University announces projects for 5-year, $5M 'Unbounded Possibilities' funding

December 5, 2011

Indiana State University officials have selected eight proposals for a five-year, $5 million program to help the university do more to address community and societal needs.

The announcement caps a nearly year-long process, during which faculty, staff and students as well as nationally recognized academic leaders reviewed proposals submitted under the university's "Unbounded Possibilities" initiative.

"The goal of this initiative is to build interdisciplinary teams to address real challenges facing our communities," said Jack Maynard, Indiana State's provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"By working together in new and meaningful ways, these programs will create new internal collaborations with external partners not only in the Wabash Valley and Indiana but throughout the nation and around the world," Maynard said. "Higher education must change to meet the needs of a changing world. We want to weave this new approach into the fabric of what we do at Indiana State."

ISU President Dan Bradley said the selected programs will contribute greatly to the realization of the university's strategic plan.

"This is especially the case for the goals of providing all of our students with significant experiential learning and community engagement activities that address societal needs. They will also advance our efforts at recruiting and retaining great faculty and help to diversify revenue streams," Bradley said. "Ultimately, the investment in the Unbounded Possibilities initiatives will strengthen the image and reputation of Indiana State."

Bradley noted that money for the initiative comes from internal university re-allocations and will require no new state funding.

Unbounded Possibilities builds on a 2007 program funded by Lilly Endowment that identified Indiana State's most distinctive and promising programs and set aside funds for their promotion and further development. The name is a metaphor emphasizing creative thinking for transcending traditional methods and setting high expectations, said Joshua Powers, special assistant to the provost for academic affairs.

The initiative has drawn praise from other higher education leaders.

"The ‘Unbounded Possibilities' initiative at Indiana State is a marvelous example of a powerful leadership strategy to transform ISU to meet 21st century challenges," said George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. "I am impressed not only with the creative and innovative ideas but the broad campus and community involvement that was required to create such imaginative and far-reaching projects. My congratulations to everyone involved."

James Votruba, president of Northern Kentucky University, said the nation needs more universities "that are willing to look beyond the immediate challenges and focus on ‘Unbounded Possibilities.' My hat is off to Indiana State. Their innovation reflects a campus intent on maintaining momentum and promoting academic innovation, no matter what the current challenges. Bravo, ISU!"

Mehaffy and Votruba were part of the external panel that reviewed projects that ISU faculty and staff submitted for the initiative.

Unbounded Possibilities projects are:

• Center for Genomic Advocacy
• Center for Global Engagement and International Programs
• Center for Health, Wellness, and Life Enrichment
• Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality
• Center for Unmanned Systems Outreach and Human Capital Development
• Community School of the Arts
• Institute for Community Sustainability
• Rural-Urban Entrepreneurship Development Institute

Four other proposals were not selected for Unbounded Possibilities funding.

The university's Office of Sponsored Programs and the Indiana State University Foundation will work with faculty and staff who submitted those proposals in an effort to identify other funding sources, Maynard said.

"Much research and hard work went into developing all of these proposals and each has the potential to make a major impact on society," Maynard said. "It is our goal to implement all of these projects and help ISU faculty, staff and students make an even greater impact on the communities we serve and on the world."

More details about "Unbounded Possibilities" and the selected initiatives may be found at http://www.indstate.edu/up/.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Unbounded-Possibilities-Press/i-nDTnHhG/0/L/12052011unboundedpossibilties0-L.jpg - Speaking during the Dec. 5, 2011 announcement of eight projects selected for "Unbounded Possibilities," Indiana State University President Dan Bradley said the five-year, $5M initiatiave will make the university and its students stronger. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Unbounded-Possibilities-Press/i-Xs53DX2/0/L/12052011unboundedpossibilties0-L.jpg - Indiana State University faculty and staff jointed Terre Haute media representatives to hear the Dec. 5, 2011 announcement of projects selected for the univrsity's "Unbounded Possibilities" initiative. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Unbounded-Possibilities-Press/i-CgWrmB7/0/L/12052011unboundedpossibilties0-L.jpg - During the Dec. 5, 2011 announcement of projects to be funded by Indiana State University's "Unbounded Possibilities initiative, Jack Maynard, ISU provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the collaborative approach of the initiative will be woven into the university's fabric. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Contact: Josh Powers, special assistant to the provost for academic initiatives, Indiana State University, 812-237-3572 or joshua.powers@indstate.edu

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