McRobbie on target with IU's priorities

  • Oct. 16, 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.

Seven priorities for Indiana University as it approaches its bicentennial year in 2020 dominated Indiana University President Michael McRobbie’s State of the University address. As is typical for McRobbie, the priorities are ambitious and strategic.

They also are consistent with guiding principles McRobbie began talking about in 2010, so none of the Bicentennial Priorities should be a surprise.

At the top of the priorities is a commitment to student success. The goal is to make IU as affordable as possible while continuing to offer high-quality education. No question this goal should be No. 1, but of course, the details for maintaining this balance will be much more difficult than saying it will be done.

Another priority is to promote research to tackle the grand challenges facing Indiana, the United States and the world. We’ve always liked an “art of the possible” vision. It shows that IU recognizes the unique ability of research universities to shoot high when it comes to solving complex problems.

The priority of becoming a global university has been pushed by McRobbie since he became president, and it’s been a hallmark of IU since the days of Herman B Wells. This becomes a more critical priority as the world continues to shrink and its problems continue to expand.

Other priorities focus on “re-imagining education”; research and education in the health sciences to improve the state’s and nation’s health; helping drive economic development in the state; and developing “a culture of building and making” that includes addressing IU’s lack of programs in design and engineering.

These are seven laudable priorities with strong public benefit for executing them well.