It is a great honor to have been chosen to serve as ninth president of the University of Indianapolis. With every campus meeting I have, I am more aware of how the University has been growing in terms of both numbers and impact. I want to thank Dr. Beverley Pitts for her leadership over the past seven years. The quality of our faculty, the passion of our students, and the engagement with our community make our University a unique place to live and study.
The traditions of service, academic excellence, and student-faculty engagement—the bedrock of our work at the University—are inspirational to me. And we have so many examples of how we live out those traditions. We’ve named our first Distinguished Professor of Service Learning, and faculty in both education and music have recently earned statewide teaching awards. The School of Occupational Therapy just celebrated a quarter-century of operations. We are putting the finishing touches on a new residence facility, Roberts Hall, as well as the Athletics & Recreation Center.
A number of new degree programs will launch this year to meet community needs—a doctor of nursing degree and Indiana’s only Neonatal Nurse Practitioner master’s degree; a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership and Design offered by our School for Adult Learning; and a master’s in Sport Management offered by our Kinesiology Department. The Krannert School of Physical Therapy has tripled the size of its Movement Science Lab, which greatly enhances research capabilities. The Art & Design Department and the School of Business are the most recent to earn the reaffirmation of accrediting agencies. We were granted $2 million from the Lilly Endowment toward our work on the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives.
And soon we will welcome, in terms of their average GPA and cumulative college-preparatory background, the best-prepared class of freshmen ever to grace our campus. Truly, our past milestones, both recent and distant, are literally too numerous to mention. But it is our work to meet the challenges in the upcoming decade that will define us. More than ever, UIndy is needed to engage our community, to rally our students, faculty, and alumni around the creation of new academic experiences that recognize the value in tradition, mission, and academic rigor, and connect it to the productivity required of our professional communities. It is my hope that you will join me in our work, help me understand the enduring values that we must maintain in our community, and make UIndy a national model of comprehensive education.
I look forward to meeting you—see you at Homecoming!
Rob Manuel, President