Bicentennial Priority Three: Catalyzing Research
Indiana University will engage in strategic hiring, investments in technology, and seed funding to support collaborative faculty research initiatives, with a focus on the grand challenges facing the state, the nation, and the world. It will continue to support the creative and scholarly activities of its artists and humanists.
Bicentennial Action Items
- IU will ask faculty and academic leadership to identify the grand challenges to which IU can contribute most effectively, building on strengths in the humanities, professions, and social, natural, and clinical sciences. IU will support multidisciplinary and multicampus teams to address those grand challenges.
- IU will continue to support the arts and humanities through the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program. IU will also continue to invest in facilities to support the creative and performance activities of these disciplines.
- IU will continue its support of widespread intercampus collaboration by establishing a searchable faculty collaboration database to identify opportunities. This database will also assist in establishing the faculty networks envisioned in Bicentennial Priority Two.
- IU will intensively pursue cluster hires to strengthen current areas or establish new strengths. These will focus on experienced faculty members with track records of research accomplishment, success in securing funding support, and serving as catalysts who enable others within or outside of their disciplines to excel.
- IU will provide targeted seed funding and support for faculty in expanding and diversifying sources of external research funding.
- IU will continue to invest in the physical and IT infrastructure necessary for twenty-first century research and beyond, through new and renovated laboratory space and continuing investments in cyberinfrastructure, with priorities based upon prospects for research productivity.
- Amount and diversity of sponsored research
- Publication rate and demonstrated impact of faculty according to field-appropriate measures
- Establishment of Grand Challenge groups and associated research funding
- Number of multicampus sponsored research collaborations
- Provide opportunities for all students, including undergraduates, to engage with faculty in research and creative activities
- Break down organizational silos that impede interdisciplinary research and teaching, intercampus and interschool collaboration, and recognition and rewarding of collaborative activity
- Support innovative campus “living laboratory” initiatives that provide opportunities to integrate campus operations, faculty and student research, education, student life, and community engagement to applied, solutions-oriented sustainability research
- Build and support intercampus collaboration through:
- Establishing database to identify opportunities
- Providing seed funding through the IU Collaborative Research Grants program
- Coordinating multiple submissions
- Fostering a culture of full compliance with all applicable ethics, safety, and financial requirements, consistent with the Principles of Ethical Conduct
- Work with partner institutions in the AAU and other national organizations to reduce external regulatory burdens on research; undertake continuing review of internal research and related policies and procedures to minimize the administrative burden on researchers, working with the IU Policy Advisory Council, OVPR, and other administrative units
Renewing IU’s Commitment to Education
Of vital importance to the future of Indiana are robust Schools of Education on all of IU’s campuses. They have the leading role in the state in training teachers and school administrators, and in producing innovative research on teacher training, pedagogy, curriculum, and administration. The central importance to the people of Indiana of having an effective P–12 system—a system of early childhood, elementary, and secondary education—cannot be overstated. It is essential for Indiana’s economic, social, and cultural development, and for the quest for equal opportunity and socioeconomic mobility. Indiana University takes tremendous, justified pride in its graduates, who teach more of Indiana’s sons and daughters, especially in public school systems, than any other university in the state. Frequent winners of state and national awards, IU Education alumni serve Indiana with distinction and build the educational foundation for the future.
The state and IU face serious challenges in the field of education. Although Indiana ranks highly among states in terms of high school graduation attainment, questions remain regarding the college-readiness of graduates, as indicated by rates of college completion that are below national averages.
Educational policy is itself in flux, as it so often is, as state governments wrestle with questions of teacher and school accountability, appropriate metrics of learning success, funding, and administrative structures, and the reward and retention in schools of top educators. Partly as a result of such controversies, and partly due to shifting economic opportunities, enrollments in degree programs in IU’s Schools of Education have been on a significant downward trend, with undergraduate and graduate enrollment declining by around 30% over the last few years, despite the high quality of the programs. This is in turn causing severe financial strain on all campuses, and the situation is simply unsustainable.
Given the importance of P–12 education to the state, and with IU’s commitment to outstanding professional education and research that forms part of Principle of Excellence Three, it is essential that Indiana University’s faculty and academic leadership look deeply and comprehensively into how its Schools of Education can best serve the needs of the educational system in Indiana and Hoosier students, the needs of individuals who wish to pursue a career in education, and the needs of education across the nation and the globe. Doing so can also address serious enrollment declines in Indiana and nationally. IU will not only advance its responsibility for leadership in education in Indiana, but will also attract new and talented students who are excited to take on the problems of P–12 education and want to be part of the solutions.
The review must represent a thorough, university-wide reevaluation—in full accordance with IU’s traditions of shared governance—of education programs, degrees, non-degree credentials, and multidisciplinary collaborations; student experience, including clinical experiences; and engagement with P–12 school systems throughout the state of Indiana; and if warranted, the structure and organization of education at IU. To assist in such a review, IU will establish a Blue Ribbon Review Committee of external experts and practitioners to provide an external perspective on developments and trends in teacher education and education research. The review will inform IU’s own analysis of the future direction, approach, and structure of the Schools of Education on all campuses and how they should address their significant enrollment declines. (For the core campuses, the external review may also inform the search for new leadership of the school.) The overall internal and external process will solicit wide input from IU faculty, students, and other key constituencies.
Bicentennial Priority Four: Re-imagining Education
Indiana University’s Schools of Education will engage in a process of strategic renewal to best serve the educational challenges of the next century.
Bicentennial Action Items
- IU’s core campus School of Education and the regional campus Schools of Education (collaboratively) will undertake reviews of developments and trends in teacher education and education research, with a view to recommending new approaches, directions, programs, or structures for their respective Schools of Education, with particular attention to addressing large declines in enrollment. The core school and regional campus reviews should occur simultaneously, but should remain in contact with one another.
- As these reviews proceed, the President will convene a Blue Ribbon Review Committee of external experts and practitioners to react to the reviews and to present their own assessment of future directions for schools of education.
- IU’s Schools of Education, with campus and university leadership, will review the internal and external reports, and adopt and implement their recommendations as appropriate, in accordance with IU’s traditions of shared governance. The core campuses’ report will also inform the search for new leadership for that school.
- Completion of the internal and external reports during the spring of 2015
- Assessment and implementation of the recommendations of the reports