From the Desk: Q&A with interim chancellor
Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch began her tenure as interim chancellor on June 20. She talked to IUPUI Today about opportunities and priorities during this exciting time, as the campus begins to implement its 2030 strategic plan and prepares to transition from IUPUI to IU Indianapolis.
Question: What are you most looking forward to with the start of the new academic year?
Answer: The start of every new academic year is filled with energy and excitement with the return of students to campus, but this year is particularly exciting as we push forward new initiatives that support our strategic plan and continue to fine-tune details related to our campus’s transition to IU Indianapolis. Both of these efforts have been paired from the very beginning and so mutually support one another.
Central to both strategic plan implementation and our campus realignment is our commitment to creating new opportunities for student success. We are seeing the results of that commitment in new degree programs being launched in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, as well as new graduate and undergraduate certificate programs across several schools, which provide students more flexible, shorter-term learning opportunities that tie directly to in-demand job skills.
As this academic year unfolds, I am eager to see the innovative, resourceful, student-centered concepts our faculty and staff will continue to elevate as we build the future of higher education in Indianapolis.
Q: What is your top priority as it relates to the IU 2030 strategic plan and the IU Indianapolis campus?
A: Implementation is top of mind when it comes to the IU 2030 strategic plan and the Indianapolis campus. I appreciate the great work that faculty and staff across campus are already doing to sustain and strengthen current projects, as well as launch new initiatives that will move us toward our strategic goals.
Earlier this month, I shared with faculty and staff some of our campus-level progress, including new and innovative academic programs; the work of the Research Acceleration Action Team; and our close collaboration with the community on K-12 partnerships, programs focused on preparing new talent to meet health care workforce needs, and support for community-based entrepreneurship. In these and many other ways, we are making measurable progress.
Q: What are the greatest opportunities for faculty and staff contributions to shape the new academic year as IU begins to implement its 2030 strategic plan?
A: The greatest opportunities for faculty and staff to shape the new academic year fall into several different areas. First, I think it would be ideal for faculty and staff to prepare to meet students where they are by employing inclusive teaching practices, creating opportunities for students to cultivate relationships with peers, tackling complex issues in the classroom and through extracurricular engagement opportunities, as well as continuously striving to innovate and experiment with new approaches to fostering student learning.
I would also encourage everyone on campus to seek out opportunities to share their excitement about IU Indianapolis’ future with their networks and spheres of influence, including friends, neighbors and colleagues from other institutions.
Every person on campus — whether you’re teaching, taking care of facilities, advising students, working in a lab or serving in countless other roles — contributes to the excellence of our students’ experience, the quality of our programs, and the rich environment that fosters curiosity, innovation and discovery through research and creative activity. Together we help move this campus forward as we begin to implement our 2030 strategic plan.
Q: In your view, what strengths of the Indianapolis campus provide the best launchpad for continued growth and innovation?
A: The greatest strengths of the Indianapolis campus and the most important ones for our future growth and innovation are our people. Our faculty and staff bring experience and expertise that are truly the foundation of this campus. They are the keepers of our history, as well as the builders of our future.
Our students are central to that future. They bring the energy, the optimism and the creativity that fuel their learning and create pathways to a better tomorrow. Together, our faculty, staff and students are unstoppable.
Q: What is your favorite thing about campus in the fall?
A: Honestly, since I returned to IUPUI in 2019 as dean of the School of Dentistry, my favorite thing about this campus in the fall has been seeing and connecting with all of the new dental students in our hallways, classrooms and labs, and welcoming our returning students in their new roles as clinicians and leaders.
Now in my role as interim chancellor, I am delighted to see students from every school across the entire campus returning and filling our residence halls, our Campus Center, and every other nook and cranny they can find to study, chat and enjoy their college experience. I feel the same inspiration, enthusiasm and curiosity that they bring to their new experiences, and this is why I love my job and I love this campus. It is, and always be, all about the students.