Dear Friend of Indiana University,

We are about ready to celebrate the end to another successful academic year, one in which more than 19,000 students will earn Indiana University degrees, thus achieving a well deserved milestone on the path to career success.

I am delighted to share the news that, amid the usual end-of-the-year flurry of activity, a number of our students, alumni, and faculty members have been honored for their scholarship and influence in their respective fields. In particular, I would like to recognize four current IU students who have earned prestigious national or international scholarships.

IU senior John Brown was awarded a 2012 Gates Cambridge Scholarship, an extremely competitive full-tuition scholarship awarded to a select group of students nationally and internationally who will pursue a graduate degree at the University of Cambridge. The scholarship has become the equivalent of the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. John, a mathematics and English major who is president of IU’s math club and served my office as a member of the Board of Aeons, was chosen for the scholarship for his intellectual ability, leadership capacity, and desire to improve the lives of others around the world. 

John’s fellow mathematics standout, Miles Edwards, was named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar—the most prestigious award in the U.S. conferred upon undergraduates studying the sciences. Miles is planning to earn bachelor’s degrees in cello performance from the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music and in mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences. As a freshman, Miles scored in the top 20 students nationally, out of more than 4,000 undergraduates, in the prestigious William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition.

Alicia Nieves, a junior at IU Bloomington majoring in political science and migration studies, won a prestigious Truman Scholarship for students who intend to pursue graduate study in fields related to public service. Nieves co-founded DREAM @ IU, a student coalition that advocates for the federal DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to legal status for qualified students. The Truman Scholarship will provide Alicia, a Wells Scholar, $30,000 in graduate school support once she earns her bachelor’s degree. 

Kasey Greer, a senior majoring in history, received the 2012 Beinecke Scholarship. This program encourages and enables outstanding young scholars to pursue graduate study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Also a Wells Scholar, she will receive $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. 

I am also very pleased to share the news that recent alumnus William Yu, who began his studies at IU Bloomington in 2005 at the age of 15, was one of just 15 recipients of the 2012 Hertz Fellowship. The fellowship, which provides more than $250,000 worth of support for graduate study, is considered the nation’s pre-eminent graduate fellowship in applied sciences. William, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2009 from IU with majors in chemistry, mathematics, and Germanic studies, is the university’s first Hertz Fellowship recipient and plans to pursue a doctoral degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

These students represent the finest in the academic tradition of IU, which also extends to work being done by our world-renowned faculty. There is no better example of that excellence than 2009 Nobel Prize Laureate Elinor Ostrom, who once again has brought distinction to the university by being named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2012.

As the editors of Time said of the people on the list, “they’re scientists, they’re thinkers, they’re philosophers, they’re icons, they’re visionaries.” Lin, who serves as a Distinguished Professor and the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, is all of these and much more. We are all immensely proud of Lin for her work and for the exemplary manner in which she has represented IU for more than 40 years. 

Also, two distinguished IU Bloomington faculty members were elected last month to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization to which I am honored to also have been elected this year. Scott Russell Sanders, novelist, essayist, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English; and Edward G. Carmines, Warner O. Chapman Professor and Rudy Professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences, also were elected to the academy, whose members include some of the world’s most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, and humanities and the arts. With the three elections, IU now has 23 current members in the academy, and I am honored to be entering with two of IU’s most distinguished scholars. The accomplishments of the thousands of IU faculty around the state serve as a daily reminder of the enormous intellectual and economic value IU delivers to its home state. Our faculty researchers attract hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to the state each year, while our graduates play leadership roles in a diverse array of disciplines including business, life sciences, medicine, law, education, and many more. 

IU also is one of the largest employers in the state, providing outstanding career opportunities and competitive wages across much of Indiana. And when Indiana University Health, the state’s largest health care system in which IU is a partner, is included we are the largest employer in Indiana, accounting for more than 52,000 direct jobs and another 48,000 indirect jobs. 

Well over a quarter of a million living Hoosiers are IU graduates, and that number grows every year as we turn out more graduates annually than Purdue and Ivy Tech combined. Indeed, IU has the ability to energize the passions and stimulate the interests of Hoosiers in a way that is unmatched by other institutions in this state, as we have seen recently with our men’s basketball team’s captivating return to national prominence this season.

Despite such clear and convincing evidence of IU’s importance to the state of Indiana, public universities such as ours increasingly are in the position of having to defend their value to a skeptical public and to lawmakers faced with ever more difficult funding decisions. With that in mind, the university last fall commissioned Tripp Umbach, the nation’s leading higher education economic research firm, to undertake a quantitative analysis of the economic impact of IU and IU Health on the state of Indiana. 

This is the first time the university has commissioned independent economic impact research, and the analysis includes a breakdown of the impact created by each of our eight campuses. We also chose to include IU Health in the analysis because the two institutions are true partners in every sense of the word, leveraging the strengths of one another to create a world-class health care system. 

The results, which were released publicly in late February, present the full economic impact of the university and the state’s largest health system in sharp relief, and I am pleased to share the highlights of the Tripp Umbach report with you. Full details of the study can be found on our website at
Tripp Umbach calculated the total direct and indirect economic impact of IU and IU Health to be $11.5 billion for fiscal year 2010-2011. This represents the combined spending by the two institutions as well as the spending generated by individuals and companies that do business with IU and IU Health.

Of the total impact, more than half—$5.9 billion—was the result of direct economic activity generated by IU and IU Health, including money spent on employee wages, university research spending, payments to outside vendors who do business with the institutions, and taxes paid to local and state government. The remaining $5.6 billion represents spending by businesses and individuals as a result of their associations with IU and IU Health. 

In arriving at this figure, Tripp Umbach applied an economic model that is the proven standard for such analysis and that employs a decidedly conservative approach. Even so, the combined annual impact generated by IU and IU Health is the largest Tripp Umbach has calculated for a university and health system partner in more than two decades of conducting this type of analysis. 

We also have been working with our regional campuses and chancellors to further publicize and disseminate the report’s findings. In Gary, Chancellor Bill Lowe has incorporated the data in presentations he has given to local and regional business and community groups. Chancellor Mae Reck at IU South Bend issued a news release highlighting the report’s findings relative to the South Bend campus. In Kokomo, Chancellor Michael Harris is convening a community economic development summit in late May at which time a representative from Tripp will present the overarching findings and comment more specifically on the IU Kokomo campus impact.

Also, in late May, Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan will present the report’s findings and more specific campus impacts to the Chancellor’s Advisory Board at IU East in Richmond. Stephan also presented the report’s findings to the board of directors of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation in March and to the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce board of directors in April. Between IU and IU Health, every region of the state benefits from our presence. We are proud of this partnership, and both IU and IU Health are working every day to strengthen our relationship to better serve the residents of Indiana. 

In keeping with that commitment, IU and IU Health recently announced a $150 million medical research collaboration, which holds the promise for breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, and cardiovascular disease research. Under the initiative, IU School of Medicine researchers in these areas will work closely with their physician colleagues at IU Health on research that will increase understanding of and promote treatment for a wide range of diseases. 

This type of collaboration has the potential to change the lives of countless patients around the world, while at the same time strengthening the IU School of Medicine’s reputation as a leader in medical research and education. It also already has been praised as just the kind of partnership Indiana needs to grow its burgeoning life sciences economy. 

The scope of IU’s impact is, indeed, remarkable, and I hope you take pride—as I do—in knowing that your state university remains a truly vital engine for growth in Indiana. Research and economic impact statistics, however, tell only part of the story because IU’s true impact on the state extends well beyond jobs sustained and dollars spent. 

It also can be seen in the educational innovation fostered by our faculty and in the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints represented by our 110,000 students statewide. The university also makes enormous contributions to the arts through our renowned Jacobs School of Music, our highly regarded Herron and Henry Radford Hope Schools of Art, in Indianapolis and Bloomington respectively.

We are likewise proud of our new Center for Art and Design in Columbus, our outstanding Theatre Department, and the creative accomplishments of our graduates in film and popular music. Our athletic teams also are an obvious source of pride that bring thousands of people to our campuses each year and bind generations of IU alumni and fans, as we saw vividly during our men’s basketball team’s exciting run to the Sweet 16 in March. 

Harder yet to quantify, but still very real, is the sustaining value to a community and state that a large intellectual class brings by helping to create the type of creative, welcoming communities that attract still more like-minded individuals and progressive businesses.

When one considers the entirety of IU’s impact on the state, it is easy to see why the university has played a unique and vital role in the success and growth of our home state for nearly 200 years. 

And, as always, thank you for your continued support of IU.

Yours sincerely,

Michael A. McRobbie