IU Kokomo is “On the Move!” I write during this festive holiday season to express my gratitude for the warm manner in which Tali and I were welcomed to the IU Kokomo community. As the year comes to a close, it is a fitting time to reflect, review our accomplishments as a campus, and thank you for your hard work and dedication.
As soon as I arrived on campus, I set out to meet most everyone on campus, in the community, and throughout the region. I attended Rotary, Foundation, economic development and Chamber of Commerce meetings; spoke with the media and was interviewed on Inside Indiana Business; and met with local business leaders, legislators, not-for-profits and school superintendents.
Throughout the region and on campus, we hosted receptions, meetings, breakfasts, holiday parties, dinners, and met many wonderful people. Also, I was fortunate enough to meet Governor Daniels, President Obama, Vice President Biden and the CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, Sergio Marchionne. In total, I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of people and spent much time listening and learning. These fascinating experiences have allowed me great insight and a deeper understanding of the opportunities we have to become a world-class regional campus that will serve the needs of north central Indiana.
Based on meeting people, listening, and learning, I developed three forward-looking themes to serve as a roadmap and to guide us toward our future. These themes are:
- Enhancing Academic Excellence and Student Success
- Transforming the Region
- Building Relationships and Making Friends
The Campus – On the Move
The “Big Move of 2010” will be remembered as a catalyst and as a launching pad. It was our first significant and symbolic step toward transforming the campus, the community, and the region. We strategically relocated departments and units in a manner that is conducive to student success and allows us to be more effective and efficient.
Other significant activities on campus include:
- The Campus Beautification project – a huge success, allowing us an increased sense of community and pride.
- The Chancellor’s installation/regional transformation event – a wonderful opportunity to unite and demonstrate our capacity, potential, and forward-looking vision to be intentional, relevant, and add much-needed value to ensure the region’s future.
- A Digital Media Center located in the Library.
- 21 digital signs strategically placed around campus to enhance communications.
- A new world-class Mac laboratory.
- A renovated facility for our fine arts program.
- A new state-of-the-art simulation lab for our nursing program which is in the final phase of completion.
- The development of a new marketing and branding campaign.
Taken together, these new facilities and programs represent an enhanced capacity and a commitment to be intentional, relevant, responsive, and current.
Academic Excellence – On the Move
The Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment has been renovated and they have sponsored several faculty development workshops. We have a new concentration in the Master of Public Administration in Health Administration, and the M.S.N. degree was approved by the IU Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees also approved a name change for the Division of Education to the School of Education, and we created a new psychology department. We are currently engaged in the development of several new academic and online programs. We completed a self-study for a 10-year re-accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), of which I am very optimistic of this outcome.
Student Recruitment – On the Move
The campus has excelled in student recruitment and success. We achieved record numbers in:
- Credit hours @ 30,507 +3.9%
- Minority students; 10.5%, up from 9.4% last fall
- Fall-to-fall retention @ 61.8%
- 21st Century Scholars first-time beginners 
- Undergrads attending full-time @ 70%, previous high last fall = 66%
We are developing an ambitious enrollment plan. We have established an Enrollment Management Council to ensure a comprehensive, systematic approach to enrollment campus wide. We hired a director of enrollment management to oversee these efforts. We moved to enhance our relationships with Ivy Tech and to increase the ease of transfer by creating a new position of Transfer Coordinator. We have deployed our advisors to Ivy Tech and will be offering a class on the Ivy Tech Logansport campus.
Student Engagement – On the Move
One activity after another provided countless opportunities for our students and emphasized the importance of campus and community engagement.
- The Job, Internship & Volunteer Extravaganza (JIVE), attracted 21 prospective employers.
- SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) coordinated and hosted “Let’s Can Hunger/Can-struction.” They collected 1,946 pounds of non-perishable food for local food pantries.
- Project Linus made and donated just over 200 blankets to the local Project Linus Chapter for use in hospitals throughout Tipton and Howard counties.
- 15 students served as volunteers at the United Way Day of Caring.
- A campus-sponsored Domestic Violence Vigil drew 120 people attendees.
- Constitution Day was coordinated with hundreds of student participants.
- Students now have a radio station on campus at www.radiofreekokomo.org
- Construction was completed on our first basketball and volleyball courts – with lights – which I am sure will be used as soon as the spring arrives.
Student Success – On the Move
We continued to enhance our commitment to help students during these challenging economic times and increased the financial aid we offer our students by 12%. In addition, an “On-Time Graduation Task Force” also has been created to examine a variety of factors that can improve graduation rates here.
Information Technology – On the Move
The campus network infrastructure was updated from 100M to 1G in anticipation of providing new and contemporary services such as a Voice over IP telephone system and virtualized delivery of applications and operating systems. Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 were deployed to provide up to date technology tools, as well as a reliable, manageable platform for information technology resources and services delivery.
Building Relationships – On the Move
In order to maintain quality relationships with a variety of organizations in our region, I appointed a Community Relations Liaison. As a result, we have raised the profile of the university with regional civic and non-profit organizations. In addition, I assigned a Director of Regional Economic Engagement to coordinate economic development and regional transformation. We established an office for grants administration and an office for online education. New faculty members were hired, including a new dean of business and dean of education. We hired a new vice chancellor for advancement.
Other promising signs that our hard work is acknowledged include the fact that giving to IU Kokomo is four times greater in the last half of 2010 compared to the average given in the past four previous years within the same time frame. We also experienced 34% more donors than last year.
We conclude 2010 with great optimism and a deep belief in a future in abundance for IU Kokomo and the region. I wish you peace, health, and happiness for this season and throughout the New Year.
IU Kokomo is “On the Move!”
Michael Harris, Ph.D.