(BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) – Indiana University president Michael McRobbie says he hopes the university will agree he’s left it better than he found it when he became president 14 years ago.
In his final State of the University address before his June 30 retirement, McRobbie noted the university has created nearly 600 new degree programs in 10 new schools during his tenure, from architecture and design to Indiana’s first two public health schools, in Bloomington and Indy. Combined with the nation’s largest medical school, he says that allowed IU to play a leading role in guiding Indiana through the coronavirus pandemic.
In McRobbie’s 14-year presidency, he says university researchers have brought in $8 billion in research funding, including what’s expected to be a record $960 million this year. He says the university has made itself an engine of Indiana’s economic development by increasing its ability to turn that research into new products and businesses. And McRobbie boasts IU will set records this year in degrees awarded and the high school GPA of its freshman class, 3.87.
McRobbie says he’s particularly proud of the university’s success in increasing diversity, doubling the number of minority students. A record 28% of IU students are now people of color — a higher percentage than the state as a whole. McRobbie says IU has kept tuition low while creating need-based scholarships 10 years ago. As a result, he says, IU graduates leave campus with nearly 90-percent less student loan debt than at the start of his tenure.
McRobbie cautions the university can’t sit back, but must build on the groundwork that’s been laid to establish itself as an elite public university. He says there’s bipartisan support for more aggressive investment in science and technology, and says IU can put itself and the state at the forefront of that effort.
Kennesaw State University president Pamela Whitten will take over as president July 1.
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