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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

campus administration

‘Overjoyed’: IU Board of Trustees approves recommendation to forgo Kinsey Institute nonprofit

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In a unanimous vote Friday, the IU Board of Trustees approved a recommendation from IU President Pamela Whitten to forgo the establishment of a nonprofit entity for the Kinsey Institute, according to a press release. 

Following the Indiana House’s February 2023 vote which prohibited state appropriations from funding the Kinsey Institute, IU administration submitted plans to establish a nonprofit entity to manage the institute’s operational functions supported by the university’s general fund. 

The move garnered backlash from Kinsey faculty and students, who objected to separating the institute from the university and the short timeline of the separation discussions. The IU Board of Trustees tabled discussions of the separation at its meeting Nov. 9-10, and the university established a working group comprised of Kinsey faculty and IU administration and hosted three public listening sessions in January to hear concerns from the public about the future of the institute.   

According to the press release, the working group’s recommendations, which were sent Feb. 16 to IU Provost Rahul Shrivastav and General Counsel Anthony Prather, influenced the outcome.  

Following the board’s meeting, the university will submit a plan to the Indiana State Board of Accounts that ensures no state funds will fund the Kinsey Institute’s operations. 

“With the action taken today, we are taking steps to ensure that the Kinsey Institute remains a beacon of intellectual inquiry,” Whitten said in the release. “I offer my thanks to the Board of Trustees for their unwavering commitment and support.” 

Additionally, the plan will maintain faculty affiliation with the Kinsey Institute and keep the institute’s collections of sexological artifacts part of the institute, two topics of particular concern to faculty. 

According to the press release, IU has also committed to, with the counsel of the IU Foundation, support the Kinsey Institute leadership’s efforts to secure philanthropic support; affirm the value of the institute in the face of opposition based on misinformation; continue to fund faculty and staff salaries to the full extent allowed by the law; and continue to provide appropriate security to facilities affiliated with the institute. 

Faculty had raised concerns about security during the discussions, as the institute has faced increased threats in recent months. 

Melissa Blundell, a Kinsey Institute doctoral student and member of Friends of Kinsey — a student group which advocated against Kinsey’s separation — said she was pleasantly surprised by the outcome and grateful to Whitten and the board for suggesting the accounting solution. 

“This is exactly what we wanted,” she said. 

Blundell, who said she attended the trustees’ meeting, said she had a moment of disbelief when hearing the proposal. 

“Honestly, I was overjoyed,” Blundell said. “It’s exactly what we’ve been fighting for, so it was a really, really great moment.” 

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