From the Desk: Strategic plan and Vision 2024 update
With the fall semester coming to a close, I am delighted to share with you an update on the tremendous progress we have made as a campus on our IU Indianapolis 2030 strategic plan goals as well as the Vision 2024 realignment. The collective work that we have done would have been impossible without people across campuses coming together, and I am immensely grateful for all the effort, energy and creativity that you have dedicated to realizing such impactful and transformative projects.
While I could highlight many projects related to the strategic plan, I’d like to focus on three particularly student-centered ones within each pillar.
Student Success and Opportunity
Announced in the spring, the Pathway to Medicine Program — a partnership between the School of Science and the School of Medicine — has drawn more than 100 applicants following a successful marketing push this fall that included a new website, informational materials and an open house for prospective students interested in pursuing the bachelor’s to MD degree pathway. Leaders are confident that they will fill the program and are excited to welcome the first cohort of students in fall 2024.
Transformative Research and Creativity
Early exposure to research environments makes a measurable difference when it comes to retention and graduation. That’s why this fall we launched the 1st Year Research Immersion Program, which pairs undergraduate students with faculty members on campus and immerses them in research, scholarship and/or creative activity.
In the first semester for the program, we paired 175 first-year students with 87 faculty mentors representing a broad array of scientific and creative disciplines. I can’t wait to see the outcomes of this innovative program and the difference it will make in student lives.
Service to Our State and Beyond
Building on our campus’s longstanding history of collaboration in the P-12 space, this fall, we are identifying baseline data on partnerships, including an inventory of enrichment programs and participating academic units. We are also verifying how many high schools in central Indiana have career pathway programs and prioritizing schools for high opportunity collaboration.
Shifting to the Vision 2024 realignment, just last week we hosted the Higher Learning Commission for a site visit specifically focused on the transition to IU Indianapolis. I appreciate everyone who met with our visitors or who contributed to the report. This was a critical milestone in our implementation plan.
Below are several additional updates related to Vision 2024:
- The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering has established its Department of Computer Science in Indianapolis, with undergraduate and graduate programs approved and established at the B.A., B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. levels. Computer science programs have drawn more than 600 freshman applicants for fall 2024, and overall Luddy has received four times as many applications for its undergraduate programs as last year. The school is in the process of hiring the founding Department of Computer Science chair and assembling an outstanding faculty with strategic hires.
- At its November meeting, the IU Board of Trustees approved the move of the Department of Music and Arts Technology to the Herron School of Art and Design, effective Jan. 1. This change in academic home will help our faculty, staff and students take advantage of the natural connections between visual art and music within arts and technology spaces. It will also unite two very strong creative areas on our campus, introducing opportunities for student learning and interdisciplinary research collaborations, both of which are tied to our strategic plan and to the future of our campus
- Finally, we are updating exterior building signs and developing a plan for updates to interior signage. This new signage will join light pole banners, tube wraps and other rebranding as we prepare to launch IU Indianapolis next year.
We have so much more to celebrate, like our two new groundbreaking research institutes, our work to develop innovative academic programs that meet workforce needs, our advances in inclusive teaching and our steady focus on ensuring student success.
At this exciting time of change and growth for our campus, I am particularly grateful to be working with colleagues who bring expertise, compassion and resilience to all that we do together. Your commitment to one another, to our students, and to our missions of education, research and creative activity, and service will continue to propel us forward as we evolve to better meet the needs of our students and of the state.
Thank you for all that you do for this campus and especially for our students.
Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch is the interim chancellor of IUPUI.