The final draft of the IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan has been approved and released.
The plan is a blueprint outlining a set of initiatives meant to carry IU past its bicentennial, which it will celebrate during the 2019-2020 academic year , and into its third century.
The rough draft of the plan was released Oct. 14, while the final draft of the plan was approved by the Board of Trustees Dec. 5.
Between the release of the rough draft and the release of the final draft, the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs received a range of comments, including 334 online comments from a variety of stakeholders, according to the University.
“The responses covered just about everything in the plan in one way or another, and we received responses from faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends of the university,” said John Applegate, executive vice president for University Academic Affairs. “I couldn’t be happier with the responses.”
The rough draft of the plan proposes seven Bicentennial Priorities, falling under six Principles of Excellence that address education, faculty, research, global reach, health sciences and health care and engagement and economic development.
The final draft of the plan proposes eight Bicentennial Priorities, including a new Bicentennial Priority, titled “a community of scholars,” falling under the faculty portion on the plan. The other seven Bicentennial Priorities remain, as do the six Principles of Excellence.
The final draft of the plan also proposes a new core value: sustainability.
The education portion of the plan outlines a strategy for decreasing student costs, increasing on-time graduation and encouraging student success.
The final draft of the plan places a greater emphasis on graduate education, as well as a greater emphasis on academic and career advising.
Originally by far the shortest section of the plan, the faculty portion states IU’s intent to recruit and retain “outstanding, diverse and inclusive” faculty, including researchers, scholars, teachers and creative artists.
The final draft of the plan places a greater emphasis on the need to create and maintain, through faculty networks, development programs and conferences, a scholarly community in order to recruit and retain such “outstanding, diverse and inclusive” faculty, including tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty and part-time faculty.
The research portion outlines a strategy for improving research by identifying multiple grand challenges over the next few years.
The plan defines a grand challenge, a term also referenced in IU Bloomington’s strategic plan, as a major and widespread problem that is best identified and tackled by multidisciplinary teams of researchers.
The final draft of the plan places a greater emphasis on the role of faculty, particularly the role of humanities and social sciences faculty, in identifying and tackling these grand challenges.
It also places a greater emphasis on the continuance of the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program until the Bicentennial. The program funds arts and humanities projects, including literary works, works of art and musical compositions.
In addition to outlining a strategy for improving research, the research portion emphasizes the need for a possible restructuring of education from the schools of education on all campuses.
The rough draft of the plan stated IU’s intent to appoint an external Blue Ribbon Review Committee to conduct a review of directions and trends in teacher education and education research, meant to inform a possible restructuring of education from the schools of education on all campuses.
The final draft of the plan, however, states IU’s intent to first appoint an internal task force to conduct a review of directions and trends in teacher education and education research, meant to inform a possible restructuring of education from the schools of education on all campuses.
IU President McRobbie will then appoint an external Blue Ribbon Review Committee, whose members will give their reactions and add their suggestions.
The international portion of the plan outlines a strategy for expanding international influence by building on the International Strategic Plan.
The final draft of the plan places a greater emphasis on the role of study abroad.
Health Sciences and Health Care
The health sciences and health care portion of the plan outlines a strategy for the possible restructuring of health-related services at IU.
The rough draft of the plan proposed that the IU School of Medicine focus on research on population health management, cancer, cardiovascular disease and the neurosciences.
The final draft of the strategic plan proposes that the IU School of Medicine also focus on research on pediatrics through Riley Hospital for Children.
Engagement and Economic Development
The engagement and economic development portion of the plan states IU’s intent to explore the expansion and establishment of design and engineering programs at IU-Bloomington.
The final draft of the plan states IU’s intent to differentiate the new School of Design and Art from the Herron School of Art and Design at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The final draft of the plan also states IU’s intent to coordinate the creation of the engineering program with the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.
Applegate said that he is delighted with the final draft of the plan.
“I think that (the Bicentennial Strategic Plan) encompasses the range of areas that a great university is active in, and the range of internal and external audiences to whom a public university responds, while at the same time providing direction and focus for the period leading up to the Bicentennial,” he said.
For the full list of changes, go to strategicplan.iu.edu.