The Foundations of Enduring Excellence
Great universities are expected to last. While universities are by some calculations the oldest continuous institutions in the world, we are entering a period marked by unprecedented competition, stressed resources, heightened expectations, and rapidity of change. If Indiana University is to thrive in this environment, we must be focused and farsighted in our actions and investment of resources.
Indiana University has been engaged for several years in efforts to reevaluate how we achieve our core missions of education and research. As a result of those efforts, much has already been accomplished. Still more is in progress, all with the goal of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan—to build the foundation for Indiana University’s enduring strength, and to keep IU on the course of greatness in its third century.
The foundation of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan includes the Principles of Excellence, ten broad principles that encompass the many areas in which a great university must be excellent; the New Academic Directions Report, which precipitated the most comprehensive restructuring of the university’s academic structure in its history; the Blueprint for Student Attainment, which is helping to ensure that IU’s regional campuses thrive and provide an excellent education to a wide range of Indiana students; IT strategic plans that helped make the university a national leader in the uses and applications of IT; the master plans for IU’s campuses; and the IU International Strategic Plan, which has helped to make IU one of the nation’s most international universities.
As the IU Principles of Excellence recognized, a great university must do a great many things very well, and a great public university must be accountable to the many constituencies who have a just claim on the university’s attention. Thus, the Principles provide the starting point and the organizational structure for the Bicentennial Strategic Plan. As a result, much of what is brought together in the Bicentennial Strategic Plan has already been announced and approved. The Strategic Plan adds eight Bicentennial Priorities, which reflect the scope and diversity of a great university while providing needed focus and direction to assure real progress.
Specifically, the six domains of the Principles of Excellence in the plan—education, faculty, research, international, health, and engagement—contain among them eight Bicentennial Priorities, which are highlighted in crimson. The Action Items within the Bicentennial Priorities will be supported by university-level investment, and will be the subject of multicampus actions and initiatives. The Bicentennial Priorities have associated metrics to measure progress through to the bicentennial year.
Recognizing that the core work of the university takes place at the unit level, implementation of many or most of the Bicentennial Priorities and Action Items will inevitably occur at the campus and school levels. Given the three-part mission differentiation of Indiana University (IU Bloomington, IUPUI, the IU Regional Campuses: IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IU Southeast, and IPFW), and its associated organizational structures, one, some, or all campuses will take the lead in implementing individual priorities and action items, depending on missions and capacities. Likewise, different kinds of campuses will implement the priorities and actions in different ways. Campus and administrative unit strategic plans and annual budgets must therefore specifically demonstrate how they will advance or contribute to each of these priorities to the extent and in a manner that is consistent with their respective missions. In addition, the definition of benchmarks and targets for the metrics, and the specific implementation steps for the action items, will be the subject of detailed campus and university implementation plans developed through our institutions of shared governance.