Contributions to the Well-being of the Citizens of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana, and Beyond

Strategic Initiatives and Actions

Accelerate Innovation and Discovery through Research and Creative Activity

IUPUI will translate research into practice by focusing efforts on applying innovation and discovery to improving the quality of life.

IUPUI is known for the cutting-edge research its faculty, research scientists, and students undertake, and the ability of our researchers to translate research into practical applications for the betterment of society.  The academic diversity of the campus promotes a rich environment where inter- and multi-disciplinary innovations and discoveries are forged.  Our strengths in health and life sciences and STEM, as well as in other professional disciplines, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences position us to pursue initiatives with direct application to improving the quality of life in our community and beyond.  And our inclusive approach to valuing and promoting an array of research, scholarship, and creative activity—in disciplinary research, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and community-engaged research, for example—further augments the ability of our researchers and scholars to make significant impacts locally, nationally, and globally. 

The recommendations for supporting this initiative draw on the unique capabilities and strengths of our campus and academic units, with emphasis on developing robust research plans that capitalize on the strengths of our academic units; investing in “big and bold” research projects addressing quality of life issues of national and international importance that we are well positioned to influence; and creating a “collaboratory” and clearinghouse to permit rapid, one-stop responsiveness to research requests and opportunities.

Strategic Actions

  1. Invest in a “Big and Bold” research project that addresses critical national and international quality-of-life issues by establishing a transdisciplinary, long-term, longitudinal study in collaboration with Indianapolis communities and citizens.
  2. To improve recognition of IUPUI as a potential research collaborator for industry, government, nonprofit, and academic partner institutions, create a “collaboratory”—a virtual and personal clearinghouse for the entire IUPUI campus to respond quickly and easily to research requests and opportunities.
  3. Revise promotion and tenure guidelines to align faculty rewards with campus goals and improve faculty retention; develop rewards and incentives for faculty to participate in entrepreneurial and translational work, creative work, team scholarship, and public scholarship; and enhance promotion and tenure committees’ understanding of ways to evaluate nontraditional forms of publication, creative work, and scholarship.
  4. Develop nationally recognized cross-disciplinary graduate programs in critical areas to help expand campus capacity for graduate education.
  5. Expand and integrate research experiences for undergraduates across all disciplines at IUPUI and develop new programs that foster opportunities for undergraduates to engage in interdisciplinary research and training.
  6. Explore new incentives to support research/scholarly productivity among all faculty, including reviewing policies related to indirect cost recovery for designated research centers.
  7. Encourage wider access to findings from research at IUPUI by offering researchers support for easy, inexpensive open distribution of results, and by working with librarians, publishers, and other partners to embrace and leverage new forms of scholarly communication to widely disseminate research findings.

Deepen our Commitment to Community Engagement

IUPUI will collaborate and partner with the community to expand service learning, promote economic development, and provide outreach and engagement to address urban needs.

Commitment to community engagement is a defining attribute of IUPUI, a vital component of our vision, mission, and values, and a tradition dating to the campus’s very beginning. The dedicated efforts of our students, faculty, and staff to improve life in Indianapolis, Central Indiana, and beyond have earned us national recognition and numerous awards. At the same time, our civic and community engagement work is diffuse, involving multiple centers, schools, and faculty initiatives. The following recommendations seek to expand our capacity for effective community engagement by developing an innovative and inclusive engagement agenda aimed at increasing the impact of our engagement; coordinating engagement activities more comprehensively, systematically, and strategically; evaluating, recognizing, and rewarding contributions to community engagement; and seeking external validation and recognition for community engagement activities at IUPUI.

Strategic Actions

  1. Develop a “big and bold” plan for community engagement, in partnership with the community, that embraces democratic principles of reciprocity, including working “in and with,” rather than “to and for,” various communities.
  2. Develop an operational model of community engagement that resolves tensions among different definitions of engagement and incorporates nontraditional forms of campus-community engagement like clinical outreach, commercialization and technology transfer, translational research, and others.
  3. Build a nationally distinctive contemporary model for community engagement that includes more effective strategies for coordinating, advocating for, and leading community engagement in IUPUI’s decentralized environment.
  4. Ensure an appropriate infrastructure is in place to support community engagement at IUPUI, including leadership, coordination and mapping of community engagement activities, and effective communication with on- and off-campus stakeholders involved in community engagement.
  5. Working with community stakeholders, develop a robust information system to measure the collective impact of community engagement outcomes, an effective economic model for community engagement, and accurate, transparent performance indicators that can be regularly communicated to stakeholders.
  6. Re-envision and re-articulate the roles of students, staff, and faculty members in a contemporary, engaged urban institution. Define community engagement work as distinct from service, so that it can be explicitly captured and reflected in Faculty Annual Reports, promotion and tenure guidelines, staff reward mechanisms/performance appraisals, and student RISE experiences.
  7. Encourage and support involvement of all students, faculty and staff in community engagement efforts and effectively promote, recognize, and reward community activities and accomplishments.
  8. Articulate learning outcomes for students to prepare them for lives as active citizens in their communities and professions.
  9. Maintain and expand external recognition of community engagement initiatives at IUPUI (e.g., via the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification).
  10. Create a senior-level role with broad responsibility for community engagement at IUPUI to better coordinate, align, and promote the various components of community engagement.

Strengthen Internationalization Efforts

IUPUI will capitalize on IU and Purdue’s international reputations to forge and expand effective international partnerships and support the development of our students as global citizens.

Over the past 15 years, IUPUI has invested considerable effort in internationalization initiatives, focusing especially on developing strategic partnerships with higher education institutions abroad, bringing more international students to the IUPUI campus, increasing study abroad opportunities, internationalizing curricula across academic programs, and providing co-curricular international opportunities for our students. With leadership from the campus’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), these efforts have borne fruit: since 1999-2000, for example, the number of international students studying at IUPUI has more than tripled, from 606 in Fall 1999 to 1,837—more than six percent of all IUPUI students—in Fall 2013. Study abroad opportunities have multiplied, particularly shorter-term programs that fit the needs of the majority of our students for whom full-semester or full-year trips are impractical; students studying abroad now number approximately 400 each academic year, up from 151 in 1999-2000. On-campus internationalization efforts have also gained momentum with the development of a state-of-the-art international videoconferencing facility for interactive teaching and learning with faculty and students overseas.

Much remains to be accomplished, however, and OIA is currently working with the Office of Academic Affairs, all campus academic and service units, and its community Advisory Board on an IUPUI Internationalization Plan to be implemented in 2014-2020. Assisting us with this initiative is the Internationalization Laboratory, an invitational learning community of the American Council on Education (ACE) that assists participating colleges and universities in achieving comprehensive internationalization. As part of the planning process, and in collaboration with ACE, we are reviewing the array of our international activities, articulating student learning outcomes for international learning, and developing approaches to assessing progress towards those outcomes, all with an eye to extending, broadening, and deepening internationalization at IUPUI. Our aim is to transform ourselves into a global campus by 2020.

The strategic actions below will help us to achieve our goals by focusing on providing internationalization opportunities for all IUPUI students, faculty, and staff; developing IUPUI as an international and intercultural hub to help make Indianapolis more welcoming and attractive to international students and other visitors; and implementing the Internationalization Plan emerging from our collaboration with the ACE Internationalization Laboratory.

Strategic Actions

  1. Complete an IUPUI Internationalization Plan through the ACE Internationalization Laboratory Process by mid-2014. Include concrete goals, objectives, and action steps to transform IUPUI into a global campus by 2020. Ask schools at IUPUI to develop their own internationalization plans and to report annually on internationalization activities and outcomes.
  2. Expand the number of study abroad, international service learning, and international internship opportunities for IUPUI undergraduate and graduate students, focusing on IUPUI’s strategic international partnerships and on the countries and universities identified in Indiana University’s International Strategic Plan. Endowments will be sought to help support and sustain these programs.
  3. Promote international opportunities for faculty and staff through exchanges, research, and service activities, focusing on IUPUI’s strategic international partnerships and on the countries and universities identified in Indiana University’s International Strategic Plan. Endowments will be sought to help support and sustain these programs as well.
  4. Develop curricula and co-curricular activities that make it possible for any IUPUI undergraduate or graduate student to have at least one meaningful international experience during his or her IUPUI career.
  5. Increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of international undergraduate and graduate students.
  6. Continually improve our existing strategic international partnerships in China, Central America, and Africa, build on our history of engagement with Southeast Asia, and develop one or more new strategic international partnerships by 2020.
  7. Lead the effort to make Indianapolis and Central Indiana even more welcoming and attractive to international students, faculty, staff, and visitors by expanding facilities, including an International House, and support services; and working with organizations, businesses, and governments to enhance the experiences and integration of students as well as visitors and new arrivals to the region. Endowments will be sought to help support and sustain these efforts.
  8. To support efforts to make IUPUI an inter-cultural hub, create new and strengthen existing partnerships with Indiana businesses and community organizations that have developed international activities and relationships. Aim to transform IUPUI and Indianapolis into a global campus and a global city working together and with the rest of the world.

Promote an Inclusive Campus Climate

IUPUI will foster and promote an inclusive campus climate that seeks, values, and cultivates diversity in all of its forms.

As Indiana’s premier urban public higher education institution, IUPUI seeks, values, and cultivates diversity in all of its forms, and strives to provide an environment where every individual feels welcomed, valued, and supported to achieve his or her fullest potential. Our commitment to fostering and sustaining an inclusive campus climate for all students, faculty, and staff members begins with IUPUI’s leaders and permeates the entire campus.  We have a strong track record of serving an array of students—high-ability, first-generation, veteran, returning adult, historically underrepresented, to name a few—and our success in effectively educating these diverse learners depends, to a great extent, on ensuring a similarly diverse faculty and staff and a student body that reflects the communities we serve. We must also develop and expand curricular and co-curricular activities that foster inclusiveness, and ensure that our structures, policies, processes, and programs enable diverse people and perspectives to thrive.

Our recommendations for supporting this initiative aim to enhance the diversity of students, faculty, and staff at IUPUI by creating pathways for success; foster and sustain excellence in diversity by ensuring that all members of the campus and community develop cross-cultural knowledge and cultural competence; and holding all units accountable to the Chancellor for developing, implementing, and achieving a diversity plan.

Strategic Actions

  1. Hold each unit accountable to the Chancellor for developing, implementing, and achieving a plan to establish a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment,in collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for Diversity,Equity, and Inclusion, the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the Director of the Office for Women.
  2. Create a centralized data management position within the office of DEI dedicated to supporting all units in collecting, coordinating, and analyzing diversity-related data and to systematically measuring IUPUI’s performance against the performance indicators established for this initiative, in coordination with IMIR.
  3. Increase IUPUI’s commitment to cultural competence and social justice literacy by educating and learning from campus and community stakeholders; and by developing, implementing, and institutionalizing initiatives that support ongoing improvement of faculty and staff members’ cultural literacy.
  4. Require all students to engage in high-impact curricular and co-curricular experiences designed to enhance cross-cultural knowledge, understanding, attitudes, and skills as well as awareness of social justice issues and civic responsibility.
  5. Enhance the diversity of IUPUI students, faculty,and staff by identifying and removing barriers to access and advancement for specific populations.
  6. Become the premier institution for service members seeking an education in Indiana.
  7. Increase IUPUI’s commitment to a family-friendly environment to ensure that faculty, staff, and students are able to focus on their IUPUI obligations and commitments.
  8. Develop, expand, and provide additional institutional funding for the recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented faculty, staff, and students.
  9. Work with community partners to create and expand pipeline programs from elementary through graduate education in order to recruit and retain historically underrepresented student and faculty leaders for IUPUI and other institutions.
  10. In order to institutionalize excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion, create an Institute for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that supports research, practice,and teaching focused on cultural diversity and social justice.

Develop Faculty and Staff

IUPUI will invest in and develop its faculty and staff so that individuals can realize their fullest potential to contribute to an institution focused on excellence.

Faculty and librarians are the lifeblood of any higher education institution. IUPUI faculty members are deeply engaged in all areas of our institutional mission, including teaching and learning, research and creative activity, and community engagement. Increasingly, the nature of faculty and librarian work is being reshaped by inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches; technology that redefines when, where, and how work is performed; and a need to frequently enhance and update knowledge, skills, and perspectives to keep pace with new disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, changing student demographics, technology, external stakeholder expectations, and broader societal needs. Thus, IUPUI should regularly revisit its policies, approaches, and resources related to faculty and librarians to ensure that the campus is well-positioned to attract, develop, retain, support, reward, and advance the wide range of faculty and librarian talent.

Similarly, IUPUI’s dedicated staff is among its chief assets and strengths. As we embark upon a new vision and strategic plan, we must invest in and develop our staff in order for individuals to realize their fullest potential, contribute to institutional excellence, and succeed in a rapidly changing higher education environment. Just as we do in the case of faculty, we must regularly revisit our policies, approaches, and resources related to staff to ensure that the campus is well-positioned to attract, develop, retain, support, reward, and advance our staff talent.

Our approach to developing our faculty, librarians, and staff must reflect the campus’s uniqueness: the complexity of our structure as well as the span of disciplines and degrees represented here; our focus on team and translational science; and our dynamic nature as an urban health science campus with a diverse student population. Our recommendations for supporting this initiative focus on positioning IUPUI as an “employer of choice” for staff and faculty through improved workplace culture and communication, meaningful work, and flexible and attractive benefits packages; providing more robust development opportunities for both faculty and staff, including programming, mentoring, and other tools and resources for career success; and strengthening performance management and promotion/tenure approaches to reflect the dynamic and varying nature of faculty and staff roles and responsibilities.

Strategic Actions

  1. Ensure that IUPUI is an employer of choice for faculty and staff (including part-time and associate faculty and staff) by regularly recognizing each individual’s value to the institution and by systematically evaluating and rewarding all employees’ work and contributions.
  2. Capitalize on IUPUI’s focus on the health sciences to promote and value work-life balance in the lives of faculty, staff, and students. Initiatives might include developing a state-of-the-art campus fitness/wellness center, supporting employer-sponsored health clinics, providing resources for health/wellness programs, and promoting a physically active campus.
  3. Align promotion and tenure guidelines to a new and dynamic definition of faculty work that recognizes the changing nature of teaching, research, and service, and acknowledges the multi-faceted and changing roles faculty play.
  4. Align performance management and career advancement guidelines and practices with the challenges and demands of work that is constantly evolving.
  5. Increase opportunities for faculty and staff professional and career development through mentoring, support, and continuing education (e.g., mini teaching sabbaticals).
  6. Create flexible and competitive benefit and support packages that are adaptable to individual needs (e.g., dependent care support, long-term care insurance, short-term disability insurance), that provide equitable benefit dollars for all employees according to employment status, that include flexible work options, and that recognize changing definitions of family.
  7. Encourage faculty and staff involvement in solving problems for Indianapolis by promoting partnerships with communities and corporations, surrounding cities, and the state, and by rewarding faculty and staff for civic engagement that has an impact on the local and regional communities.
  8. Engage faculty in leadership roles in the areas of accountability for student learning and economic and workforce development.
  9. Engage members of the IUPUI Senior Academy more fully in addressing campus strategic priorities and mentoring faculty, staff, and students.
  10. Establish a tradition of communication among staff, administration, and faculty to encourage open dialogue among all members of the campus community; to educate members of the campus community about campus, division, and school policies, practices, and procedures; to foster staff and faculty advocacy and communication with campus administration; and to ensure a welcoming, safe, diverse, and inclusive environment across the campus.
  11. Take advantage of faculty expertise on organizational improvement to identify areas where improvement is needed and to develop appropriate programs and solutions.