Trustees approve new degrees, landscape gateways

  • April 14, 2014

Editor's note: This story from The Bloomington Herald-Times is being published here as a courtesy for readers of IU in the News.

By MJ Slaby

Students, faculty and staff at Indiana University Bloomington will see three new gateways to campus and four new degrees, thanks to approval from the IU Board of Trustees.

At the board’s meeting Friday, trustees unanimously approved the landscape design plans and the new degrees, including three more degrees at regional campuses, without discussion. The board also approved a location for the multi-institutional academic health science and research center in Evansville.

The gateway landscaping projects were previously approved by the board, and Mia Williams, university landscape architect, presented designs for approval to the board, saying they were inspired by the existing campus, especially the iconic Sample Gates area, which uses limestone, brick pathways and flowers.

“We’re not here to create new traditions,” Williams said.

The gateway landscape projects already have funding, and now that the designs are approved, work is expected to begin this summer, said Mark Land, IU spokesman.

The now-approved designs include a gateway at Third and Union streets, relocation of the Chi Omega gates and the second phase of the Jordan Avenue Pedestrian Safety project.

Work on Jordan Avenue adds bike lanes in both directions and landscape medians between Third Street and the traffic circle on Jordan Avenue. Williams said the median will have landscaping to discourage pedestrians from crossing there instead of at crosswalks.

The new degrees for students on the Bloomington campus include a Master of Science in computational linguistics, Bachelor of Arts in biotechnology, bachelor of fine arts in dance and Bachelor of Science in computational linguistics. According to information supplied to the trustees, none of the programs will require new faculty, facilities or extra funding.

For regional campuses, the board approved Bachelors of Science in music and in sociology for IU Southeast and a bachelor of arts in sustainability at IU South Bend.

The degrees will next go to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for approval, said Mark Land, IU spokesman.

The board also saw four proposed sites for the new academic medical education and research center in Evansville. The center is a partnership between IU, Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville.

IU President Michael McRobbie and Jay Hess, dean of the IU School of Medicine, recommended the downtown Evansville location to the board. The downtown location is the preferred site of students and is endorsed by the medical community in Evansville, McRobbie said.

The board voted unanimously for the site. The 17,000-square-foot project is expected to cost $69.5 million, but it includes $35 million in incentives from the city of Evansville. It is expected to be completed in late 2017.