Indiana University President Michael McRobbie unveiled a five year plan last week.
McRobbie’s State of the University address was devoted to what he labelled his Bicentennial Strategic Plan, which is to be implemented during the lead up to IU’s two hundredth year anniversary in 2020. The Bloomington campus should see more construction and renovation as well as the introduction of new schools and strategic changes to older schools. Most of the capital investment is to be focused on renovation of buildings around the Old Crescent, to the immediate east of Sample Gates. The plan also calls for renovating the old Wells Quad buildings to return them to their original residential function.
As for academics, McRobbie wants to put more emphasis on what he calls ‘Building and Making’, which means developing products that can be commercialized to the university and economy’s benefit. He wants to see the campus create engineering programs in art and design, and in information technology. Work on consolidating old programs into the new umbrella media school and fleshing out the new schools of public health, and global and international studies will continue.
A significant decline in enrollment at the school of education, coinciding with on-going changes in the state’s treatment of the teaching profession, and the imminent departure of the school’s long-serving Dean González, prompted the President to announce that he would establish a Blue Ribbon Panel of external experts, charged with not only making recommendations on a new dean, but undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of the school’s entire operation and making recommendations for its future.
The cultural life of people connected with the university as well as the larger community was the focus of the plan’s section on supporting creativity and cultural enrichment which noted the multi-million dollar investment over the last decade on teaching and presentation of music, theater, visual art, film, and other forms of art and entertainment.