State of the Campus Address
INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTHEAST 2018 FACULTY/STAFF ANNUAL MEETING
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
STATE OF THE CAMPUS ADDRESS
By Chancellor Ray Wallace
As a former English composition professor, let me start this state of the campus address with a clear thesis statement. The IU Southeast campus is, after a necessary fiscal realignment, in a very robust position with durable advances in all areas and, given continued economic vigilance throughout the year, we should remain strong.
By way of introduction, let me reiterate the message the campus community has heard at previous meetings this past year. The campus started FY18 with a structural deficit of $1.6 million. The main cause of the deficit was the culmination of a seven-year decline in credit hours, which resulted in budgeted expenses exceeding current revenue levels. Specifically, fall 2017 credit hours were slightly lower than fall 2006 credit hours; however, our compensation and expense budgets were based upon much higher revenue levels, which no longer existed. Immediately following the approval of the FY18 operating budget by the Trustees in June 2017, campus leadership implemented spending controls and started to work on a significant budget reduction plan. The spending controls were focused on personnel vacancies, part-time faculty and staff, travel, hospitality, sponsorships, memberships, and general operating expenses. The budget reduction plan, which was outlined in last year’s State of the Campus address, provided a comprehensive realignment of the budget to current (and much more realistic) revenue levels. As a result of the above actions and strategies, the campus ended FY18 with an alignment of revenue and expenses and started FY19 with a balanced budget. The significance of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. One of the key features of the “right-sizing” process was ongoing communication and consistent messaging to the campus community on a regular and frequent basis. The campus received critical budget updates from the Chancellor’s Office (and with the Office of Administrative Affairs which also provided guidance and support throughout the budget reduction and realignment process) in January 2017, June 2017, September 2017, November 2017, and January 2018, as well as through meetings with Academic Deans, Faculty Senate Executive Committee members, and Staff Leadership Councils.
The bottom line is that our budget is balanced and constructed on a more accurate current enrollment figure.
Our Admission and Recruitment team revamped the campus visit structure for prospective students to include the option of a meeting with a faculty member in their desired field of study. This, along with many other outreach initiatives, led to a 38% increase in the overall visits to campus last year. The year-round work of the Admission and Recruitment team yielded outstanding results in our first-year class. The 9.2% increase in first-year undergraduate students did not happen by accident. The ongoing collaboration with high schools in our recruitment area, college fairs, open house events, and one-on-one meetings and communication with prospective students contributed greatly to this increase.
Career Development continues to foster and build relationships with area businesses to provide internship and career opportunities for our students. In addition to the annual fall and spring job fair, a new Healthcare Career Fair was held in collaboration with faculty from the School of Natural Sciences to connect students to post-graduate opportunities in the healthcare field. Nearly 200 students participated in an internship for pay, credit, or both.
Our students continue to give back to the campus and the surrounding community. This past year 12,104 volunteer hours were logged; an increase of 11.58% from the previous year. Grenadier Central, our online portal for students to find an organization, saw an 8.2% increase in usage, indicating more students getting connected to one of our 135 organizations. The Children’s Center received the Level 3 designation from the Paths to Quality state program that promotes high-quality childcare. Residence Life and Housing had full occupancy last year. Not only were the lodges full, but the majority of residents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their experience. Each year the number of students interested in being paired with a mentor increases, as they see the benefit of having a dedicated faculty, staff or alumnus guide them from their first-year through graduation. The campus has responded to our call for additional mentors to meet the needs of our students, and this fall we now have 149 mentors in the program.
Our student athletes not only succeed on the court or field, they also excel in the classroom. The average GPA for our student athletes last year was 3.0, with 16 student athletes earning a 4.0, and three of our seven teams were named NAIA Scholar Teams, with their team GPA average 3.0 or above. More important than winning games or matches, our student-athletes are outstanding representatives of the university. IU Southeast was named an NAIA Champions of Character Gold-Level Institution by the NAIA for the third consecutive year. The gold-level, the highest level possible, indicates a commitment to integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. We even added a new club sport - Bass Fishing – and the team won the Indiana Qualifier tournament and went on to finish 30th out of 117 teams at the Bassmaster National Championship in Oklahoma.
In academic affairs, we continue to see undergraduate programmatic growth with a BA in sustainability and regeneration; a BS/BA in social sciences; a BS in elementary education with a special education concentration; a Certificate and Post baccalaureate program in conflict analysis and resolution; and a certificate in diversity and intercultural competency.
We have also seen continued growth in graduate programs, with a 49.6% increase in student headcount and a 30% increase in credit hour production. We have successfully implemented two new programs, the MS in Management and an MA in Mental Health Counseling. Additionally, we have seen our second cohort of MS in Nursing, several graduate certificates, and several other new MS in secondary education concentrations.
In terms of student success, IU Southeast completed its third year of Re-Imagining the First Year Initiative, an important program developed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Perhaps even more importantly our 4-year graduation rate has more than doubled since the 2013 graduating class and our six-year graduation rates are at all-time highs. In terms of transfer students, this year we rolled out 37 2+2 programs as part of Crimson Advantage with JCTC transfer program.
We continue to grow in our online instructional efforts. We now lead all regional institutions in combined online and hybrid credit hours. We are second to only IU East in online credit hours, and we lead all regional campuses in hybrid credit hour production. We continue to see growth in online summer courses and our innovation of the winter session term (taught mostly online) has now been adopted by other IU campuses.
In terms of specific school highlights, let me briefly note that in the School of Nursing, the undergraduate class of 2018 had a 97% pass rate on the RN licensing exam (the national average runs about 84%); the School of Business rolled out its accelerated MBA program and graduated over 200 students, the School of Education continues to work with alumni in the local schools and expands K-12 partnerships in our entire service area; the School of Social Sciences developed a Civic Engagement Institute, continues their successful social sciences on tap program, and will begin video production courses in the spring. The School of Natural Sciences made great progress in implementing math co-requisites and math pathways, awarded scholarships to our first BMD students, and all their students and faculty came back unharmed from their various international sojourns and field trips. The School of Arts and Letters implemented a “lab” for Music Theory, raised efficiency levels (filling classes) by 22%, and created a partnership between the Ogle Center and the IU Southeast Theatre Department.
In terms of technological advances, IU Southeast has really remained stellar. In the past year, Southeast UITS closed over 11,000 support tickets averaging a close time of less than an hour. Since 2015, this represents an improvement from 6 hours to just under an hour. This was accomplished while maintaining 4.5 out of 5 customer satisfaction rating. Additionally, IU Southeast UITS along with IU Communications led developers from all regional campuses in the creation of the new regional campus IU Framework for websites. We implemented a new Laptop Initiative to provide full time faculty and staff the opportunity to choose either an enterprise recommended laptop or desktop. The results are operational budget savings, improved security, and increased faculty and staff satisfaction. Finally, plans are pending for the installation of an IQ Wall in the 3rd floor of the Library. An IQ wall is a large format, ultra-resolution display that facilitates visualization, presentation, and collaboration. It is comprised of a tiled array of displays driven by a single, high-end, ultra-resolution computer running Windows.
In terms of advancement IU Southeast has to date raised $12.6 million (90%) toward the $14 million goal for the Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign, with two years to go. Fiscal year 2018 concluded with the second largest results in the history of IU Southeast fundraising having raised $5,437,879, an increase of 115% over the last fiscal year. Included in the $12.6 million is $1.9 million to support scholarships and the largest single commitment in the university’s history. Additionally, a $1.5 million commitment to establish an artist in excellence and honors program for Arts and Letters was received. The Lobby of the Ogle Center was renamed the Hugh and Patty Cress Lobby honoring their commitment to the Ogle Center and IU Southeast.
The Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner experienced an exceptional year raising $163,933, a 21% increase over last year. We were awarded $273,760 in non-governmental grants in fiscal year 2018, an increase of 128% over the previous fiscal year. IU Southeast was awarded a prestigious Lilly Endowment grant to fund research in school counseling including working with business, nonprofit, and community stakeholders to address school counseling and college and career readiness needs at local and regional levels. In governmental grants, we received $267,000 in awards including a $240,000 award from the Indiana Commission on Higher Education for research to enhance recruitment, preparation, and education of highly qualified pre-service and in-service STEM teachers in Indiana school corporations. Additionally, this fall we were notified by the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, that IU Southeast was approved for an award of $300,000 supporting programming designed to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education programs, and develop and strengthen campus security and investigation strategies in order to prevent, prosecute, and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses.
Finally, IU Southeast alumni participated in two surveys, which provided feedback from our alumni on their college experience: 96% of alumni have a good or excellent opinion of IU Southeast: 88% of alumni agreed or strongly agreed that their IU Southeast education was worth the cost, and 72% commented that IU Southeast prepared them well for life outside of college.
In December 2017, the office completed a comprehensive public land management plan for the Southeast campus. The plan synthesized the four major land management plans that were produced since 1968 into a single document. It also provided 40 recommendations for land management and landscape-related projects. The four pillars of the plan are recreational opportunities, ecosystem management, environmental stewardship, and sustainable practices/strategies. This new comprehensive plan establishes the foundation for a new paradigm of public land management at IU Southeast for the benefit of current and future students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Our Accounting Services Office provided critical support during the budget reduction and realignment process. As of June 30, the end of fiscal year 2018, all campus accounts were reconciled, balanced, and properly closed with a clean sign-off by the University. In addition, the office updated the campus hospitality policy to reflect changes at the University level. The new policy provides more flexibility, fewer restrictions, and streamlined processing for account managers. Accounting Services also coordinated a new tax intercept program, which recovered almost $190,000 in prior write-offs. Accounting Services provided expert assistance to all schools and departments, making budgeting, grant administration, account management, student payments, purchasing, and revenue collection easier for the entire campus community.
Human Resources coordinated the completion of a university-wide employee engagement survey. The results of the survey revealed high levels of employee engagement in each of the twelve areas that were measured.
Facility Operations oversaw the completion of ten large capital projects totaling $2.2 million. A new HVAC system in Crestview Hall and a boiler in Knobview Hall will provide energy savings for decades to come, supporting our sustainability goals. The main restrooms on each of the three floors of Knobview were in dire need of renovation and that project is now complete. None of these large projects could have happened without state-provided repair and rehabilitation funding. Facility Operations also built a new internet radio station for the Horizon and coordinated an extensive renovation of the food court area over the summer months. With tighter budgets, the custodial crew implemented a team approach to cleaning, adopting the age-old adage that “many hands make lighter work.” Our Facility Operations crew did a significant amount of work on the walking trail in the northern 40 acres of campus. A new trailhead was established near the northwest corner of Meadow Lodge. We have exciting plans for this trail in 2019!
The IU Southeast police department keeps the campus safe and secure 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The police department provided new parking permit kiosks and enhancements to the student and employee permit ordering process. The department created a new detective position and continues to work with outside agencies to ensure a coordinated effort for the safety and security of the campus and surrounding community. Our campus police department does a significant amount of campus and community outreach. For example, the department provides holiday gifts to young children through the Shop with a Cop program. The department holds countless campus events to increase student interactions with police officers in comfortable and safe settings. Coffee with a Cop, Food with 5.0, Going to the Dogs, and Basic Car Maintenance for Students are good examples.
The Ogle Center presented more than 100 professional performances and community events during the 2017-2018 season, serving more than 28,000 patrons. Thirty-three Children and Family Series events were presented free to the public thanks to the generous support received from the Duke Energy Foundation, Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, the Harrison County Community Foundation, the IU Foundation, and many individuals. The Children and Family Series provided arts and cultural experiences to more than 10,200 students, parents, and teachers. The Ogle Center programmed a successful season of performances, including a special sold-out performance with Richard Marx in January. The thirteen Ogle Center performances had an average attendance of 368 patrons, which represents 75% of the facility’s capacity.
IU Southeast is a community within a community that includes a growing array of dining options. Dining and Conference Services continued to serve a record number of patrons in its various outlets. The Subway unit in the Library completed its second year of operation and continues to break sales records in the regional franchise group. Dining Services updated its POS system mid-year with successful results and passed all health inspections for the year. One of the many significant accomplishments in Dining Services was the elimination of Styrofoam in the coffee shop. The preservation and stewardship of natural resources is a key organizational value and this seemingly small change will have a big impact on the environment. In response to a student survey that was conducted in 2014, Dining Services opened a new [Papa John’s] pizza shop this fall. The new unit, which is located in the food court, uses state-of-the-art production equipment and quality ingredients. We know the students will be very happy with this new service. IU Southeast is one of the five highest ranked campus food programs among Indiana’s 4-year public colleges and universities, according to Niche.com’s 2019 rankings.
IU Southeast continues to do well. We are monetarily and educationally secure. We have recruited and retained very good students. We are an attractive campus, both literally and figuratively - -our campus grounds and facilities are in great shape and we see more prospective students visit us in person and online. Yes, we have had to do some belt-tightening to get us to a more realistic position given the economy and the region’s unemployment statistics. However, I don’t know a regional campus that has not had to realign over the last ten years - -we have done it in a way which does not harm our students. We continue to grow academic programs which allow our students to graduate from us with very marketable IU degrees.
All of us here at IU Southeast (faculty and staff) must have one over-reaching goal for this academic year. We all must focus on enrollment management i.e. recruitment and retention. We must be seen to be the type of higher education institution that cares about our recruits and our graduates. We must retain the students we have recruited and we must keep them on track to graduate as close to on-time as possible. Many of you do this very well already, but we need more of us recognizing that enrollment management is not just a job for recruiters to complete—we must all take part in this endeavor.
Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you for the job you do to keep this institution so strong. You all are important to our mission and I could not be more proud to be your Chancellor.