From The President
Dear alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of Indiana State University,
It looks like it is going to be a great year with another large freshmen class, residence halls filled to capacity, newly renovated spaces, several new campus leaders and new programs and services.
This fall, the university will be welcoming several new leaders to campus, including:
- Kandi Hill-Clarke, dean of the Bayh College of Education
- Jack Turman Jr., dean of the College of Nursing, Health and Human Services
- Mitch Hannahs, head baseball coach
- Dana Babel, resident district manager of Sodexo at Indiana State University
- Amanda Knerr, executive director of Residential Life
- Academic chairpersons who are new to campus include: Brian Bunnett (Public Services, Library), William Ganis (Art), and Andrew Payne (Built Environment).
There are many other individuals who are not new to campus but who have assumed new roles this fall including Biff Williams becoming provost and Greg Youngen stepping in to serve as interim dean of Library Services.
We also welcome two new trustees to our governing board. Jeff Taylor, an Indiana State graduate from Carmel, has been appointed to a four-year term. Jeff recently retired from Pearson, one of the world’s largest education companies, where he served in several leadership positions, including senior vice president of U.S. government policy and investor relations. He previously served as vice president and chief financial officer of National Computer Systems, an education testing and software company, and is a member of the board of directors of Capella Education Company. Erin Sluyter, a sophomore from Terre Haute, is our new student trustee. A biology major, Erin is active in the University Honors Program and serves as a Sycamore Ambassador and Office of Admissions Welcome Team Leader. She will serve a two-year term.
Trustees Ed Pease and Bob Baesler were also reappointed by the governor to four-year terms. Last month, the trustees elected Randy Minas as president of the board, Bob Baesler as vice president, David Campbell as secretary, and Norm Lowery as assistant secretary. Congratulations to the officers and our new trustees. If you get a chance, please thank them for their service.
Students moved in beginning on Aug. 16, when the residence halls officially open. The newly renovated Erickson Hall provided an additional 250 much-needed beds. One freshman found himself randomly assigned to the same room his grandmother live in as a student decades before. See that story here.
The university also distributed more than 1,600 computers awarded through our laptop scholarship program. On Aug. 18, the new students were welcomed at the opening convocation and “March Through The Arch” ceremony followed by Sycamore Sundae activities on Wolf Field. It is always fun to see the enthusiasm of our new students as they take these important first steps in the transition to college life. The divisions of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications and Student Affairs work year-round on these opening activities, and their efforts contribute heavily to the welcoming environment our students experience.
Classes started on Aug. 20, and Cheri once again hosted her lemonade stand on the quad to meet new and returning students and provide directions to class along with the cookies and lemonade. That night, Cheri and I helped host a movie on our front yard, or the quad as the rest of you know it. “Pitch Perfect” was shown with free popcorn and drinks.
The Career Center has moved into its new home in the renovated former student computing complex. Located in a highly visible spot adjacent to Dede Plaza, the new center will feature an expanded range of services for our students. The dedication ceremony was Sept. 6, with Gib Verkamp, a long-time supporter of Indiana State, recognized for his generous donation of furniture for the new center.
One of the new programs the Career Center will launch this year is the Sycamore Skills Certification Program, designed to certify that students possess particular skills that will assist them in obtaining a job and succeeding in today’s marketplace. The program will begin with five certifications: Sycamore Career Ready, Student Employment Professional Skills, Certified Peer Educator, Team Facilitation and Certified Technical Professional. An additional four to five certificates will be announced in November.
Students entering this fall are also the first class to begin their Indiana State experience in University College. The new college is designed to help first-year students make a smooth transition from high school to college by providing an “intrusive” advising experience, high-quality instruction through the university’s five undergraduate colleges, and a responsive network of assistance through collaboration with units across campus. Headed by Dean Linda Maule, the University College is staffed and is already at work putting our new students on a successful path. All of our new freshmen have an advisor assigned to them and in many cases, they had had already had multiple communications with each other.
On the graduate level, the first class of 26 occupational therapy students began their three-year program earlier this summer. The program includes two years of classroom and lab study followed by six months of field work. The master of social work program also gets underway this fall. The 60-credit hour program will focus on the promotion of social and economic justice and the development of competent and skilled clinical social work professionals who are prepared to work with rural populations. The two new programs are among several new degree offerings the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services has established in recent years to address the state’s shortage of health care providers.
Daniel J. Bradley