Indiana Daily Student

State of the Campus addresses diversity, advising

IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel presents her inaugural "State of the Campus" address Tuesday in the lobby of the IU Auditorium.
IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel presents her inaugural "State of the Campus" address Tuesday in the lobby of the IU Auditorium.

Men and women in suits clapped as Provost Lauren Robel took the stage to deliver her first State of the Campus address Tuesday, during which she discussed the prioritization of diversity on campus and reinvigorating academic advising.

“Diversity is not an afterthought or an add-on,” Robel said. “It is central.”

According to her speech, the IU faculty have a minority population of 31 percent.
Still, Robel has charged the deans to explore every aspect of their programs with the intent of expanding faculty diversity.

“I was impressed with what she said about the faculty and minority students,” said Lin Dai, a recent Kelley School of Business graduate.

However, Dai said she was less impressed with what Robel said concerning the importance of international students.

“I don’t know what opportunities there are for international alumni,” Dai said. “Maybe there should be an International Alumni Association. You always hear about successful international alumni but they never seem to come back to IU.”

Robel said she also has plans to do more for undergraduates in regards to undergraduate research opportunities and internships.

“IU is seventh in the nation for the number of students who study abroad,” Robel said. “I want to make a promise that every student will be able to do one of the following: study abroad, conduct research or participate in an internship.”

In order to do this, Robel said she has taken two steps. The first of two steps was for IU to enter into a pilot program that will give academic advisors data going back 10 years. The second step was to use a framework created by the Kelley School of Business that would integrate the faculty at important points in students’ careers.

Dai said she wondered what else would be done for career services with an international perspective.

“Are there any new plans with the undergraduate career services?” Dai said. “Any new resources provided that’ll help all of us — not just international students — with our future careers?”

Robel said IU needs to think “strategically.”

“I promise that the future developments will be faculty driven,” Robel said.

Robel said it is at the very beginning of her career as provost of IU-Bloomington and is optimistic about the future.

“We undoubtedly face challenges,” Robel said. “But we are collectively more than the sum of our schools on this campus.”

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