UIndy is moving forward with a series of capital projects and educational enhancements after announcing a five-year development plan that represents a $50-million investment in the University and the neighboring community. “This plan arises from a strategic planning process that involved students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners over the past 18 months,” President Robert Manuel says. “We took that input and identified priorities that position the University to be strong and relevant, and that benefit the community through economic development. The plan will enable us to focus on the kind of education that we believe is vital to our students and the world they live in—an education in which they are engaged in their learning experiences, interact directly with faculty and learn to think critically, communicate well, and contribute to their communities.”
Approved by the Board of Trustees in February, the five-year investment plan will build a foundation for the University to seek support for programs, scholarships, research, and endowed positions that will further enhance UIndy’s market strength and reputation. One key project is a four-story, 134,000-square-foot health sciences center, a unique space for students from UIndy’s highly ranked health sciences programs and for clinical facilities that will serve both the campus community and the local neighborhood. The center will provide clinical experiences for students in relevant fields and afford opportunities for collaboration on a variety of public health issues, which will inform discussion on a national and international level. The building will house UIndy’s programs in nursing, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology and athletic training, with classroom and laboratory space that will allow the University to expand its undergraduate and graduate programs in health-related disciplines, including a new master of public health degree program. The facility will create jobs and generate economic activity to spur further development in the area.
Over the next two years, the University will:
• Renovate Krannert Memorial Library to create technology-rich group collaboration areas and social spaces, making it more inviting and useful to the campus community and the general public.
• Replace the 160-student-capacity Campus Apartments on Shelby Street to create new housing options for students and enhance visual appeal along that key corridor west of campus.
• Expand and upgrade biology, chemistry, and physics labs.
• Make significant personnel investments that will include faculty positions for new and growing academic programs.
• Become the first institution in the state to field NCAA Division II men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, adding to the current roster of 21 men’s and women’s sports.
Accompanying those improvements are new initiatives in curriculum, programming and co-curricular opportunities intended to sharpen the University’s competitive edge in attracting, retaining, and graduating successful students. Already this year, UIndy has restructured its student advising offices into a centralized program, the Center for Advising and Student Achievement. Also new is the Professional Edge Center, a fresh approach to career services that links students directly to alumni and other working professionals in their fields of interest for internship, networking, and job opportunities.
Robert Wingerter ’76, chair of UIndy’s Board of Trustees, expressed enthusiasm about the direction the University is heading under Manuel’s leadership. “The trustees hired Rob because we knew he would not be satisfied with just maintaining the good reputation of UIndy, but would be very proactive in keeping us as at the forefront among our peer institutions,” says Wingerter, now retired as a partner at Ernst & Young. “His vision for what UIndy could become is inspirational to the entire campus community, and the Board of Trustees was unanimous in support of this transformational development program.”