IU is a world-class institution that must keep reinventing itself in order to break the barriers that many believe exist.
With this constant reinvention, the University must keep in mind that the world is an ever-changing ?landscape.
It must change how degrees are earned, it must renovate buildings and it must purchase new ?equipment.
In order to stay a world-class institution, IU needs to reinvent how it looks at ?education.
Recently, IU released the Bicentennial Strategic Plan, which stated that IU intends to research the possibility of creating an engineering ?program in Bloomington.
Now, I’ve heard people say things such as “This isn’t Purdue” or “Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” and perhaps they have a point.
Market niches exist for a reason.
IU excels at business and music. Purdue excels at agriculture and engineering. Ball State ?excels at architecture.
These are all common beliefs that are sometimes backed up by facts. The fear of stepping outside of these roles is all too often echoed by administrators, staff members and students. And I can sympathize with those people.
Changing what your university does, to some, appears to attempt to change what your university stands for. Those who disagree with what IU is hoping to do may feel like the program would be a failure or go against IU’s culture.
I, however, am overjoyed that IU is looking to expand its breadth of knowledge by researching an engineering program.
As a world-class institution, IU owes it to the students to offer them the widest array of options that is manageable and feasible by the University. And as a world-class institution, with most science majors ranking in the top 50, an engineering program is a good possibility.
The Board of Trustees, President Michael McRobbie and Provost Lauren Robel owe it to students to expand, improve and revolutionize the processes, policies and programs IU offers to its students.
Likewise, students have an obligation to speak their minds and let their representatives and school employees know their thoughts on the subject.
As IU progresses in a society where college is quickly growing into a common necessity, we ought to be examining how we can stay competitive as an institution of higher learning.
The University has decided that engineering is a program worth exploring for various reasons. I trust it will make the decision that is best for the University.
While I don’t have all the facts regarding an ?engineering program, I am of the firm belief that IU would be capable of producing and maintaining a comprehensive, recognized engineering program within the next decade.
I am also of the firm belief this program would attract more students to our campus, provide more students with a deeper breadth of knowledge and give students more options in how they wish to proceed with their education.
IU is an institution of opportunity, shared community and higher learning. And we excel at all three.
With this move, the administration and the Board of Trustees, in my mind, are keeping it that way.