President's ForumWinter 2015

Realizing the vision: Strategic plan progress

We continue to make significant progress on many of the projects defined by our Vision 2030 strategic plan, from programs and services to new construction. As you may recall, there are many moving parts to the work we are doing at your alma mater, including:
—completing the health pavilion;
—renovating Krannert Memorial Library;
—launching new academic programs;
—replacing the Campus Apartments;
—expanding and upgrading biology, chemistry, and physics labs;
—making personnel investments that include faculty for new and growing academic programs; and
—becoming the first in the state to field NCAA Division II men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

Beam-SchwitzerIn our most recent Portico, we shared a photo of a mostly bare UIndy Health Pavilion construction site taken in morning fog. Just a few months later, we celebrated the topping out ceremony (cover). Soon students and faculty will be reaping the benefits of this new space dedicated to multidisciplinary study and clinical work, reflecting these changing times in which new knowledge is discovered and ideas developed through collaborative work involving many specialties. And our vision for the health pavilion already is making an impact in a number of ways, including having attracted the adult day care provider Joy’s House to University Heights.

By the time you read this, we likely will have announced the contractor for the renovation of the library, which will have open spaces for individual and group learning, an expanded faculty resources center, spaces for formal learning, a café, enhanced technical capabilities, and improved informal learning spaces. We will open views to Smith Mall on the east side of the library, and more windows on the north side, allowing light to flow into the space.

Both the library and the health pavilion will be complete in time for the fall 2015 semester. A major initiative of the strategic plan is a package of improvements to the student experience, dubbed the Greyhound Plan, addressing student satisfaction, retention, professional development, and marketability. We are developing interdisciplinary programs and innovative curricular approaches, expanding research and co-curricular opportunities, enhancing student professional development (Professional Edge Center), and improving advising (Center for Advising and Student Achievement, or CASA). Early intervention and ongoing oversight of students’ academic plans are essential for keeping them on track for graduation. CASA will increase their likelihood of success, making sure they are taking the right courses to graduate on time. Linkages between CASA and the Professional Edge Center ensure that students identify career pathways suitable to their interests and abilities and plan their professional development in tandem with their academic development. Thank you for your support of UIndy. I look forward to keeping you up to date on the progress of the strategic plan and of the University as a whole.

—Robert L. Manuel

the authorMarty