The award was announced in the Dec. 21 edition, which says IU Kokomo is "well on its way to becoming one of the most important and exciting locations on the city's map," due to Harris's vision. The Perspective's announcement can be read here.
"He wasted little time in making his presence felt academically, athletically, and as a member of the larger community," the newspaper said. In an editorial piece, Perspective columnist John Floyd referred to the Chancellor as "extremely visible and community oriented."
Harris, who has been chancellor since July 2010, is honored to receive the recognition, saying it is a testimony of the hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication of every person in the university.
"We together, the faculty, staff and students of Indiana University Kokomo, have accomplished significant outcomes during this past year. It is our students who benefit from our innovative and intentional work, as well as north central Indiana," Harris said. "I am humbled by this award. For me, it's a total and complete validation for the work we at IU Kokomo do, the impact we have on students, the city and on the region."
Harris emphasized that IU Kokomo is following IU President Michael McRobbie's guidance for regional campuses.
The award comes shortly after the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named the city of Kokomo the Community of the Year. "The award recognizes the Kokomo community for its success at building partnerships and fostering economic development through innovative, progressive programs and initiatives." IU Kokomo was acknowledged as a critical player in this effort.
Since his arrival in July 2010, Harris has focused on three themes for the campus – academic excellence and student success, building relationships and making friends, and transforming the region.
- Partnering with business, non-for profit, and government in north central Indiana to develop and implement a variety of initiatives
- Establishment of a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab
- Expanded partnerships with Ivy Tech Community College
- Implementation of innovative Student Success programs
- Record fundraising
- Enrollment increase of 6.7 percent for the fall 2011 semester, which included the largest freshman class in IU Kokomo history and the largest number of full time students – more than 70 percent.
- Establishment of club sports, including women's volleyball and men's basketball, with future plans to join the NAIA league, and,
- Addition of 12 new academic programs
Harris expressed gratitude and appreciation to the faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication that made IU Kokomo a success and the achievements possible. He emphasized that IU Kokomo is a source of hope and pride for a future in abundance for north central Indiana.
"IU Kokomo is on the move."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.