy.