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From the Desk: Progress and plans for IUB 2030

By Rick Van Kooten and Stacy Morrone

January 08, 2024

As we kick off a new semester and a new year, we are excited by the energy around the IUB 2030 strategic plan and the tangible progress taking place on so many strategic initiatives.

Rick Van Kooten, left, and Stacy Morrone. Rick Van Kooten, left, and Stacy Morrone. We serve as co-chairs of the IUB 2030 Executive Leadership Team, a dynamic group of engaged faculty, staff and student leaders from across our campus.

Gathering for the first time in June 2023, we were charged by Provost Rahul Shrivastav in that meeting with developing a detailed plan to operationalize IUB 2030 goals, objectives and metrics across all three pillars.

Equipped with a copy of the recently approved strategic plan, we embarked on the task of transforming the plan into a set of concrete initiatives. By early August, a detailed roadmap to guide strategic projects was in place, and we began sharing progress updates on the IUB 2030 website.

Since that time, teams across IU Bloomington have been laser-focused on IUB 2030 initiatives. The following are just a handful of projects that will continue to gain traction this semester.

Ensuring students have the resources to be successful

The first-year seminar working group chaired by Vasti Torres, interim vice provost for undergraduate education, developed a set of proposed learning outcomes that would be required for a common first-year seminar course. Work will be underway to lay the groundwork to pilot them in selected courses in the fall.

A working group focused on academic and career advising, led by Vice Provost Torres and Executive Director of Academic Advising Dan Turner, initiated a comprehensive assessment of advising at IU Bloomington, with a goal of implementing a new advising strategy by summer.

Beginning this month, several IU Bloomington schools will take part in an early alert program called the Crimson Course Transformation. Eight courses with historically high rates of students earning a D, F or W (withdrawal) will participate and receive increased resources, including a second instructor, to support academically at-risk students.

Another working group is dedicated to enhancing experiential learning for undergraduate students. We can also expect to see expanded career resources and support for graduate students, with the IU Graduate School Bloomington continuing to roll out new opportunities for career coaching and professional development.

Building on a strong foundation for research and creative activity

Four transformational research areas were identified as part of IUB 2030: aging, human-centered artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and health and the environment. This spring, we will see momentum on identifying research leaders and associated faculty for each area — crucial steps for building a strong foundation for this work.

New career pathways and growth opportunities for both faculty and staff involved in the research enterprise are being created. There will be continued expansion of translational research and commercialization beyond the recently established IU Innovates, as well as support for larger team grants and grant support. A new research professor rank is under development, providing a path for faculty who seek to focus solely on research. And for staff involved in research support, a re-envisioned structure will come together with additional paths for career progression.

Impacting our state and beyond

Enhancing partnerships within Bloomington and the surrounding area is a key priority of IUB 2030, and the coming months will bring a reimagining of our community engagement structure.

We will also see the next chapter of the Center for Rural Engagement and IU Bloomington’s statewide impact begin to unfold with newly hired Denny Spinner kicking off his work as interim executive director.

Future work

Throughout the spring, we and our colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team will continue to stay engaged, providing updates on these and other IUB 2030 initiatives. We’ve seen impressive progress across all pillars over the past semester, and we look forward to seeing what 2024 holds for our campus.

Rick Van Kooten is executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Stacy Morrone is dean of the School of Education at IU Bloomington.