Indiana State University Newsroom



President Bradley to appoint affordability task force

October 6, 2011

Indiana State University will seek to limit future increases in student costs to increases in the Consumer Price Index, President Dan Bradley said Wednesday.

"As a public institution of higher education, maintaining affordability is one of our highest responsibilities," Bradley said. He announced plans to appoint a campus task force to recommend ways to maintain affordability in the face of limited state funding.

"No one is more dedicated to the concepts and realities of accessibility and affordability than the people who work at ISU," he said during his annual Fall Address to faculty, staff and students.

The task force will look for ways to limit increases in the costs of student housing and textbooks while reducing operating costs and making the most efficient use of available space on campus.

Despite ongoing budget challenges, Indiana State continues to make progress in all areas of its six-point strategic plan, "The Pathway to Success," including the No. 1 goal of increasing enrollment and improving graduation rates, Bradley said.

He cited a 10 percent increase in enrollment during the past two years, the highest on-campus enrollment since 1994 and the highest grade point average for incoming students in more than a decade.

Goals for the coming year include continued slow growth in freshman enrollment while reducing the number of conditionally admitted students, increasing the geographic diversity of the freshman class, particularly in southern Indiana, and refining strategies to improve first-year retention.

"We need to double down on our student success initiatives," he said.

Indiana State already has much to celebrate, Bradley said, pointing not only to athletic successes in football, basketball and track and field but also to the university's 10-year re-accreditation, its first appearance on Forbes magazine's list of "America's Top Colleges," an eighth straight appearance on Princeton Review's list of "Best Midwestern Colleges" and recognition of the university's service learning commitment by Washington Monthly magazine and the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

ISU is also working to better serve the state's needs by developing and launching new programs in health care and social work, a new professional MBA program in suburban Indianapolis and a new bachelor's degree in adult career education that is helping students returning to college after several years to complete unfinished degrees, Bradley noted.

He cited progress in other areas of the five-year strategic plan, while also outlining goals for the coming year:

Goal 2: Advance Experiential Learning
• Creation of the Center for Research and Creativity
• Expanding the number of programs with required experiential learning components with a goal for the coming year of including such requirements in all majors
• Increasing study abroad participation
• A new leadership studies initiative.

Goal 3: Enhance Community Engagement
• Launch of the Freshman Service Corps to engage new students in monthly projects
• Increasing the number of programs with a service learning component
• Invigorating the Career Center to support placement of students in internships and jobs
• Enlisting alumni to place students in paid internships
• A new partnership with the Ryves Neighborhood intended to have major impact on the area of Terre Haute located north and east of the campus
• Devoting more federal work-study resources to assisting local non-profit organizations.

Goal 4: Strengthen and Leverage Programs of Distinction and Promise
• Faculty and staff have submitted 12 proposals for the Unbounded Possibilities initiative to identify innovative programs relying on the university's areas of strength to address challenges facing the community, state and nation
• The proposals represent collaboration between all of the university's colleges and 70 outside organizations
• A decision is expected by Nov. 30 on which programs are selected to share in $5 million of university funding

Goal 5: Diversify Revenue
• Nearly $3 million in National Science Foundation grants received during 2010-11
• ISU Foundation's $85 million March On! comprehensive campaign is nearing completion and planning has begun for the next campaign
• The university is revitalizing grants and contract services to faculty and departments to increase external funding

Goal 6: Recruit and Retain Great Faculty and Staff
• Three percent pay raises were awarded last year and another 3 percent across-the-board increase is planned, effective Nov. 1
• Increased training, professional development and new orientation programs are in place
• An "Opportunity Hires" program resulted in four new minority faculty members
• A target salary project will be implemented next spring allowing for advancement within pay grades for additional experience and skills
• Improvements are planned to the university's pre-school and daycare facilities

Indiana State is also making progress in serving as a partner and catalyst for redevelopment in Terre Haute, Bradley said.

A new downtown building housing the ISU Foundation and Barnes & Noble College Bookstore opened this past year, the Terre Haute Innovation Alliance and ISU Business Engagement Center secured new business clients, the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative opened a Simulation and Inter-Professional Education Center, Wabash Riverfront development is under way and the university's ongoing partnership with Downtown Terre Haute Inc. has been enhanced. Goals for the coming year include completing the move of the Scott College of Business to the former Federal Building and developing new student housing downtown.

The College of Business move is part of a facilities master plan that in the next year will also see the opening of a new Admissions Welcome Center, construction begin on a new campus residence and the start of renovation to return Erickson Hall to its original use for student housing.

"I truly and personally appreciate the efforts of the campus community in helping make the progress that we've made in the last year a reality," Bradley said. "We are making the future of ISU and the lives of our students better. Working together we can achieve our goals. We can meet the challenges that the next decade is going to bring for higher education."

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu