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From the Desk: Q&A with Provost Shrivastav

By IU Bloomington Today

August 29, 2023

IU Bloomington Today recently asked Provost Rahul Shrivastav a few questions centered on the IU Bloomington 2030 strategic plan, the start of the new academic year and even his favorite thing about campus in the fall.

Question: What are you most looking forward to with the start of the new academic year?

Answer: It is always exciting to have students return in full to Bloomington. It brings a special energy to campus and the community; I love it.

This year, with our new strategic plan, I am excited to join efforts to ensure that all our students are set up to succeed, faculty are fully supported in their transformational research and creativity, and that communities near and far benefit from all that IU Bloomington has to offer.

I am also thrilled for the next phase of our Faculty 100 hiring initiative, focused on key research and academic priorities, as well as the kickoff of the IU Innovates Hub, to further support innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly among our faculty and students.

It is going to be an exciting year ahead in Bloomington!

Q: What is your top priority as it relates to the IU 2030 strategic plan and the IU Bloomington campus?

A: My top priority is that we continue to improve the experience and sense of belonging at IU Bloomington for our students, faculty and staff. Our people are critical to making all of our aspirations possible. By offering the best living, learning and work experience we can at IU Bloomington, we can help everyone focus more fully on the vital teaching and learning, research and creativity, and service interests we are here to pursue.

Q: What are the greatest opportunities for faculty contributions to shape the new academic year as IU begins to implement its 2030 strategic plan?

A: Faculty are at the soul of all we do at IU Bloomington and make all of our work possible.

Faculty across campus as well as faculty leaders will remain directly involved in the implementation of the IUB 2030 plan. Faculty will be serving in working groups and shaping initiatives, contributing through faculty governance, focus groups and informal networks. I hope that faculty stay closely engaged as these efforts progress, share ideas and seek ways to connect work more closely with the diverse people and communities we serve.

This could look like rethinking coursework or curriculum to enrich student learning experiences, stretching to pursue new grants, building new collaborations across the breadth of IU, reimagining pedagogy, enhancing lab and office practices, sharing work in new settings, expanding areas of expertise, or taking the opportunity to put new discoveries to practice.

IUB 2030 seeks to achieve ambitious goals, and I hope that faculty embrace the opportunities it creates. Ultimately, we are all here to learn and reach new heights together.

Q: In your view, what strengths of the Bloomington campus provide the best launchpad for continued growth and innovation?

A: We have an amazingly talented faculty and staff at IU Bloomington. Our individual and collective talents and those of the new faculty and staff who will join us are the foundation of our growth and aspiration.

We are also fortunate to have a robust campus infrastructure the classrooms, labs, performance spaces, and so many other physical and natural resources that make our dreams achievable.

IU Bloomington has strong, historic disciplinary breadth and balance among sciences and arts, business and humanities, law and health, and more. We have incredible opportunities for growth and innovation, particularly at the confluences of fields, in new areas where our diverse strengths can be integrated in a powerful way.

We also have a unique student body that embraces working hard and working together attributes that help foster a truly vibrant learning community.

In my view, we have all the strengths needed to elevate IU Bloomington to even greater prominence and positive impact in the world.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your campus in the fall?

A: Without a doubt, my favorite characteristic of campus in the fall is the electricity — the energy and excitement of everyone connecting. After summers of eye-opening travel, internships and research experiences, students, staff and faculty have an abundance of knowledge to share and build upon. It’s great to see students reading or enjoying a sunny day in Dunn Meadow, practicing their instruments in the music building or walking across campus surveying local ecosystems.

As the leaves turn and football and soccer seasons begin, I delight in seeing new friendships and collaborations form through shared community. There’s nothing more satisfying than IU Bloomington coming together in learning and growth. That’s why we’re here.