Tribute to Chancellor Charles Bantz

IUPUI Campus Center, Room 450
Indianapolis, Indiana
June 2, 2015

Celebrating the Service of Charles Bantz

Today, we celebrate the service of a colleague who has been deeply devoted to serving the missions of higher education over his whole career, and who has been a wonderful leader for IUPUI: Charles Bantz.

Charles has presided with energy, enthusiasm, and dedication over a period of great development and growth that has greatly strengthened the vital role IUPUI plays in the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.

Highlights of a Distinguished Career

Charles came to IUPUI as chancellor and IU vice president for long-range planning in 2003 and was named IU executive vice president in 2006.

Before coming to IU, he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wayne State University in Michigan. Prior to his tenure there, he served for 14 years as an administrator and faculty member at Arizona State University.

During his tenure as IUPUI’s chancellor, graduation rates on the campus have approximately doubled. This increase in graduation rates is reflected in a nearly 70 percent increase in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded during Charles’s tenure. And last month, a record number of more than 6,600 students received IU degrees on the campus.

The campus also continues to set records for full-time enrollment. Last year’s freshman class was the largest and most academically talented in campus history.

Charles has also worked tirelessly to make the campus more diverse and inclusive. The total number of underrepresented minority students enrolled at IUPUI increased by more than 35 percent during his tenure, and last year’s student body was the most diverse in IUPUI history. This past fall, for the third consecutive year, the campus was recognized with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

Charles has been strongly committed to helping shepherd the growth of the physical campus. Much-needed new classroom and research space has been added during his tenure, including Walther Hall, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute, the Neurosciences Research Building, and the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building.

And, of course, the building in which we are gathered—the Campus Center—opened in 2008, with Charles as one of its leading advocates, and now serves as a vibrant center of student life on the campus.

Given the enormous contributions residence halls can make to student success, Charles has also long been a strong advocate for on-campus housing at IUPUI. At the beginning of his tenure, fewer than 350 students lived on campus. There are now more than 2,000 living on campus, including in the recently renovated and repurposed University Tower. And, of course, we broke ground just one month ago for North Hall, which will be another part of Charles’s legacy on this campus as it becomes IUPUI’s first traditional residence hall constructed for that purpose.

IUPUI has also made enormous progress in terms of the amount of externally funded research it attracts. In 2002, the year before Charles began his tenure, IUPUI’s total externally funded research—including that of the School of Medicine—was $202 million; in 2014 it was $325 million.

His tenure also saw the successful completion of the most ambitious and the most successful capital campaign in Indiana University’s history—the IUPUI IMPACT campaign, which raised $1.39 billion for the campus.

In his years as chancellor, Charles has also overseen the establishment of dozens of new doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degree programs.

And opportunities for service learning—one of the rightly acclaimed hallmarks of IUPUI—have been greatly expanded during his time as Chancellor.

As co-chair of the New Academic Directions Committee, Charles was instrumental in helping to lead an initiative that produced strategic and focused changes on an unprecedented scale in the academic landscape of the institution's core campuses. The committee’s report has resulted in the creation of six new schools at IU, including the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Fairbanks School of Public Health on the IUPUI campus. In both cases, of course, Charles was also actively involved in implementing the committee’s recommendations and in guiding the establishment of the new schools.

Charles also recently oversaw the creation of an important new strategic plan for the IUPUI campus, Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond, which is aligned with the university-wide Bicentennial Strategic Plan, as the IUPUI campus prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.

He is highly regarded by citizens and leaders of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana, as is evidenced by the proclamations that are on display here at the front of the room. Congresswoman Susan Brooks paid tribute to Charles on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and her statement was entered into the Congressional Record. The resolution from the Indiana General Assembly—introduced in the House by Representative Moed and sponsored in the Senate by Senator Waltz, both of whom are here today—recognizes Charles’s many accomplishments and honors his dedication to the young people of Indiana. And in the proclamation from the City of Indianapolis, Mayor Ballard has proclaimed today as Charles R. Bantz Day in the city. Let me be the first to wish all of you a Happy Charles Bantz Day!

Of course, Charles has been a valued member of my cabinet during my tenure as president, giving sound advice on a wide variety of issues that impact the operation and the character not only of IUPUI, but also of the entire university and the lives of students, faculty, and staff across the state.

I am very pleased that, after a one-year leave, Charles will return to IUPUI as a member of the faculty. I know that he looks forward to continuing his research and teaching—and writing a book.

Of course, Charles’s wife, Sandra Petronio, has also made many important contributions to the IUPUI campus and to Indiana University. Sandra is a highly influential professor of communication studies, whose research and groundbreaking theories have changed the way interpersonal communication is studied and taught. She has written extensively about the need for translational research—which speeds the movement of basic science laboratory discoveries into clinical trials, into commercial products that support jobs and businesses, and into health care practices that improve and save lives. She is the founding director of the Center for Translating Research into Practice on the IUPUI campus. Sandra and Charles also established the Translating Research into Practice Award, to support scholars engaged in this important work.

And the two of them were honored recently for their leadership and their philanthropic support of the campus with the Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the IU Foundation.

On behalf of Indiana University, let me once again express our deepest gratitude to Charles and Sandra for their outstanding service to the IUPUI campus and to Indiana University, and let me take this opportunity to express our very best wishes to them in the next chapter of their lives.

Presenting the President's Medal

And now, Charles, would you please join me at the podium?

And I ask Trustee Randy Tobias to please join us as well.

Charles R. Bantz, Indiana University is very proud of you.

You have made IUPUI an Indiana destination for health and life sciences.

You have been a champion of designing undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that help keep graduates in Indiana.

You have overseen a time of exceptional growth on the IUPUI campus.

You have led IUPUI in the completion of record-breaking fundraising efforts and administered the founding of two new degree-granting schools on this campus.

Thus, it is with great pleasure that I bestow upon you the President’s Medal for Excellence, which symbolizes the aspirations and ideals that are the foundation of the search for knowledge. It is patterned after, and reflects the values embedded in, the President's Jewel of Office, which is worn at formal university ceremonies.

And so, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Indiana University, and in recognition of your sustained excellence in higher educational leadership, I am privileged and honored to present you with the President’s Medal for Excellence.