UIndy’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan
In February 2014 the University of Indianapolis Board of Trustees approved a five-year plan of capital projects and educational enhancements that represent a $50-million investment in the University and the neighboring community. This initial investment in UIndy’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan will build a foundation for the University to seek support for programs, scholarships, research, and endowed positions that will create an unparalleled experience for students and put UIndy at the national forefront of higher education. Following is a list of the strategic initiatives UIndy will be pursuing for the next five years and beyond in order to provide an unparalleled learning experience and environment for students while enhancing the neighborhood and serving as an anchor in the city.
Coming in 2014-15
A $30-million, 160,000-square-foot health pavilion will transform the east edge of campus at State and Hanna avenues while putting UIndy’s highly respected allied health programs—Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Kinesiology, Athletic Training, Psychological Sciences, and Social Work—under one roof, facilitating multidisciplinary teaching, learning and research. A clinic operated by a health provider working in partnership with UIndy will serve the local community, give students clinical experiences, and facilitate research, particularly on the issue of health disparities among various populations. The research conducted by faculty, students and partners will inform discussion and policy-making locally, nationally and internationally.
The new, four-story building will have the facilities and technological infrastructure to provide an incomparable experience for UIndy students. The UIndy Health Pavilion also will permit us to expand our high-demand undergraduate and graduate programs in the health-related disciplines, including the University’s new Master of Public Health degree program. Half of all UIndy students are enrolled in health programs, and the demand is still growing.
The University’s College of Health Sciences will relocate from Martin Hall, its current home, opening up space for other academic programs to innovate and expand. For example, biology, chemistry, and physics laboratories will be extended and upgraded.
The 1970s-era Krannert Memorial Library will be renovated to create technology-rich group collaboration areas and social spaces, transforming it into a state-of-the-art academic hub for professional development, interdisciplinary study, and collaboration for the campus community as well as an important community resource.
Over a two-year period, UIndy will replace the Campus Apartments on Shelby Street to create attractive new housing options for students and enhance the visual appeal along the corridor at the west edge of campus.
We will provide new opportunities for students with the addition of a marching band and lacrosse teams. Nearly 30 percent of UIndy undergraduate applicants are involved in marching band in high school, and many of those students would like to continue playing in college. UIndy will become the first institution in the state to field NCAA Division II men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, growing its current roster of 21 men’s and women’s teams by adding one of the fastest-growing sports in the country.
Under Development 2014-19
The Greyhound Plan comprises new approaches to curriculum, student advising, and international experiences.
Curriculum Approach Changes
More interdisciplinary coursework and active learning experiences are being encouraged through general education, team teaching, course linking, new majors and minors and concentrations, and student-faculty collaboration. These approaches engage students and prepare them for the work place. They also spur faculty collaboration, scholarship, and creative expression.
The process of centralizing student advising and integrating it with career development started in 2013-14 with the establishment of the Center for Advising and Student Achievement. This integration will continue to be refined to provide consistent, ongoing help to students in melding their curricular and co-curricular activities, including service and travel, to advance their academic and professional goals while ensuring successful, on-time completion of degree programs.
International experiences are intellectually enriching and help prepare students for the demands of a global society. Employers rate global awareness as an essential skill needed in today’s workforce. UIndy seeks to ensure that its many international study and service experiences are fully integrated into the curriculum and to make sure that every students has the opportunity to travel abroad.
UIndy’s Professional Edge Center, created in 2013, is developing opportunities for students to be mentored by UIndy alumni, connect to employers throughout their studies, and acquire critical social and business skills that will give them the experience, confidence and connections that are so important for success in launching a career.
The Center is focusing on entrepreneurship and the seven industry sectors that are important to the Central Indiana economy, and in which UIndy has strong academic programs and expertise: the arts; education and social services; financial services; science and healthcare; manufacturing and logistics; communications and law; public service and nonprofit management.
Faculty, alumni, and industry contacts for each sector are creating targeted programming and career exposure experiences for students, as well as mentorships and internships, to help them develop professionally and make a seamless transition from classroom to career.
More than 40 percent of UIndy’s undergraduates are first-generation students, and UIndy is committed to helping them succeed. For these and other students, affordability is the key to access and retention. Raising more scholarship dollars will enable UIndy to provide institutional aid to more students who otherwise might not be able to afford college, as well as to students who are in danger of dropping their studies due to finances. In addition, academic scholarships can be used to attract highly gifted students who have many college options.
Reducing the teaching load for faculty can enhance their productivity, provide opportunities for students to participate in relevant problem- and inquiry-based activities and projects, and improve retention and graduation rates. Adjusting faculty load also enables faculty to develop the kinds of active and interdisciplinary learning experiences that employers seek in university graduates.
UIndy will complete its conversion to iClassrooms—technology infrastructure that faculty and students need in order to do digital presentations—throughout campus, including flat-panel monitors, projectors, and teaching workstations.
UIndy will develop graduate programs and innovative undergraduate curricula that give students a competitive advantage in the workplace. Multidisciplinary coursework will be developed, and students also will gain experience in student-run businesses that emphasize team problem-solving.
The School of Education is an acknowledged leader in teacher education, recognized locally and nationally for its preparation of teachers and school leaders. New demands on schools and teachers have changed the way these educators are prepared. UIndy has met that challenge through revision of curriculum and teaching methods, but the School of Education will need to continue to adapt through addition of flexible, technology-enhanced instructional spaces as well as multimedia and resource facilities that will serve both emerging educators and professionals in the field.
The University seeks to differentiate the School of Business through program innovation, new facilities, additional opportunities for students, and recruitment of leading faculty.
UIndy plans to assume a leadership role in development of a cultural district around campus and expand the capacity of its arts facilities. The University’s arts programs (Art & Design, Music, and Theatre) have grown in enrollment and outgrown their campus homes, and there is need for newly configured studio, shop, classroom, and recital space.
A significant proportion of UIndy students are competitive athletes; many others participate in intramurals. UIndy is also a venue for area schools and sports organizations that use its facilities for competition and recreation. To keep pace with the growing demand for additional recreational and fitness options among students and in the community, UIndy will upgrade and expand its athletics facilities, beginning with the addition of a lacrosse practice field.
The University will expand its hybrid offerings beginning in the graduate area, which will help students complete their degrees more expeditiously. UIndy offers both online and hybrid (a combination of online and on-site) courses in the School for Adult Learning, online and hybrid degree programs in Gerontology, Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy, as well as some undergraduate online courses.
The University will continue to invest in measures that improve safety and security on campus, such as new technology, training and equipment.
Tremendous enrollment growth over recent years (for example, UIndy grew from an institution of 3,600 students in 2000 to 5,400 in 2013) has resulted in the need for extensions of available library, fitness facility, and food service hours. Improvements are ongoing.
The University strives to be ever more intentional about creating a climate that attracts and retains diverse populations. A new Diversity & Inclusion Office will signal UIndy’s value of diversity and inclusion, foster a learning environment that reflects the world around us, and support a culture of inclusion.
Faculty of UIndy’s School of Education and the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning are experts in methods of educational transformation to enable students to be successful and meet 21st-century expectations. These experts are working with traditional public schools as well as charter schools, helping teachers and administrators address achievement gaps. The School of Education is preparing new cadres of teachers and school leaders to close these gaps. CELL created and coordinates a network of Early College and Indiana New Tech high schools throughout Indiana and will work with the School of Education in developing additional partnerships for UIndy.
Creating additional distinguished faculty chairs and professorships is a priority and will enable the University to continue to attract and retain outstanding faculty and draw top students.
UIndy will continue its focus on improving faculty salaries, both to ensure proper compensation and to attract and retain additional high-caliber faculty, who in turn attract bright and motivated students to programs.
As Indianapolis considers building a new forensics laboratory, the University is exploring a collaboration between the city and internationally recognized UIndy faculty who perform forensic skeletal and DNA analysis.
The University is exploring with the city the possibility of establishing a “destination park” with a health- and fitness-related focus—perhaps exercise stations and even a climbing wall—that would draw upon the expertise of faculty and provide a new fitness and recreational option in the neighborhood.
The Hannah House is an historic mansion just west of the UIndy campus at 3801 Madison Avenue, and the University is exploring opportunities to help preserve the home and grounds.
As a rapid transit plan comes closer to being a reality in Central Indiana, there is a possibility of a bus rapid transit line from Greenwood north to Indianapolis, including a stop at UIndy. Taken together, the bus transit line, the University’s campus presence with its academic, cultural, and athletics amenities, and UIndy’s support of retail development, all have the potential of creating an attractive destination point around Hanna and Shelby. The University will work with the city and developers to support that goal.
UIndy’s Center for Aging & Community has facilitated development of intergenerational “communities for life”—walkable neighborhoods with access to public transportation and amenities that enable senior citizens to remain in their homes for as long as possible. The University is exploring how University Heights can become such a community.
Encouraging development of a retirement community adjacent to campus is one way the University can build momentum. UIndy has faculty expertise in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology and social work, and could work in partnership with the retirement community—providing these services to seniors as well as creating clinical experiences for students. In addition to offering academic opportunities for older adults, the University also has many cultural, fitness and sporting events that would be easily accessible. The residential areas around campus would provide intergenerational contact, and the proposed development of a rapid transit bus line with a stop at UIndy would provide access to public transportation. Meanwhile, retail development and the University’s campus would provide an anchor for shopping, dining, and a rich array of intellectual, social, cultural, spiritual, and recreational activities to keep seniors active.
A Continuing Care Retirement Community offers a tiered approach to assistance—from independent living to assisted living or nursing care. Having a Continuing Care Retirement Community within an intergenerational community can offer the best of both worlds, attract investment to the area, and offer the senior citizens in residence access to all of the amenities the University offers.
About the Vision 2030 Process
In late 2012, the University of Indianapolis began a strategic planning process that involved more than 1,600 sources of input, gathered through conversations, task forces, a survey and even an “imagination wall.” More than 5,500 ideas emerged, and common themes became evident.
Since then we have moved to conceptualizing priorities and goals, determining initiatives to help us achieve them, identifying metrics that will reveal whether we have been successful, and establishing a timeline for implementation.
We are embarking on a new chapter in our history, while embracing our past and building on our strengths. Our mission, history, and traditions have been central to the strategic planning process and are evident in the initiatives. Any progress we hope to make must be tied to the qualities that have animated our University since our founding in 1902 and are underscored by our relationship to the United Methodist Church.
The Vision 2030 process emphasized thinking ahead to 2030, but our strategic plan is focused on the next five years. We are investing in ourselves but we will not be able to achieve all of these initiatives without the support of our students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and community. You are critical to our success.