Good afternoon. It iss a pleasure to welcome
the trustees, university senior leadership, and other visitors to Indiana
University Northwest, and to the Northwest Indiana region. It is an honor
to briefly introduce you to IU Northwest and our role in building
Northwest Indiana’s future. Our campus vision states that we are Indiana
University in Northwest Indiana, and IU Northwest diversity, among both our
students and employees, reflects the demographic, social, and economic
character, of our region. The different students who make IU Northwest their own
each day are not unusual on an urban campus. Two-thirds of our students are
women, more than forty percent are students of color, forty-five percent are
first in the family to attend college, a quarter are older than 25 years, and
regardless of age they have many adult employment and family commitments. So
with up to ninety percent of our students employed, it is not surprising
the forty seven percent of our students attend part-time, or that even our
full-time students enroll on average for only 13 credits each term. High levels of
financial need complete the sketch of IU Northwest students. Our students and
alumni, of course, tell it best. Danielle Dodson’s experience is very typical of
IU Northwest students. Like many of our students, she transferred to IU Northwest
and is double majoring in business and communication. IU Northwest faculty,
students, and staff, create a supportive learning environment for a busy adult
learner, but when one meets Miss Dodson there can be little doubt about the
clear-sighted determination that she brings to her plan to earn an Indiana
University degree. Well I’m a married, stay-at-home mom of five children. My children range from age 7, to 18. When my oldest son was in eighth grade I started
to realize that we were pushing education for him, as well as our other
children, and I was the only one in the house without a degree, and so that was
my motivating factor to return to school. When I was looking at schools, and I
began to tour different schools, and go to orientations and things of that
nature, I fell in love with the campus community of IU Northwest. I saw students that looked like me, I saw faculty and staff that
cared about students just like myself, and I just felt at home. Looking at the
pride in my husband’s eyes knowing that I’m going to school, that I am involved
both at school and in personal endeavors, and just seeing that makes me work a
little bit harder. As Dodson is just one of many IU Northwest students who are
willing to work very hard and make the necessary sacrifices to complete an IU
degree, despite discouraging media images at the value university study. Our
students see earning a degree is a signature life achievement that will
enrich their lives and careers, position them for leadership and successful
citizenship, and confer an IU degree the commands respect. But our students
often busy, complex, lives make continuous enrollment, even part-time, a fragile
frustrating proposition, and this is reflected in the enrollment experience
of IU Northwest during the last several years. We achieved an enrollment
of 6,184 for students in fall semester 2012, which rose to 6,387 in fall
2013, but declined 6052 in fall 2014. These changes are accompanied by the
familiar revenue dilemma. The combination of reduced, but thankfully stabilizing,
state appropriation, and strict limits on tuition increases. The impact of the
revenue dilemma is magnified by enrollment fluctuations in regional
campuses like IU Northwest. we have lost enrollment to fewer high school
graduates, residual academic preparation deficits, and most recently, competition
from improving employment opportunities, a factor documented nationally and by
economists at IU Northwest, who maintain the Northwest Indiana economic index, in
collaboration with the Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper. The
enrollment and credit hour projections developed by the campus academic
leadership for fiscal year 16 budget preparation were frankly discouraging,
which necessitated a disciplined review of expenditures, a consultative process
undertaken by the campus Budget Committee, which includes both
administrative and faculty leadership, and is ably led by campus financial
officer Marianne Millage. With a minimal impact on personnel, IU Northwest submitted a balanced fiscal year 16 budget without resort to
reserves that included expenditure reductions of 1.4 million dollars. It
will not be a salary increase in fiscal year 16 for faculty or professional
colleagues, but our lowest paid employees, hourly staff covered by the CWA Union,
police officers, and service maintenance workers, will receive the two percent
increase authorized by the university. In addition to expenditure control the
campus response to fluctuating student numbers and the revenue dilemma is a
systemic enrollment management approach to recruitment, student persistence, and
degree completion. Dr. Alexis Montevergan recently joined us as Vice
Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and we are
initiating recruitment strategies that address all of the student
constituencies to which our mission commits us. Vice Chancellor Montevergan has recruited a new Director of Admissions and Strategic Recoupment, and
in addition to redoubling our efforts with high school graduates, our
recruitment plan includes systematic attention to: students enrolled in the IU Northwest early college dual enrollment program at high schools throughout
Northwest Indiana, transfer students with a strong boost from the Kreski
Foundation supported partnership with Ivy Tech, IU Kokomo, and IU South Bend,
adult learners with college credit and, more specifically, those in the region
stopped out as part of IU’s Return and Complete Initiative, and renewed emphasis
on graduate student recruitment and program development. For all of these
constituencies, IU Northwest is competing with the attractions and
necessity of employment. Even though wages continue to be very much a
post-recession lagging indicator. An Indiana University degree can make a
great deal of difference in the futures of the potential students we are
recruiting, and we offer the flexible program and schedule options that will
enable them to balance their employment and domestic responsibilities with
progress toward degree completion. IU Northwest, for example, continues to
rapidly expand high quality online courses, driven by the large proportion
of faculty colleagues who are transferring skillful teaching to the
online environment. We are optimally positioned for expanded
online degree options offered at regional campuses. The overall IU Northwest enrollment and revenue strategy is to immediately exceed and
reverse the trajectory of our own projections, and achieve reliable growth
that generates sufficient revenue to protect core academic assets essential
to effective teaching, and individualized academic support enable our students
to stay enrolled and complete their degrees. Central to our efforts is a
significant improvement in academic advising. Planned jointly by faculty
colleagues, advisors, and academic administrators, to which needed resources
have been reallocated. Our students of course are the focus of these
initiatives so let me introduce Datianna Tillman, a student in the IU Northwest
School of Business and Economics. Datianna is a Gary resident who is the first in
her family to attend college, I’ve got to know her as a student assistant in the
chancellor’s office suite, and she is an outstanding example of why on-campus
employment is one of the most effective investments in student academic success.
Datianna demonstrates every day that maturity, perseverance, and managing
important competing commitments, are essential to achieve a bachelor’s degree,
but Datianna can speak for herself. The reason why I decided to pursue a
college degree was, well for the most, part to better myself, and just to
make, you know, make something out of myself. To be able to say that I’ve
actually accomplished, you know, the college experience, I was able to get
through it, you know, through the struggles and the successes. It will feel
like a big accomplishment to me, I thought, you know, graduating from high
school would be a good feeling but to graduate with a college degree>it’s pretty, it’s pretty amazing. Datianna and her student colleagues
deserve nothing less than an academic environment that encourages and creates
a meaningful, challenging, high value experience for them. Among the campus
investments that underwrite academic success and degree completion, IU
Northwest students can count on an outstanding, committed faculty of
teachers scholars, scholarly and creative activities, and to make good teaching. My
faculty colleagues who are scholarly about their teaching and enlist their students
as partners in learning, and scholars at work. The scholarly and creative record
at IU Northwest, supported by campus, resources is distinctive among
comprehensive campus faculties, and appropriately supports both the IU
research principle of excellence, and the Bicentennial Strategic Plan priority to
catalyze research. During 2014 my 176 full-time IU Northwest faculty
colleagues, 122 of whom are tenured or tenure-track, published 116 scholarly
articles, with an additional 44 accepted or in press, 14 books, with 8 more accepted
or in press, and 26 book chapters with another, 21 accepted or in press, there were
also 87 exhibits, shows, performances, and other scholarly and creative activities. The faculty presented more than 260 times in professional meetings and
contributed to the scholarly enterprises of the editorial board members, editors,
referees, and reviewers. They are also dedicated teachers, three of whom were
recognized at this year’s Indiana University Celebration of Distinguished
Teaching, and in their courses they engaged more than 2,000 students in
127,000 community-based service hours. Grant writing is critical to supporting
faculty work, and in 2014-15 IU Northwest has secured 1.3 million
dollars in grant awards, including a six hundred thousand dollar National Science
Foundation Award to a multidisciplinary faculty team that focuses scholarships,
targeted academic support, and research funds on students in the STEM
disciplines. I am very proud of my faculty colleagues. The scholarly and
professional environment is materially affected by the presence of, and closed
academic partnership with, the IU School of Medicine Northwest on our campus. In
addition to enhancing a distinctive emphasis in the health sciences and
professions, School of Medicine Northwest and the College of Health and Human
Services, give IU Northwest a leadership role in important
professional presence in the region. We are proud of our students
accomplishments too, and IU Northwest’s lively academic environment extends
beyond classrooms, laboratories, and student technology centers. There are
many ways in which our students connect with each other, and the Northwest
Indiana community. Let us meet Brandon Karcher, who was a Herbert scholar
majoring in Biology and Spanish, with the goal to attend the IU School of Medicine
Northwest. Few students could be more engaged in the life of our campus than
Brandon, whether he is conducting campus tours, or providing leadership in
brother-to-brother, an organization of male students of color, Brendan describes
how he makes IU Northwest his IU. There’s really so many opportunities
through the department, through the people you get to meet, they know you
one on one, and you just get so many more opportunities than just the education. I
think being involved on campus and being involved in multiple groups, it’s just
rewarding in itself. I think when you’re in college you need to learn as much as
you can, not only in your studies, but from the outside groups you become a
part of. Being here at Indiana University Northwest really helps me engage my
community, and use the education I’m receiving right now to do that impact
that I want later. I now introduce Mr. Azaz Menmood, president of the IU Northwest Student Government Association. Good afternoon esteemed members of the
IU Board of Trustees, and welcome to Indiana University Northwest. My name is
is Azaz Menmood, and I’m currently a senior here at IU Northwest, working towards a
B.S. in biology. As a long-standing member of student government, I have always
found the best way to serve my student body was by taking the time to listen to
what my students had to say. Today, I’m very happy to tell you that our students
are very excited and proud to be attending an IU school. Excitement is in
the air here at IU Northwest, as the new Arts and Sciences Building will be
breaking ground, and beginning construction very shortly. During this
time of critical growth and change however, we at student government are working
ever closer with the Office of the Chancellor to discuss challenges that
our campus has to face. Enrollment and retention statistics can be a headache
at times. Last year student government prepared several surveys that were given
to the IU Northwest students to see how these problems can be addressed. After
analyzing that data, student government has been working diligently to increase
communication methods around campus. Those statistics were also shared with
the office of the Chancellor, and other administrators, to better services around
campus as well. A new student forum was implemented by student government, so
that all the clubs and organizations on campus could regularly meet. This allows
free communication between the groups to allocate funds, and schedule events. This
gave rise to working closely with the Office of Marketing and Communication to
better develop a more effective way to communicate with our student body. Our
goal is to create a more effective way to reach our students to develop a
richer campus life, and to better retain first and second year students. There are
so many things to be proud of here at our community campus. Students have many
opportunities to do research with professional faculty and staff. My fellow
biology students, Corey Kirby and Tiffany Kluge, were researching with Dr. Gupta at
the IU School of Medicine Northwest. She was recently awarded a laboratory
research grant for 300,000 dollars by the Department of Defense. As Chancellor
Lowe mentioned earlier, in February our campus was awarded over six hundred
thousand dollars in STEM field discipline research. The grant was given
by the National Science Foundation, and to help attract local students
interested in STEM disciplines. I myself am currently researching human retinal
pigment epithelial cells for the IU School of Medicine Northwest under Dr.
Kennedy, and it’s thanks to opportunities like these that IU Northwest students
are able to apply what we’ve learned in a classroom, and give valuable experience
towards graduate professional education, as well as career opportunities. IU
Northwest students can also expand their learning beyond the scopes of the campus. International study and internship programs allow our students to travel
abroad and continue their education. Alison Cox is a Business Administration
student studying French, she’s currently in Paris at a cultural summer school
program, and she’s pairing her experience with studies in the Paris fashion
industry. Brandon Carter is also studying abroad this summer, and is going
Spain for a few weeks as well. Something else to be very proud of here at IU Northwest is our very close relationship with the IU School of Medicine Northwest.
Our campus annually hosts Dr. Talricos International Human Cadaver Prosection Program. this is the only program in the world that allows undergraduate
students from all walks of life to come to IU Northwest and work with real human
cadavers, and medical professionals, in our medical schools gross anatomy lab. The program is known internationally thanks to Dr. Talricos very unique
approach. He allows his students to meet the families of the cadavers, while
working very closely with local hospitals and physicians. Students are
encouraged to write letters and watch home movies about their human cadavers
to better understand how they lived, teaching students both basic anatomy, and
respecting human dignity. This creates a great appreciation for the cadavers and
the opportunity to work with them, and to learn from them as much as possible.
Because of this very unique and fulfilling program, students from
different countries all around the world apply to come to IU Northwest every
summer. This year over 240 students applied, but 50 prosectors were accepted
to the program. 23 of the students are from IU campuses, and we’re very proud
that 17 of those students were from IU Northwest. IU Northwest still has many issues
to address, in fact one of the priority student government hopes to focus on is
our campuses commitment and investment into our growing athletics program. Investing in the program can help strengthen campus pride, and create a
better RedHawk spirit around campus. Even with our shortcomings however, IU Northwest continues to grow and educate as this region’s University. Thank you. Thank you Azaz. To pick up from Azaz, more than 50 student-athletes proudly
represent RedHawk Athletics on our seven teams. Men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s golf, and women’s volleyball.
Nearly half of our student athletes completed this academic year with a
grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and two of our athletes, Justin
Dexter and Danielle’s Zanstra, were nationally recognized for their academic
achievements. The program successes include postseason invitations for our
women’s basketball team in six of the last seven seasons, and we are especially
proud that RedHawk athletics was named an NAIA Champions of Character Five-star
Institution for three consecutive years. Which recognizes a student engagement on and off the court. So it is not surprising that our IU Northwest athletics
is a focus for our campus, alumni, and community, to gather, socialize, and build
the sense of red hawk pride. As a crucial regional anchor, we take seriously our
role as the region’s university, which is consistent with our community-based
engagement strategic priority, and president McRobbie commitments. One of
the most visible partners and champions for IU Northwest is Karen Freeman-Wilson,
mayor of the city of Gary. We have many opportunities to work together, including
implementation of the city’s plan for the University Park neighborhood that
surrounds the IU Northwest campus. It is a pleasure to introduce mayor
Freeman-Wilson. When I think about what IU Northwest brings to the city of Gary,
certainly the obvious is that it is a premier educational institution. The fact
that it is one of the anchor institutions in the city of Gary, located
in the heart of the community, and because of that fact it provides a
number of development opportunities for us, it provides an opportunity for us to
develop neighborhoods around it. Much of the development work, the economic
development work, that we’re doing in the city is anchored around the University. The new Arts and Sciences Building with Ivy Tech Northwest, for which we are
breaking ground, is a cornerstone of the university park plan, and a fitting symbol
of Indiana University’s commitment to the city and Northwest Indiana. Community-based engagement in Northwest Indiana, which is a long-standing campus
commitment, takes many forms. Engagement connects academic programs, and student
learning, directly with community-based experiences. The texture and mutuality of
these relationships is described by Gavin Mariano, an IU Northwest and
Bloomington graduate, and member of our Board of Advisors. Gavin is a program
coordinator and marketing specialist at the crisis center in Gary. Well the benefit of having Indiana University students at the crisis center, as
volunteers or interns, is vast. Of course we help them, we give them the kind of
experiences they need to fulfill their practicum requirements. And then of
course they benefit us, by bringing their talents, by, in fact, sometimes even
challenging us, by you know creating new ideas, or bringing forth new challenges
that we may not have ever thought of. We have interns coming in who are working
at our emergency shelter, interns are coming in who are working with our teen
corps program, and we’re being really provided with the kind of, you know,
unique and diverse talent that is coming from Indiana University. Greater student
access to experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, is a
bicentennial plan and blueprint 2.0 priority that has been actively
embraced by the IU Northwest Board of Advisors. since such a high proportion of
IU Northwest students already support their continuing enrollment by working,
our Board of Advisors is exploring ways to bring the value of internship
experiences to students who cannot otherwise, except unpaid commitments.
Since this is a common challenge across our regional campuses, the results of our
Board of Advisors project that has the potential for adaptation elsewhere.
In addition to the human and intellectual resources that IU Northwest
students, faculty, and staff contribute in our region, IU has measured the
campuses economic impact at more than one hundred million dollars, as a major
employer and customer for products and services. But each of our graduates, the
overwhelming majority of whom remain in the region, demonstrate how student
academic success in an Indiana University education can contribute to the
future prosperity and vitality of Northwest Indiana. IU Northwest
graduate Scott May, a corporate finance officer at Centier Bank, tells a story
that will be familiar to many other IU regional campus alumni. I think I probably look like, looking back, a lot of the students here. Working my way through
college, having a family at the same time it was very convenient for that. I was
able to work for a local community bank, I was able to go to a local community
school, it all kind of fell together, ended up getting a job at that bank that
started my career. At the same time though I felt like I got an IU degree, I
mean, I felt like I was part of the Indiana University overall, so I didn’t
feel like I was losing anything or short changing anything on my education. I look
at the community at large, at the campus sitting here in downtown Gary, and
knowing as a child growing up in the area that Gary used to be a big thriving
city, it’s fallen on economic recession times, and that bothers me. I would I would really like to see kind of revival of the community here, and some
investment by the business people to start new businesses, and provide new
jobs, and kind of restore the Gary area. I think the university plays a big part
and keeping a heartbeat here. Mr. May is a good example of the ways in which IU
Northwest both provides and supports leadership in the region. Through
continuing contributions of our growing numbers of graduates. Along with our
students and alumni, many of us who work at IU Northwest are also engaged in the
communities that send us our students. Community-based engagement is a good way
to see how IU Northwest academic resources to make a direct contribution
to both quality of life, and regional leadership. The criminal justice program
in the IU Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs demonstrates how IU Northwest has a practical impact in Northwest Indiana, enhances the academic experience for students, and takes full
innovative advantage of it. The applications of faculty scholarly work.
professor Joseph Farentino and his students began collecting incident data
from the Gary Police Department, and using GPS to map the data to enable the
police to more effectively deploy limited resources. Two years on this
initiative, with grant support, now involves two dozen Northwest Indiana
collaborating agencies that use the project data to allocate resources more
efficiently, and achieve measurable decreases in crime in their
jurisdictions. The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper posts the data daily
on its website. In addition to directly affecting Public Safety in the region,
the IU Northwest GPS project demonstrates the valuable leadership
that a university can provide to encourage collaboration across municipal,
and county boundaries. Any of these contributions to the life and future of
Northwest Indiana are possible because they are in the core academic purpose of
an IU regional campus, student academic achievement. The launch of the Indiana
University Bicentennial Plan in the IU regional campus blueprint 2.0,
created the ideal context during 2014-15 for a thorough review of the IU Northwest planning priorities. The IU Northwest council governance body that
includes representatives from all campus constituencies, led a strategic planning
exercise the tested alignment of campus priorities with Bicentennial plan and
blueprint 2.0, amplified them with campus level objectives, and discuss them with
campus constituencies. the IU Northwest strategic priorities and objectives, 2015
2020, were approved by the IU Northwest council earlier this month. IU Northwest’s
first strategic priority states that student academic success is our primary
purpose. Supporting campus level objectives all represent the campus
emphasis on, and investment in, student academic success, even in difficult
financial times, and include the overall campus goals for improved student
success indicators: strategic recruitment and enrollment, retention, numbers of
degrees conferred, and degree completion rates. The other strategic priorities and their associated objectives all contribute to
the achievement of our primary purpose. At the more operational levels, our
campus planning objectives are measurable in formal, quantitative, and
qualitative terms. the IU Northwest strategic priorities and objectives
reflect campus and university aspirations. To direct resources to
continuously improve degree completion. To realize the potential of diversity
and inclusion. To enhance learning and achievement. To support the prosperity
and quality of life of Northwest Indiana, and to contribute to the national
increase in bachelor’s degree attainment. After all, it is regional campus students
who must succeed if any of the big national goals to increase bachelor’s
degrees are to be achieved, or even meaningful. It is our job to prove that
democratized, equitable access to the inclusive excellence of public higher
learning can lead to greater equity and academic achievement, and prospects for
future success. But we learn a good deal about our progress toward the
realization of our strategic priorities from the direct testimony of our
students, community partners, and graduates. We want to enable our students
to learn and practice the liberal skills, professional knowledge, and perspectives,
that will create the foundation for fulfilling life and career, so that they
can take their places active citizens and community leaders in Northwest
Indiana. The final member of the IU Northwest community I will introduce
today is Despina Amanatidis, past president of the IU Northwest Alumni
Association, teacher at Valparaiso high school, and a wonderful soprano, who leads the singing of the national anthem and Hail to Old IU at the IU Northwest
commencement ceremonies. Despina, in many ways, personifies the aspiration that our
students have deep meaningful learning experiences, that, in their postgraduate
years continue to serve them and our region well. Coming to IU, and receiving
that MBA, opened a lot of doors for me. For one I was able to get my education
license and teach, and that’s what I’m currently doing. It made me see things in
a different way, economically just how the world runs. I believe that staying
connected to Indiana University Northwest is very important because
it is right in our backyard, and I keep saying backyard because it is. It’s part
of our neighborhood, and I think it’s important to give back to the University. Because my experiences were great; I hope that many more students have a great
experience just like I had, and I hope that they can also take back with them,
and give back as well, so that we can continue this wonderful wealth of
knowledge that we have. Thank you for the opportunity to introduce you to Indiana
University Northwest, and our role as the region’s university, and the opportunity
to tell you some of the things that make me very proud to serve as chancellor at
IU Northwest.