North Hall Groundbreaking

Campus Center Theater
420 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, Indiana
May 1, 2015

Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom

The late Ernest Boyer, who served as president of the Carnegie Foundation and as United States Commissioner for Education, once wrote that “a college of quality must be measured first by the commitment of its members—students and faculty—to the educational mission of the institution. It is in the classroom where community begins,” Boyer continued, “but learning also reaches out to the various departments, residence halls, and the campus commons.”1

The students, faculty, and staff of the IUPUI campus have, for nearly half a century, been wholeheartedly committed to the educational mission of Indiana University. Today, as we break ground for North Hall, we celebrate a facility that will not only become a welcoming home for generations of students in the years to come, but one that will also, as Boyer suggests, allow the sense of community and learning that begins in the classrooms of this campus to further expand across the campus and to continue to grow and thrive.

The Impact of Residence Halls on Student Success

As Boyer also suggests, leaders in higher education have known for many years that residence halls are vitally important in the lives of students and in their academic success.

In the late 1920s, E.T. Walker surveyed the scholastic records and living arrangements of thousands of students as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago. His simple conclusion that “the residence hall [has] the highest correlation to success in the university”2 carried profound implications for the organization of American universities in the ensuing decades.

More recently, Indiana University’s own George Kuh, one of the world's leading scholars on student success, and his colleagues at the National Survey of Student Engagement have confirmed that that students who live on campus interact more with faculty and their peers, are generally more satisfied with their undergraduate experience, and report greater personal growth and development. “Living on campus,” Professor Kuh and his colleagues write, “has a direct, positive effect on learning outcomes and the greatest total effect on learning outcomes of any institutional characteristic.”3

No doubt, one of the primary reasons for that success is the sense of community that residence halls create and sustain.

Future students will find that sense of community in the marvelous new housing facility for which we break ground today.

In North Hall, students will have opportunities for personal growth, social interaction, and leadership experiences. They will be able to interact with faculty and peers, participate in cultural activities, and meet other students from many different places. They will become part of a community of learners. And they will find a home that will nurture their success.

Enhancing Student Life at IUPUI and Around the State

Indiana University’s commitment to providing such an environment extends around the entire state.

In 2013, of course, the splendidly renovated University Tower opened here on the IUPUI campus. Formerly part of the University Place Hotel, University Tower now gives hundreds more IUPUI students the opportunity to live right in the heart of campus.

The renovation of University Tower complements new student housing completed at IU South Bend and IU Southeast as well as a major initiative to upgrade all of the residence halls at IU Bloomington, most of which had remained largely unchanged since the 1960s. Huge progress has been made on this plan with the completion of major new or renovated student residences as well as dozens of other smaller infrastructure and interior improvement projects.

But even with the splendid addition of University Tower, IUPUI’s current housing is at capacity. At the beginning of this academic year, more than 800 students were on a wait list to live on campus.

North Hall will help to meet that need, in accordance with the Master Plan for the IUPUI campus, which was approved by the Trustees in 2011 and which recommended the creation of more on-campus housing to attract, retain, and engage students.

As important as new housing like North Hall is to students, it is equally important to the university as a whole. It demonstrates the vital role Indiana University plays throughout the state as an agent of economic change and prosperity. It represents the university’s ability to grow and change in response to student needs. It illustrates that the university’s dedication to excellence extends to our commitment to student life.

We all eagerly await its opening in August of next year and the continued and new success it will bring for students on the IUPUI campus.

Thank you very much.

Source Notes

  1. Ernest Boyer, Foreword to Irving J. Spitzberg, Virginia V. Thorndike, Creating Community on College Campuses: Beyond the Cultural Politics of Enjoyment, (SUNY Press, 1992), xiii.
  2. E.T. Walker, The Relation of the Housing of Students to Success in a University. (1934). Doctoral dissertation as cited in Louise August, “And a Roof Over Their Heads: The History of Women’s Housing at the University of Michigan Through 1940,” American Educational History Journal, 30, (2003). 143-150.
  3. George D. Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, Jennifer A. Buckley, Brian K. Bridges, John C. Hayek, Piecing Together the Student Success Puzzle: Research, Propositions, and Recommendations: ASHE Higher Education Report, (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 83.