Special State Report - FY 2017-2019 Budget Request Institutional Narrative


In 2020, Indiana University will celebrate its 200th anniversary.  In connection with this milestone, the university has prepared an ambitious Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, incorporating eight priorities and specific actions that will continue IU’s excellence in academics, research, and service in its third century. This narrative provides a sampling of IU’s recent accomplishments and major initiatives using four of the priorities set out in the plan to frame the discussion.

Commitment to Student Success

Indiana University is dedicated to improving student success, ultimately measured by more Hoosier students earning valued IU degrees that prepare them for lifetime achievement.  As personal income has stagnated for many Hoosier families, IU understands that affordability is also key to student success – providing financial access to a college education.  In addition, programs promoting higher student persistence and completion are essential and IU has initiated numerous programs in recent years to address these challenges.  IU is also mindful that as Indiana becomes more diverse, serving more under-represented minorities, many of whom are first generation students, will be critical to the state’s success in increasing its postsecondary educational attainment level.  Finally, IU is offering new programs designed to meet the evolving interests of students and the needs of employers.

A. Affordability

Low Tuition Increases

Tuition guidelines issued by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) specified that undergraduate resident tuition increases not exceed 1.65% for academic years (AY) 2015-16 and 2016-17. Responding to this challenge, Indiana University limited tuition increases to 1.65% at its regional and Indianapolis campuses and froze tuition at the Bloomington campus for both academic years for resident students.  According to data from the College Board, IU’s 1.65% increase compares favorably with the average resident tuition increase of 2.9% for public four-year campuses for AY 2015-16.

Institutional Student Financial Assistance

Providing institutional financial aid to supplement state, federal, and private sources can be key to college affordability.  IU pioneered “wrap-around” financial aid providing students eligible for Pell or 21st Century Scholars grants with supplemental support.  Raising private funds to increase institutional financial aid has been a top priority for IU in recent years and is the top designation by those who donate to Indiana University.  Due to the success of such fundraising efforts, IU has increased financial assistance provided to resident undergraduate students by 189% in the past nine years as indicated by the following chart.

On-Time Graduation

During summer, 2016, IU initiated the Completion Summer Scholarship Program (CSSP) to provide financial assistance to resident undergraduate students who are short of 30 credit hours for the academic year and face reduced or eliminated state financial assistance as a result.  Under the program, campuses make awards for up to six credit hours of coursework for certain students who have completed at least 24 credits during the preceding fall/spring semester, along with other requirements.  IU anticipates that this new program will increase the number of students graduating on-time while ensuring that they maintain full eligibility for state student financial assistance.

Understanding that on-time completion is a primary method to reduce college cost, IU’s academic advisors are encouraging students to take more credit hours.  The Indianapolis and regional campuses have achieved significant success as demonstrated by the following chart:

Student Debt

Indiana University has received national recognition for its innovative student financial literacy initiative that helps students understand and manage college costs, including student debt and the cost of paying back student loans.  At least partially attributable to IU’s financial literacy and affordability initiatives, the total amount of loans by IU undergraduate and graduate students decreased by nearly $100 million (15%) between the 2011-12 and 2015-16 academic years.

B.  Socioeconomic and Racial Diversity – Access for All Qualified Students

In support of the state’s “Big Goal” for increasing adult postsecondary educational attainment, Indiana University is recruiting and educating more first generation and under-represented minority students.  With increased enrollment of veteran students, and recognizing that they have unique needs, IU has established a university-level office of veterans affairs to support the work of each campus in serving veterans as well as active military members.  In conjunction with ICHE’s “You Can. Go Back.” initiative, IU has identified and contacted students who interrupted their college education before completion and who have the ability to re-enroll and complete their degrees without significant academic or financial hurdles.  Understanding the special needs of these students, IU trained staff to provide a student-centric “one stop shop” to help returning students develop their individualized path to completion.

C. Student Success Programs

The success of the 2011 Blueprint for Student Attainment strategic plan for IU’s regional campuses led to an increased level of collaboration among all IU campuses, resulting in significant gains in student success.  The campuses have joined together to innovate, pilot, and leverage their resources in ways that benefit all Indiana University students.  The following subsections provide examples.

Pervasive Academic Advising

IU advising professionals attend university-wide professional development sessions, which has helped IU adopt an inquiry-based advising model under which advisors are trained to use data and proactive advising to better assist students with achieving their goals.  In addition, IU campuses and the Education Advisory Board have launched the Student Success Collaborative campus caseload management system which assigns staff to targeted students to provide timely help as needed.

Career Preparation

IU campuses are building career awareness through the Career Exploration, Development, Graduation, and Employment (EDGE) program funded by the Lilly Endowment.  The initiative creates online career resources for students and fosters their involvement during the career development process, from interest exploration to employment.  The EDGE online modules guide students through the development process by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and perspectives they need to strategically prepare for and succeed in various work settings.  Finally, all IU campuses use Symplicity career services software, which posts student employment and internship opportunities.

Enhanced Student Life

IU endeavors to provide student life experiences outside the classroom that increase retention and are designed to enhance the ability of students to succeed in life after graduation.  All IU campuses use Collegiate Link software for student organizations, which allows the campuses to track student involvement and helps students to develop their own co-curricular transcript to complement their academic transcript. 


Ultimately, student success is about degree completion.  During the 2015-16 academic year, IU conferred a record number of degrees as demonstrated by the following chart:

D.  Innovative Academic Programs

New Schools

At the Bloomington campus, recent start-ups of the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) and the School of Public Health have been very successful.  The new Media School was created from the merger of related programs - journalism, telecommunications, and communication and culture programs.  Similarly, the School of Art and Design was established through the merger of studio art, apparel merchandising, fashion design, and interior design. These programs not only provide cross-disciplinary areas of focus, but also provide students with clear pathways to careers within the context of a strong traditional liberal arts education.  At the Indianapolis campus, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Fairbanks School of Public Health have been successfully launched while the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences graduated its first class of Physician Assistants.

New Academic Programs

Understanding that it must respond in a timely manner to evolving student and employer interests and needs, especially in emerging areas, IU has established a myriad of new academic programs in the past two years.  The following is a brief description of just a few:

  • IU’s School of Informatics and Computing will begin offering degrees in intelligent systems engineering during the 2016-17 academic year.  A new master’s degree in data science has also been designed to prepare students for high-demand jobs in this rapidly expanding area.
  • With IU Health financial sponsorship and program assistance from the Fairbanks School of Public Health, the McKinney School of Law established the IU Health Law Scholars Program.
  • The Kelley School of Business established a new online master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Regional campuses provide an array of high school dual credit course offerings through IU’s Accelerated College Program (ACP).  Beginning with the 2016-17 academic year, IU will pilot a new method for delivering dual credit courses whereby IU faculty will serve as the lead instructor in partnership with a high school teacher, who will lead the in-classroom instruction using course materials provided by IU.

IU Online

IU Online was launched in 2012 to accelerate the development and delivery of high quality online courses and programs on all IU campuses.  IU’s efforts to increase its focus on online offerings is paying off with a 71% increase in the number of online credits taken by students in fall 2015 compared to fall 2011. U.S. News and World Report also ranked IU’s online baccalaureate programs 39th out of more than 300 programs and the Kelley School of Business MS program was top rated while the Kelly Direct MBA was ranked second.

Catalyzing Research

A.  The Value of Indiana University Research

Indiana University holds international stature as a major research institution with renowned faculty, modern research facilities, and special prominence in life sciences research and information technology.  Not only do funds awarded from sponsors support innovative research leading to new discoveries in numerous disciplines, they support thousands of jobs at the university, including faculty, research assistants, technicians, students, and other support personnel.  As discussed later, IU’s research contributes to the state in many ways including improved Hoosier health through the development of new medical treatments and to Indiana’s economic development, through new company start-ups.

B.  Primary Research Engagements

Research Awards and Sponsors

During FY 2016, Indiana University’s sponsored program expenditures at the university totaled $443 million and total awards by external funders increased by 13.6% to $614 million (expenditures lag awards).  The largest grantor is the federal government with the National Institutes of Health the largest sponsor, followed by the National Science Foundation.  Foundations and other non-profit organizations were also significant sponsors followed by commercial grants, especially to the IU School of Medicine.    

Areas of Expertise

Led by research at the IU School of Medicine and the Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, life sciences research is IU’s largest area of research engagement.  IU has also developed an international reputation in information technology research.  As a prominent liberal arts institution, it is also essential for Indiana University to be a leader in research in the arts and humanities.  Embracing this role, IU’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program provides funding to support initial research by IU faculty in path-breaking and transformative programs of scholarly investigation and creative activity.  Since the program began in 2004, more than 750 grants totaling more than $9 million have been awarded to 450 faculty members on all of IU’s campuses.

C.  Grand Challenges Initiative

In September, 2015, Indiana University announced the Grand Challenges program, the most ambitious research initiative in the university’s history.  In announcing the program, President McRobbie said: “As one of the nation’s leading research universities, Indiana University has a special opportunity — and responsibility — to drive large-scale research, discovery, and innovation to help address some of the most pressing challenges facing our state, nation and world today.” IU will dedicate $300 million over the next five years, with funding to come from research sponsors, fund-raising, and university sources.  Up to five large-scale research projects will be selected through a competitive review process designed to maximize impact on the state, its economy and the quality of life of Hoosiers.

In June, 2016, the Precision Health Initiative was selected as the initial Grand Challenges funding recipient.  Precision medicine is a groundbreaking approach to disease prevention and treatment that takes into account patients’ individual differences in environment, genes, and lifestyle.  It is an approach likely to transform biomedical research and healthcare delivery.

Led by faculty at IU’s Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses, Precision Health Initiative team members will work closely with prominent business and community partners, including Eli Lilly and Co., Roche Diagnostics, Cook Regentec, Deloitte, Regenstrief Institute and IU Health. The primary focus will be to transform not only medical research and education at IU but also health care for Hoosiers.  In doing so, the initiative will seek to cure at least one cancer and one childhood disease as well as find ways to prevent one chronic illness and one neurodegenerative disease.  The initiative will be funded with $40 million through the Grand Challenges Program and will leverage an additional $80 million from the IU School of Medicine and its partners.

Implementation of the Precision Health Initiative will involve recruitment of nearly 40 new faculty members with expertise critical to the initiative’s success — in the School of Medicine in cancer genomics, neurogenetics, cell-based therapies, and bioethics; in the Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences in mass spectrometry, chemical immunology, and network demography; in the School of Informatics and Computing in health informatics and big data high performance computing;  and key faculty in the School of Nursing, Fairbanks School of Public Health, and the Kelley School of Business.  The initiative will also support facility development and new gene and editing and sequencing research cores at the School of Medicine.

IU expects the Precision Health Initiative to position IU among the leading universities in the nation in this emerging field, and have a transformative effect on Hoosier’s health and well-being and further expand the health sciences sector of Indiana’s economy.

Health Sciences and Health Care

A.  Health Professions Education

Indiana University’s health profession schools (Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health and Rehabilitative Sciences) graduate more students who enter clinical practice than any other institution in Indiana. Most of these graduates practice their profession in Indiana, improving access and health care for Hoosiers.

B.  Improving Hoosier Health

Indiana University’s researchers study health issues covering the full span of Hoosier lives, from prenatal treatment to palliative and hospice care, seeking better patient outcomes, new drugs and medical devices, and improved overall health for current and future generations.  Areas of emphasis include:  cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular disease, metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, and musculoskeletal – all addressing particular Hoosier health needs related to high smoking and obesity rates.  IU is also committing substantial resources to join a national effort in precision health, wherein physicians will have access to a patient’s genetic information along with diet, lifestyle, and environment information to tailor the most effective treatment plan precisely for that individual.

C.  IU Partnerships

Indiana University has numerous partnerships based on collaborative efforts to pursue excellence and innovation in both clinical education and patient care and health science research.  The following discussion provides just a few examples of these partnerships.

The missions of IU Health and the IU School of Medicine share a common purpose – to improve and advance the health of patients both in Indiana and beyond through outstanding clinical training and practice. Together, these institutions form the academic health system and work in partnership to train physicians, pursue breakthrough research and treatments, and deliver the highest quality patient care. Each year more than 1,000 residents and fellows receive training in IU Health hospitals.  Major research collaborations include Precision Cancer Genomics and Ischemic Stroke Treatment programs, as well as the recent launch of the Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation, which will help accelerate the translation research to medical practice.  

The Industry Collaboration Portal catalyzes research collaborations by providing a single point of contact for industry partners for access to IU School of Medicine innovations, expertise and capabilities.  Specifically, the initiative promotes translational research, team science, grant funding, entrepreneurship, and training and education.

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) was established in 2008 as a collaboration involving Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame along with public and private partners.  With support from two prestigious grants from the National Institutes of Health and ongoing state appropriations, CTSI facilitates the translation of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside through new patient treatments, drugs, and medical devices. 

The Regenstrief Institute, established on the IUPUI campus in 1969 as an informatics and healthcare research organization, is internationally renowned for its work in improving the quality of care, increasing the efficiency of healthcare delivery, reducing medical errors, and improving patient safety.  The Institute is closely associated with the IU School of Medicine as well as with the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County.  Research at the Institute has been translated into local, regional, and national practice, especially in the areas of biomedical informatics, including electronic medical record systems, improving health care delivery, and healthcare for the aging.

D.  Health Education and Clinical Initiatives

Evansville Multi-Institutional Academic Health Science Education and Research Facility

This project involves the construction of a 145,000 square foot facility in downtown Evansville with funds appropriated in the state’s FY 2015-17 biennial budget, supplemented by other funds.  A primary goal of the project is to help ensure that southwest Indiana has adequate physicians and other healthcare professionals to meet future demands.  In addition to the IU School of Medicine - Evansville, the facility will be occupied by health profession programs from the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville.  The collaborative campus will include a simulation center as well as offices for administration of a regional residency program sponsored by the IU School of Medicine in collaboration with four regional hospitals:  Deaconess and St. Mary’s Hospitals in Evansville, Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes and Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper.  Space has also been designated for a satellite research center as part of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The formal groundbreaking occurred in October 2015 with anticipated opening during the summer 2018. Also of note, $9 million for expanded research by IU School of Medicine was included in the award from the Governor’s Regional Cities Initiative.

IU Health Bloomington Hospital and IU Regional Academic Health Center

In 2015, Indiana University, IU Health, and IU Health Bloomington Hospital announced an agreement to create a regional academic health campus on the northern edge of the Bloomington campus.  While the project is in early planning stages, the health complex is expected to provide increased employment, improved health care, and permit IU to expand its health sciences education programs and research involving the physician, nursing, dentistry, hearing and speech therapy, and social work disciplines.  New facilities located on the health campus will not involve any state funds.

IU School of Medicine Expansion

In 2007, the school began a multi-year initiative to increase the annual class size by 30% in order to meet a looming physician shortfall due to the impending retirement of baby-boomer generation doctors and increased demand for medical services by Indiana’s aging population.  During fall, 2016, the school will complete the expansion, with the starting class size increasing from 280 to 364 students.  In conjunction with the initiative, programs at each of the eight Centers for Medical Education located around the state expanded from two-year to four-year programs, offering clinical experiences the final two years within the region they serve.

In conjunction with the expansion of its class size, the school is working with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education on the state’s graduate medical education initiative to provide additional slots for residency training as part of an effort to keep more doctors in Indiana when they begin practice.

Building a Prosperous and Innovative Indiana University

A. IU Commitment to Indiana’s Economic Vitality and Cultural Enrichment

As the state’s largest public research institution, Indiana University embraces its obligation to advance Indiana’s economic vitality and cultural enrichment and actively engages its resources and expertise to enhance health, economic, and social development across all regions of the state.

Innovate Indiana

Under the direction of the Office of the Vice President for Engagement (OVPE), Innovate Indiana focuses on channeling the university’s leading resources to advance economic development and technology commercialization.  This encompasses a range of major activities including:

  • Cordinating IU’s economic development activities across the state.
  • Transforming the innovations of IU faculty into new products, services, and treatments.
  • Connecting the business community in Indiana, the nation, and the world to IU.

Innovate Indiana directly supports the development of Indiana’s innovation ecosystem through active partnerships of the IU Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC) with leading local service firms in providing insurance, payroll, grant consulting, and legal services.  This collaborative approach helps further develop the “bench” of support services and helps attract new firms to the state.

Special Role of Regional Campuses

IU’s regional campuses meet a critical mission of providing undergraduate and professional education tailored to the needs of student and regional employers, providing community service not available elsewhere, and enhancing the cultural offerings in the communities they serve.   Additionally, the campuses serve as key hubs for regional innovation by leading, convening, and facilitating locally focused economic development activities.

Engagements with Regional and Statewide Economic Development Efforts

Strategic partnerships are critical drivers for economic engagement at IU.  Accordingly, OVPE created the IU Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development (CREED) to provide an ongoing university-wide forum from which regional economic issues can be addressed.  Comprised of chancellor-appointed representatives from each campus, CREED seeks to enhance connectivity with key stakeholders through focused dialogue on local economic-based issues and explores ways in which IU can offer its resources and expertise to enhance state economic development efforts.  One such primary resource is the Regional Economic Development Fund (RED Fund), a cost-share fund created by OVPE and managed by CREED to support campus programs and initiatives promoting economic development at the regional level.

Major recent economic development efforts in which OVPE has played a leading role include: 

  • Convening the Education-to-Employment (E2E) Convergence, an annual statewide conference of experts from higher education, business/industry, and government focused on developing pathways to ensure Indiana college graduates are prepared to meet employer needs as they transition into the workforce.
  • Supporting the creation and development of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute and active participation on its Board of Directors.
  • Coordinating IU’s participation in the Southwest Central Indiana study to facilitate Lilly Endowment investment in the region, including development of a proposed Rural Development Center and Applied Research Institute.
  • Assisting the planning for development of the new multi-institutional medical education building in Evansville in collaboration with local community leaders.

B.  Fostering Entrepreneurship

Technology Transfer

The Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation is responsible for commercialization of intellectual property developed at IU by helping translate new discoveries into new products, medical treatments, and services.   IURTC’s $10 million Innovate Indiana Fund (IIF) provides early-stage capital to companies with a meaningful IU connection and IURTC also assists with technology assessment, market analysis and planning, management recruitment, product development, sales strategy, customer acquisition and next-stage capital.  The IIF has invested over $3 million in 9 Indiana start-ups, enabling these companies to create over 50 jobs and to secure over $20 million of additional venture funding. 

The Spin Up program is designed to unlock latent entrepreneur activity through helping startups navigate the administrative functions of running a business while partnering with local service firms to provide finance, payroll, insurance, and grant consulting.  Spin Up also helps secure funding for these early stage companies.  Since its creation in 2013, the program has collectively founded 29 start-ups, helped secure more than $3 million for its companies (primarily SBIR/STTR grants), and created 35 new entrepreneurs among IU faculty. 

IU Successes

During FY 2016, IURTC enjoyed tremendous success in commercializing IU faculty-generated intellectual property as demonstrated by the following statistics:

  • $7.03 million in licensing revenue
  • 150 invention disclosures
  • 165 global patents issued 43 licenses
  • 4 new start-up companies

Since 1997, IU research has generated more than 2,700 inventions and more than 4,100 global patent applications filed by IURTC.  Those discoveries have generated over $135 million in licensing and royalty income, more than $112 million of which was distributed directly to IU departments, labs, and inventors.