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News from around IU

Sept. 16, 2015

IU Bloomington receives 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

IU Bloomington has been honored with the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. This is the first year IU Bloomington applied for and was recognized as a HEED Award recipient.

This national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Recipients will be featured in the November 2015 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Insight's review process included a number of unique campus achievements on the IU Bloomington campus. The Groups Scholars Program, which admits about 300 first-generation, underrepresented students a year, increased funding in 2014. The change from covering the first year of college to covering all four years resulted in a 98 percent retention rate, the highest in the program’s history.

Among many other initiatives that rose to the top, the university’s commitment to supporting multicultural education, resources and experiences was demonstrated in 2012, when the GLBT Student Support Services house became solely dedicated to supporting the needs of the GLBT campus community; and in 2014, when space was dedicated for IU’s First Nations Educational and Cultural Center, both positioned for ease of access in the heart of the Bloomington campus.

“All of us on the IU Bloomington campus are deeply committed to promoting all aspects of diversity and inclusion,” said Martin McCrory, IU Bloomington’s associate vice president for academic support and diversity and vice provost for educational inclusion and diversity. "This award is recognition and affirmation of a broad range of collaborative partnerships and diversity and inclusion accomplishments.”

Arts and Humanities Council seeking student, staff, faculty feedback

The IU Bloomington Arts and Humanities Council is asking students, staff and faculty to participate in a survey focused on campus arts and humanities resources.

iu art museum

A survey will help the IU Bloomington Arts and Humanities Council as it works to create a five-year strategic plan. | PHOTO BY JAMES BROSHER, IU COMMUNICATIONS

The survey consists of two parts: an inventory of campus assets and a questionnaire regarding uses and experiences. Findings will help the council as it works to create a five-year strategic plan for focusing and strengthening the culture of arts and humanities on campus. Part of that plan includes a campus arts walk, an interactive events calendar, and a student passport program as well as a new outdoor arts series, a global arts and humanities festival, and an interdisciplinary research laboratory. 

“This is the very first step in a positive community project,” said Ed Comentale, associate vice provost for arts and humanities and professor of English. “We’re asking respondents to explain what kinds of events and experiences make living and working on our campus so special. The findings are designed to reveal the cultural landscape of the campus as a whole, highlighting vital sites of creative thought and activity.”  

The council was convened in April following suggestions by faculty during the campus strategic planning process of the 2013-14 academic year. It is tasked with considering ways to implement the arts and humanities portion of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington, which in part outlines ideas for increasing student engagement with arts and cultural institutions across campus, establishing more collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects and expanding public outreach programs.

The survey team was led by Comentale and School of Public and Environmental Affairs assistant professor Joanna Woronkowicz, who has extensive experience in arts planning and cultural policy. “We know our campus is rich in arts and humanities resources," she said. "This survey will help us enumerate our programs and facilities so we know exactly what we have, and how to build on it."

The survey is being administered by IU’s Center for Survey Research. Randomly selected participants will receive email invitations in the next few weeks. If you’d like to participate but did not receive an invitation, email csr@indiana.edu. Participants in the survey have a chance to enter a raffle for prizes that include cinema and opera tickets, Twyla Tharp Dance Company tickets, private museum tours and various university apparel.

IU Bloomington Physical Plant changes name to Facility Operations

Effective Sept. 9, the IU Bloomington Physical Plant was renamed Facility Operations

“This change was made to better reflect the purpose and work of our unit as a service organization dedicated to maintaining the environment for which the Bloomington campus is world-renowned,” said Hank Hewetson, assistant vice president for facility operations.

Established on Aug. 28, 1883, as the Committee on Buildings and Grounds, the unit currently employs more than 640 full-time and hourly technical, craft and administrative staff members who help maintain more than 560 buildings on campus. Those buildings are located on 2,000-plus acres containing more than 449 miles of utility distribution systems that provide power, heating and cooling, and water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Part of the Office of the Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities, Facility Operations also performs repair, maintenance, emergency service and minor construction for all classroom and academic buildings, as well as custodial care. In addition, Hewetson said, consistent recognition as one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses is owed in large part to the work of the unit’s landscape and grounds maintenance crews. 

liberian delegation

Armah Zolu Jallah, president pro tempore of the Liberian Senate; Jallah Barbu (who received his LLM and SJD from the Maurer School of Law), chair of the Law Reform Commission of Liberia; and Paul Koulboi Kennedy, senior advisor to the Office of the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, discuss progress made during their visit to the Maurer School of Law. | PHOTO BY JAMES BOYD, MAUER SCHOOL OF LAW

Liberian delegation visited IU to consult on amendment process

A delegation from Liberia visited Bloomington earlier this week to consult experts from the Maurer School of Law’s Center for Constitutional Democracy on several issues surrounding the Liberian constitutional amendment process.

Professors David Williams and Susan Williams, who direct the center, represented IU along with Gary Anderson, the center's advisory board chair, and several doctoral and J.D. student affiliates who are working on constitutional issues.

The goal of the five-day meeting was to draft specific amendment provisions that can then be presented to the Liberian legislature when it reconvenes.

Discovery scientist set to seek, encourage business potential of IU Bloomington research

As the fall semester kicks into gear, a technology manager with the IU Research and Technology Corp. will work closely with researchers on the Bloomington campus and the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology to encourage and assist startup business activity.

Wesley Pennington recently was named to the position of discovery scientist -- a role created through collaboration between IU and the Lilly Endowment Inc. to aid increased commercialization of promising innovations developed by IU Bloomington faculty.

Much of the job extends Pennington’s duties at IURTC, which largely involves efforts around information technology, software and health technology innovations developed at IU, the IU School of Medicine and the university’s affiliate groups.

Indiana CTSI announces awards for new projects

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute recently selected three projects to receive $200,000 each in funding for the next two years through the IU Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Awards. The three projects address issues in psychological and brain sciences and chemistry:

  • Ken Mackie, professor of psychological and brain sciences at IU Bloomington, was awarded funds for the Translational Adolescent Cannabis Use Research Center.
  • Franco Pestilli, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at IU Bloomington, was awarded funds for his project titled, “Improved accuracy for anatomical mapping and network structure of the Alzheimer’s brain.”
  • Peter Ortoleva, distinguished professor in physical chemistry and chemical biology at IU Bloomington, will conduct a study titled, “Integrated Computational and Laboratory Approach for the Efficient Discovery of Antiviral Vaccines.”

IU Bloomington, Kelley School of Business ranked among nation’s best by U.S. News, Forbes

IU Bloomington again was recognized in rankings issued by U.S. News and World Report.

For the third year in a row, U.S. News ranked the undergraduate program at IU’s Kelley School of Business in the top 10. Last week, Kelley also learned that its MBA program is ranked among Forbes’ top 20.

IU Bloomington continues to be among U.S. News’ top 30 public national universities and was ranked 75th in the broader list of "best national universities."

IU, Kelley School and Whirlpool partnering on sixth Habitat campus build

Nereyda Garza, a single mother of three, has spent many years living in other people’s living rooms. But once her new Habitat for Humanity home being built at IU is complete, she will have her own living room for the first time in her life.

Construction will begin Sept. 23 on Garza’s home, the sixth Habitat for Humanity house being built with a Bloomington family by IU students, faculty, alumni and staff on campus, sponsored by Whirlpool Corp.

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