"IUPUI’s Dynamic Culture of Collaboration and Partnership"

IUPUI 40th Anniversary Gala
IUPUI Campus Center
January 31, 2009

Introduction: Sharing Resources

In 1968, at the groundbreaking of IUPUI’s downtown campus, IU’s 12th president, Elvis Stahr said, “[T]he future demands that we as educators make better use of [our] educational resources. . . . Purdue and IU have an enviable history of sharing [such resources] which will be further enlarged in the future on this campus.”1

A History of Partnership

Today as we enthusiastically celebrate the 40th anniversary of IUPUI, may we also celebrate the much longer history of partnership that both Indiana University and Purdue University have shared with this great city and with the citizens of this great state.

That partnership dates back to at least 1891, when a number of college graduates living here requested a course in economics. Since then, IU and Purdue have worked vigorously over many decades to expand educational opportunity and to maximize the educational resources we provide together.

Measuring Progress

Today we can measure our progress by looking at this campus’ tremendous history of civic engagement. Last year alone, IUPUI students contributed over forty thousand hours of volunteer service to this community. We can consider IUPUI’s expanding international programs in places like China and Kenya.

But perhaps one of the strongest measures of IUPUI’s impact is through the life and health sciences. Reflect on the remarkable pioneering work that has taken place here in the IU School of Medicine and other places: the first open heart surgery in Indianapolis, Indiana’s first kidney transplant, Indiana’s first cochlear implant, Indiana’s first bone marrow transplant, and Indiana’s first pancreas transplant.

Yesterday’s and Today’s Culture of Collaboration

These milestones grew out of the dynamic culture of collaboration that has led to such vital facilities as the IU Simon Cancer Center, designated a premier cancer center since 1999.

It has led to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which has fostered interdisciplinary collaboration and community partnerships across the state that will translate research into real improvements in human health.

It has led to a strong and growing partnership with Clarian Health, which helps us take the superb clinical and research capabilities of the IU School of Medicine to nearly every corner of the state.

And it has led to Indiana University and Purdue University’s newest and potentially strongest research collaboration, the Indiana Innovation Alliance.

This unprecedented initiative will enable us to vigorously leverage our extensive life sciences resource and infrastructure to enhance and expand our core research capabilities, greatly strengthen our competitive edge in securing federal funding, and further improve medical education and healthcare innovation.

Vital Leadership

This culture of collaboration depends upon IUPUI’s outstanding faculty and staff who reach across disciplines, reach out to the community, and reach towards excellence in education and research.

It grows out of the history of leadership of IUPUI, which began as the vision of Senator Lugar, who honors us with his presence tonight, then mayor of Indianapolis, Purdue President Frederick Hovde, as in all things, IU Chancellor Herman Wells, IU President Joseph Sutton, IUPUI’s first chancellor, Maynard Hine, and many other community leaders. IUPUI is most fortunate that Chancellor Bantz is a vital and energetic part of that history of leadership.

Conclusion: From Prediction to Reality

Let me close by returning to that groundbreaking ceremony in 1968. That rainy morning President Stahr predicted that IUPUI would, as he put it, “prove to be one of the great urban universities of the land.”

Today, we need only look around this dynamic and thriving campus to see evidence that President Stahr’s prediction has come true.

May the next decades continue to prove him right.

Source Notes

  1. Stahr, Elvis. Remarks. Indianapolis Downtown Campus Groundbreaking. Indianapolis, Indiana. 4 Sept. 1968. Manuscript provided by Indiana University Archives.