The IU Board of Trustees had its first meeting of 2017 Thursday and Friday at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis. Among other decisions, the board approved the expansion of the Eskenazi Museum of Art and site plans for a new regional health center, which will be built on land currently occupied by a portion of the Bloomington campus’ golf course.
The Regional Academic Health Center will have attached parking and walk ways for patients and staff. As was mentioned in previous releases, the design incorporates the existing landscape to give the site a natural appearance.
Plans for the museum are more architecturally detailed, including an outdoor meeting place, a new lecture hall and a cafe, while the approved health center is only a site plan. The latter plans were presented at the meeting by Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison. The board will decide on specific dimensions for the building and parking lot at a future meeting.
“The design takes advantage of the existing topography to incorporate the facility without losing the trees and rolling landscape that make this site unique,” said Morrison, according to the Inside IU newsletter to faculty and staff.
Both building plans are part of IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan. The museum expansion fits the plan’s fourth priority, “Re-Imagining Education,” while the creation of the regional health center is part of the sixth priority, “Health Sciences Research and Education to Improve the State and Nation’s Health.” In total, the plan has eight priorities, the last being “Towards a Culture of Building and Making.”
The trustees also approved proposed rate increases for housing and meal plan rates. Residence halls on the Bloomington campus will experience a 1-percent rate increase.
The trustees also passed a resolution affirming President Michael McRobbie’s previous statement denouncing President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order. In his statement, McRobbie said the directive was in contrast with the school’s values as an institution of higher learning.
“Whereas, any action that impacts, even temporarily, the ability of our students and scholars, to freely travel to academic conferences, engage in research outside the United States, or return to their home countries without fear of being denied readmission to the United States has a harmful impact on our ability to fulfill our educational and research mission,” read a portion of the resolution, signed by the nine members of the board.
“This executive order has caused anxiety,” McRobbie said. The resolution was the last decision before the meeting came to a close.