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From the Desk of the Chancellor

Strategic Plan Unveiled

Nov. 5, 2013

A little over a year ago, we began a planning process at IUPUI. We were guided by the admonition of futurists and megatrend watchers Alvin and Heidi Toffler, who wrote, “You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” In my August 21st  “From the Desk of the Chancellor,” I asked the campus community and our constituencies to consider the “big things,” trends that intrigued or worried us, circumstances we should take into account, opportunities that might propel us forward, and obstacles that could slow us down. We considered the talents and resources required to meet emerging needs. We asked ourselves, what is the right niche for us? What defines our distinctiveness as an urban public research university?

In today’s State of the Campus Address, I share with the campus community the result, the “IUPUI Strategic Plan: Our Commitment to Indiana and Beyond.”

As a museum docent will tell you, when trying to view a masterpiece of painting, you don’t want to look at it with your nose up against it. It will be a blur. You want to step back and see where the individual strokes lead, what they show when all taken together and the paint has dried, what the scale and scope of the work will be. From the beginning of the planning process, we challenged ourselves to keep the big picture in mind. At the same time, we paid attention to the small things, the specific strategies, which would carry everything forward, keep our sense of purpose clear, and create our vision for the future.

As the plan now states, the IUPUI campus strategy focuses on three urgent priorities, each of them crucial to the success of our institution, our city, and our state: (1) the success of our students; (2) advances in health and life sciences; and (3) contributions to the well-being of the citizens of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, and beyond. This strategy builds on our existing sources of strength, honors our prior investments, and reflects widespread stakeholder input into the planning process. The plan further elaborates on the initiatives that will address those priorities.  

The IUPUI Strategic Plan, when viewed at a distance, is a bold vision for the future. When viewed close up, with focus on the data that will guide us, we will be watchful that the small things are going in the right direction.

Comments?  Write chancllr@iupui.edu.

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