Cooperation and Collaboration: A Vision for Progress in Northeast Indiana

Luncheon Hosted by Medical Education Center
Fort Wayne Country Club
Fort Wayne, Indiana
February 1, 2013

Welcome and Acknowledgements

Thank you, Dr. Chang, for that kind introduction.

I am very pleased to be back in Fort Wayne again this afternoon, and I am very grateful to the IU School of Medicine’s Medical Education Center here in Fort Wayne for hosting this luncheon. I look forward to touring the still relatively new Medical Education facility—which I dedicated in 2009—later this afternoon, and I hope that many of you will be able to join us to witness firsthand the outstanding work our faculty and students are doing there.

I will also be meeting with IPFW’s Chancellor, Vicky Carwein and other senior administrators and deans of the campus.

I am very pleased that the Chairman of Indiana University’s Board of Trustees, Bill Cast, has joined us today. Bill, of course, has had a long and successful career as a physician, surgeon, and businessman here in Fort Wayne.

Would you join me in welcoming him?

We are honored that a number of members of the Indiana Legislature could join us this afternoon. Would you join me in welcoming:

  • Senator Carlin Yoder, who represents the 12th District in the Senate (Sen. Yoder is a graduate of IU South Bend); and
  • Representative Kathy Heuer, who represents Indiana’s House District 83 (Representative Heuer is also an IU graduate. She earned her degree at IPFW.);
  • While Representative Rebecca Kubacki, who who represents House District 22 was unable to join us at the last moment, her husband, Mike Kubacki, joins us, and I would like to welcome him.
I would also like to welcome:
  • Julie Inskeep, the publisher of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and a member of the IU Foundation Board, and
  • Jane Jorgensen, who is also a member of the IU Foundation Board

This afternoon, I would like to spend some time highlighting several priorities that are driving change at Indiana University and will continue to do so over the next decade.

Indiana University’s core missions are, as they have always been, to provide the best possible education for the sons and daughters of Indiana and to create an environment in which the university’s faculty can conduct research of the highest quality that contributes to state and national prosperity.

Over the last few years, IU has been engaged in ongoing efforts to reevaluate how we achieve these core missions.

As a result, this is a time of tremendous growth and change for Indiana University.

Universities have often been described as, at best, making changes at a snail’s pace or, at worst, completely unable to change. Indiana University is evidence that nothing could be further from the truth.

IU represents the genius of great universities—institutions that have lasted longer than just about any other in human history. That genius is their ability to change while preserving their fundamental missions of education and research.

Over the last five years, widespread changes have been taking place on all IU campuses and at our medical centers across the state. They involve many people, units, and schools, and they will have long-lasting effects on the future of the university and the future of the entire state. In many areas, they represent deeper changes that are affecting all of higher education. As IU’s president, my goal has been to accelerate and manage this change.

Growth and Change in Allen County

This is also, of course, a time of tremendous growth and change here in Allen County, and the entire region is seeing great progress in a number of areas.

Just two weeks ago, the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank, released its report on the Best Performing Cities for 2012. Fort Wayne ranked 13th among 200 large cities in the report for job growth between May 2011 and May 2012. The report also noted that the city ranked 15th in high-tech GDP growth over a five-year period. And overall, Fort Wayne’s rank of 59th on the list of best-performing cities is 68 spots higher than its rank a year ago.

Of course, the entire economy of northern Indiana has undergone profound structural transformation since 2008. The tremendous growth reflected in the Milken Institute report, especially when viewed alongside some other recent reports, is a strong indication that northeast Indiana is making a robust recovery from the recession. Just last month, the Indiana Association of Realtors issued a report that indicates that the statewide housing market continues to rebound. And just last week, the Leading Index for Indiana was released by the Indiana Business Research Center in IU’s Kelley School of Business. Their January report notes that architecture firms in the Midwest are reporting a reasonably sharp upturn in business conditions. All of these are reports, taken together, are reason to be optimistic for the future of the economy of our state and the future of northeast Indiana.

In recent years, we have seen the city of Fort Wayne and the region grow to become an increasingly important center for the defense contracting industry. Such companies as ITT, BAE Systems, Raytheon, and General Dynamics employ thousands in the area. This growth would not be possible without the manufacturing, engineering, and research and development expertise found in Allen County and northeast Indiana. IPFW plays a large and important role in helping to create this skilled workforce.

One of the ways the campus does so is by serving as an educational partner in the Talent Initiative, which was established by a $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment in 2009. The aim of the Talent Initiative is to accelerate training in the so-called STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—in order to increase the base of highly-skilled workers to meet the needs of the defense, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing industries in northeast Indiana.

A 2010 grant from the Talent Initiative established the Information Analytics and Visualization Center at IPFW, which is one of 17 Centers of Excellence on the campus. The center provides state-of-the-art resources for IPFW faculty and students to engage in multidisciplinary research in partnership with business, industry, and government agencies.

Indiana University is continually working to strengthen partnerships with Indiana communities like Fort Wayne that lead to economic development opportunities for the state.

Such partnerships have deep roots here with IU’s long-standing relationships with Fort Wayne-based companies like Vera Bradley, co-founded and co-led by IU alumna Patricia Miller. The company’s generous support has helped the IU School of Medicine’s breast cancer research program grow into one of the leading programs of its kind in the nation.

The efforts of IU and Purdue to help grow economic development in northeast Indiana are centered in the IPFW Office of Engagement, which is located at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, the region’s hub for business incubation activity. Since 2006, the Office of Engagement has been capitalizing on IU’s strengths in informatics, medicine, and business and Purdue’s strengths in engineering and agriculture to help drive the region’s economy. Matching IU and Purdue with businesses creates valuable opportunities. For the universities, this collaboration provides jobs for students. For northeast Indiana businesses, collaboration with the universities helps them secure licensing, research, and technical service agreements.

Statewide, engagement in the life of the state and nation has been enhanced and extended by IU’s Office of Engagement, ably led by IU Vice President Bill Stephan, who is with us today. Across the entire state, the office is creating partnerships that draw upon the innovation and expertise concentrated at Indiana University to encourage economic development.

IPFW’s Enormous Impact on the Region

Of course, IPFW continues to have an enormous impact on the city of Fort Wayne, on northeast Indiana, and on the entire state.

The overall economic impact of IU’s portion of IPFW’s operations on the state of Indiana was recently estimated to be well over $160 million annually. That same study noted that IU’s operations at IPFW are responsible for nearly 2,000 jobs. And when one considers the impact of both the IU and Purdue operations on the campus, the figure increases to nearly $300 million a year, with 3,600 jobs supported. Furthermore, IPFW’s operations in Indiana generate nearly $8 million per year in state and local tax revenue.

The generosity of IPFW’s faculty and staff also makes a very real difference in Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities. The same study estimated that IPFW faculty and staff generate nearly $9.5 million each year in charitable donations and volunteer services. This figure includes over $2 million donated to local charities annually by IPFW faculty and staff, and more than $7 million in the value of volunteer time provided to area communities.

This comes as no great surprise, as there have been longstanding efforts by the campus to sustain a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the Fort Wayne area community. In 2011, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized these efforts, selecting IPFW as a recipient of its Community Engagement Classification.

Of course, the true value of IPFW lies in the fact that it provides an excellent education that is both responsive and relevant for our students. It is the largest and most comprehensive campus in northeast Indiana. Like IU’s regional campuses around the state, IPFW is the first choice for many area students for a variety of reasons that include small class sizes that allow for more interaction with their professors, affordable tuition, and flexible scheduling that allows them to balance work and family commitments.

But, ultimately, students choose IPFW because they know that they will receive a quality education that effectively prepares them for productive and satisfying life‐long careers and active engagement as citizens. They also know that the degree they earn carries with it the imprimatur of Indiana University or Purdue University, two of the nation’s leading research universities—and the state’s only two members of the prestigious 60-member Association of American Universities.

And once they earn degrees, they remain in the state. Nearly 80 percent of IPFW’s more than 49,000 alumni choose to live in Indiana, and half of them stay in northeast Indiana. And the majority of those graduates—some 59 percent—hold degrees from IU.

As many of you may know, Purdue administers the IPFW campus, but IU’s programs and students make up approximately half of the campus, and we partner equally with Purdue in running IPFW’s academic programs.

I know that Purdue’s new president, Mitch Daniels, was in Fort Wayne yesterday to speak with—and to hear from—faculty, students, and staff of IPFW. He held what was, I am sure, a very productive forum discussion on the future of the campus and its relationship with Purdue. That he visited the campus so early in his tenure is, I believe, reason for optimism regarding the future of the campus and its relationship with Purdue’s administration.

IU’s Tradition of Excellence in the Life and Health Sciences

Of course, IU’s engagement efforts around the state very often draw upon our tradition of excellence in the life and health sciences.

Education and health have been intimately connected for over a century through the IU School of Medicine. Since it was establishment in 1903, the IU School of Medicine has graduated close to 17,000 physicians and has grown to include nine medical education centers across the state, including the strong program here at Fort Wayne, which was established in 1981.

In the 110 years since the IU School of Medicine was founded, radical changes have taken place within the world of medicine, changes that could not have been imagined at the dawn of the 20th century. In the past decade alone, we have seen the mapping of the human genome, the creation of ever more precise imaging technology, and great advances towards cures and treatments for some of the most insidious diseases like cancer.

This is the kind of work that is taking place right here in Fort Wayne where researchers focus on diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, where they conduct trials related to those neurological diseases along with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. In fact, research here in Fort Wayne involves collaborations with Parkview Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, physicians and physician practice groups, and scientists on the IPFW campus, and represents a model for community partnerships that have a lasting effect on community health and well-being.

Well over 100 physicians volunteer their time and expertise to help train students in the Fort Wayne Medical Education Center and enable it to offer cutting-edge clinical experience. And IPFW’s relationship with area hospitals has provided northeast Indiana with hundreds of skilled nurses and medical technologists.

This is the rich and collaborative research environment in which students thrive as they refine the skills and build the knowledge they will need to treat patients in the twenty-first century.

And the opportunities for such an education have expanded greatly with the addition of the new facility for the Medical Education Center here in Fort Wayne. The new facility has made it possible for the school to expand the class size for incoming first-year students and to offer clerkships for third- and fourth-year medical students.

This expansion stemmed, in part, from a formal manpower analysis of physician needs in the state that was conducted by the IU School of Medicine a few years ago. The analysis determined that, in order to meet the state’s increasing needs, the school must increase its class size by 30 percent. One of the ways the school is working to meet this goal is by increasing class sizes at regional medical education centers, including Fort Wayne.

As you may also know, we are in the middle of a budget session of the General Assembly, and our state appropriations request includes a special request for continued funding for Indiana University’s statewide Centers for Medical Education.

We must also continue to increase our efforts to advance research in the life sciences, one of the most important areas for basic and applied research and economic development to the state.

The life sciences are as important across the nation as they are right here in the Midwest along what we might call the Bio-Belt. Life sciences industries are fairly booming along a stretch that includes Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Enhanced life sciences programs at Indiana University will make the state even more competitive on a regional and national level.

The 2012-2015 Biennium

As I mentioned a moment ago, this is a biennial budget year for the State.

I have appeared before the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the State Budget Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee to present IU’s budget request—and I expect to appear before the Senate Finance Committee next month. I believe that, in general, the tenor with respect to higher education has been more positive during this budget process than in the past few years.

We are, of course, very pleased to have heard some preliminary indications from Commissioner Theresa Lubbers and from Representative Tim Brown, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, that after three years of flat or reduced budgets, additional funding might be in order for IU and other schools that receive State funding. The Commission has, in fact, recommended an increase of 3.5 percent from the legislature in each year of the upcoming biennium.

Reinvestment by the State in higher education would benefit the entire state in myriad ways, not the least of which are the contributions that our public universities and colleges make to a prosperous state economy.

As it is every biennium, renovation and rehabilitation, or “R&R” funding, is IU’s top capital priority. We have deferred about $700 million in building maintenance over recent years because of a lack of such funding. We absolutely must make certain repairs and renovations in order to ensure the safety of today’s students, faculty, and staff and to ensure the life of our facilities for future generations. And there seems to now be general agreement that the State can and should do more to fund R&R at state-assisted institutions.

As always, all of us at Indiana University are deeply grateful for the hard work and the support of the members of the State Budget Committee, the General Assembly, the governor, and everyone who has a hand in crafting the State’s budget. And, as a public university, we are also deeply grateful to the taxpayers and citizens of the State of Indiana for their support. And we take seriously our obligation to keep our operating costs—and the cost of tuition—as low as possible.

Ensuring Student Attainment on IU’s Regional Campuses

As I mentioned earlier, IU has been engaged for the last several years in ongoing efforts to reevaluate how we achieve our core missions.

As part of that effort, in 2010, I asked IU Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning, and Policy John Applegate to lead an initiative with a focus on developing a shared vision for IU’s regional campuses and a strategic plan for the future. Their report, the Blueprint for Student Attainment, was presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2011. This ongoing initiative, developed in partnership with the campus chancellors, is helping to ensure that IU’s regional campuses remain accessible to a wide range of Indiana students and that they provide an excellent education.

IU’s regional campuses make an invaluable contribution to the state. About one-third of all IU students attend these campuses and our regional campuses are vital economic and cultural contributors to their home communities.

IPFW’s participation in the Blueprint for Student Attainment has been significant over the nearly three years of the initiative. Representatives of the campus were part of the working groups that helped design the Blueprint’s initiatives and they continue to be involved in the implementation of initiatives that include developing bold, new approaches to student and career academic advising that will help our students graduate with degrees that will lead to successful careers. This is an area of focus on all of IU’s campuses.

As I also mentioned earlier, this is a time of unprecedented change across the entire university.

In 2010, I appointed the New Academic Directions Committee, which was comprised of some of the most distinguished and visionary faculty and academic administrators on the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses, and I asked them to recommend to me ways to bring IU’s academic structure fully into the 21st century. This was, as I said at the time, one of the most important exercises of its kind ever carried out at Indiana University.

Since the completion of their report in 2011, we have seen transformation of unprecedented scale and speed at IU.

Seven schools were transformed, established, merged, or closed in a period of less than 18 months. This is the most significant academic transformation at IU since the time of President William Lowe Bryan.

This progress is an unmistakable sign that we are not content to rest on our past success, and that we have a clear vision for the 21st century.

Conclusion: Impact on Fort Wayne

But what does this progress mean for the city of Fort Wayne and what do the kinds of partnerships I have described today mean for this city and northeast Indiana?

They will mean more jobs with better pay, more tax revenue, and expanded economic development opportunities.  They will mean enhanced partnerships with individuals, community organizations, and industries. They will mean that an increasingly well-qualified and more diverse group of students will attend Indiana University.

This will, in turn, attract even better faculty and retain the best currently here.

We will come to expect globally literate graduates with international experience.  We will come to expect the best minds to stay in Indiana to generate the innovation and economic development that will move the state forward. We will come to expect cooperation, collaboration, and success.

The winds of change that transform the face of the university necessarily change this city as well, through collaboration and partnership with Fort Wayne business, civic, and cultural arenas.

Indiana University is committed to continuing and strengthening its engagement efforts in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana and to helping cultivate more of the kinds of partnerships I’ve mentioned today.

To achieve our goals, however, we will need your continued support, which you have always given of unselfishly and in the fullest measure—and Indiana University is deeply grateful for that support.

As the IPFW campus prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary during the next academic year, I think we all have every reason to be optimistic about the future of IPFW, the city of Fort Wayne, and northeast Indiana.

Thank you very much.