Responsible Stewardship

Responsible Stewardship

Ensure that all of the public and private resources entrusted to IU are used as effectively and efficiently as possible in pursuit of the Principles of Excellence.

  • Accountability. Undertake continuing analysis, including appropriate metrics, to measure and evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of all aspects of IU’s operations.
  • Excellence in administration. Provide outstanding administrative services in support of the Principles of Excellence and IU’s broader missions.
  • Communicating excellence. Ensure that the accomplishments of IU are widely known throughout Indiana, the nation, and the world.

The resources available to Indiana University, as with public universities throughout the United States, must face the fact that each of our five major sources of revenue is significantly stressed, and all are likely to remain so in the foreseeable future:

  • Major increases in tuition are out of the question; the public will no longer bear tuition increases significantly above average inflation.
  • The State of Indiana is only slowly recovering from the Great Recession. While IU has done relatively well with the state’s performance funding formula, we must expect essentially flat state funding in the near future.
  • Federal research funding is stressed and more competitive.
  • A decline in reimbursement rates for medical services provided by IU Health endangers the support it provides for the IU clinical and health education enterprises.
  • Private philanthropy sets higher education in the United States apart from the rest of the world and has significantly contributed to its preeminence. IU is the beneficiary of extraordinarily generous alumni and friends, and their generosity has truly made the difference between good and great. Nevertheless, no major university today can sustain itself only on philanthropy, and here, too, IU must compete with other worthy causes for philanthropic support.

To build a sustainable fiscal future for IU, we must optimize our resources by discovering economies, leveraging our scale, and ensuring strategic alignment of resource allocation; we must enhance our revenue through the exemplary execution of our existing mission while we seek new revenue-producing opportunities; and we must ensure the highest standards of operational efficiency.

Staff

IU’s core missions of education and research are supported by a broad array of necessary, and often mandated, administrative functions—from information systems to public safety, from building maintenance to health care, from admissions to career advising, from fiscal management to legal representation. Each of these essential functions must be performed with the highest levels of professionalism and expertise, customer service, internal controls, and efficiency. Each requires IU to recruit and retain experts and professionals in their respective fields. IU simply could not be the university it is now, nor could it hope to maintain greatness, without the expertise, knowledge, and sound judgment of its dedicated and hard-working staff.

Just as competition for students and faculty is increasing, so is competition for the most talented administrative personnel. The recruitment and retention of talented staff, as with the best faculty, require competitive compensation and benefits, as well as positions that are professionally challenging, intellectually rewarding, and offer the potential for advancement through systematic programs of career development and succession planning. It also requires support for an inclusive, respectful, family-friendly, and healthy workforce and work environment. University Human Resources is reviewing all existing programs for effectiveness and will recommend where additional programs might be initiated.

Public Safety, Health, and Wellness

In the last decade, the health and safety of students and other members of university communities have become a matter of widespread public attention. While American college campuses are and remain safe places where millions of individuals productively work and study, tragic incidents like shootings on campuses have underscored the need to take steps to prevent to the extent possible, and to respond effectively, to a wide range of hazards. More recently, attention has focused on the unacceptable incidence of sexual assault on college campuses.

Campus police car parked outside the Student Building

Since 2009, IU has entirely transformed its organization and capabilities in public safety and institutional assurance. Building on groundbreaking work in cybersecurity, IU has taken strong anticipatory steps to strengthen the policing and environmental health and safety functions on all campuses. In addition, we have created new and robust emergency management, data security, and enterprise risk management capacities. While unfortunately there can be no guarantees that careful preparations will avert all risks, our goal is to reduce their likelihood and consequences for the health and safety of the entire IU community.

The Principle of an excellent education, above, emphasized the importance of the mental and physical health and wellness of students to their growth and their ability to benefit fully from the intellectual, cultural, and social life of the university. This applies with equal force to IU’s staff and faculty. IU in its role as an employer of thousands will continue to provide information, programs, and resources to foster the well-being and health of its employees. The benefits of this investment are great: a better working and learning environment for students, staff, and faculty; higher levels of satisfaction amongt employees; and greater productivity and fewer days lost to illness.

Communication

An environment of increased competition is an environment in which it is essential to communicate effectively IU’s strengths and accomplishments to a wide variety of audiences, including the many constituencies who have a claim on a public university’s attention and responsiveness. External rankings, despite their incompleteness and even distortions as a way of evaluating institutions of higher education, are a fact of life and often rely heavily on institutional reputation. At the same time, the number of methods for communication has exploded, as social media and other new technologies have come to dominate the transmission of information to key audiences.

Consequently, the systematic and disciplined marketing of IU, and the marketing of the academic units that comprise IU within this framework, is essential to the recruitment of students, faculty, and staff, sustaining and increasing philanthropic and alumni support, the standing of the university within the state and among members of the legislature, and broad national and international perceptions.

Bicentennial Action Items

  1. IU will deploy financial tools and analytics that enable better alignment of resources and expenditures with strategic priorities at all organizational levels. Balance decentralized decision making with a culture of transparency, clear goals, and regular assessment.
  2. IU will enhance procedures for approving academic programs and organization to be streamlined and flexible, and consistent with shared governance and assurance of academic quality and integrity, in order to allow academic units to modernize disciplines and organization, adopt new teaching methods and technologies, quickly seize opportunities, and reach new audiences.
  3. IU’s University Human Resources will review all university policies and programs in the following areas for effectiveness and recommend new policies and programs that might be needed. Of particular importance are:
    • Policies and programs that support an inclusive, respectful, family-friendly, and healthy workforce and work environment; and
    • Policies and programs that support career development and succession for staff members.
  4. IU will complete the build-out of the university public safety and institutional assurance architecture; establish the culture of compliance called for by the Principles of Ethical Conduct; and maintain national leadership in preparedness and data privacy and cybersecurity.
  5. IU will implement a comprehensive marketing strategy that promotes and celebrates the university’s accomplishments; defines and promotes the IU brand; coordinates university, campus, and school branding and marketing; effectively leverages IU’s internal creative agency as a competitive advantage; and aligns marketing activities with top IU priorities.

Continuing Priorities

  • Generate additional academic unit revenue through:
    • Increased retention of enrolled students
    • Recruitment of new students and development of new markets
    • Expansion of online and other distance opportunities
    • Development of new programs and services
    • Increased research activity
  • Leverage IU’s scale wherever possible to create greater educational opportunities and to generate efficiencies in new areas. Scale should be used to permit the concentration of resources on strategic priorities, to create broader access to resources available across the university, and to exploit economies of scale
  • Invest in infrastructure and personnel to assure, consistent with the university setting and local environments, the safety and security of members of the IU community and visitors to our campuses:
    • Build on the Principles of Ethical Conduct to create a culture of personal and community responsibility for integrity, health and safety, and compliance with internal and external requirements
    • Continue to upgrade the effectiveness and efficiency of IU’s safety and security organizations through unified action and collaboration across campuses and with external safety and security organizations
    • Continue implementing the Student Welfare Initiative
  • Maintain a strong positive presence, in furtherance of IU’s role as Indiana’s flagship university, with the state and national governments and opinion leaders