IU Approves Projects, Engineering Program

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Indiana University's board of trustees has approved nearly $90 million in construction and renovation projects. They include a new building for the School of Informatics and Computing and an addition to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The board has also approved moving forward with a previously-announced engineering program.

April 17, 2015

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved four construction and renovation projects on the IU Bloomington campus today, including a new 125,000-square-foot building for the School of Informatics and Computing.

The trustees approved the design for the Paul H. O'Neill Graduate Center addition to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a project they authorized in October. They also approved renovations to the Indiana Memorial Union's Biddle Hotel and buildings in Wells Quad.

"The School of Informatics and Computing and SPEA projects will provide much-needed academic space and amenities to support the academic mission of the campus," said Tom Morrison, IU vice president for capital planning and facilities. "The IMU and Wells Quad renovations will create modern and attractive residential spaces for students and comfortable, welcoming rooms for campus visitors. We look forward to completing these projects and putting the new facilities into use."

The School of Informatics and Computing building will be constructed at the northeast corner of Cottage Grove and Woodlawn avenues, one block north of the school's current facilities. The estimated $39.8 million project will be funded through school funds, research funds and private gifts.

The project is expected to bring together many facets of the school, including programs in computer science, informatics and library sciences, in a collaborative environment. The facility will include an innovation center, a series of team work rooms, meeting spaces, classrooms, faculty offices and a large lecture hall.

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs project is a three-story, 34,000-square-foot addition to the current SPEA building. The design approved by the trustees includes a 2,300-square-foot student commons, classrooms, meeting areas and faculty offices. The center will incorporate IU's traditional limestone building materials and feature a multi-story glass curtain wall facing 10th Street.

The SPEA project is expected to cost $12 million and will be partially funded by a $3 million gift from former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul H. O'Neill, the largest private donation in SPEA's history.

The Indiana Memorial Union renovation will upgrade 189 guest rooms in the IMU's Biddle Hotel. It will include the installation of new furnishings, replacement of the current roof and updates to the electrical, lighting, plumbing, mechanical and telecommunications infrastructure. The estimated $8 million project will be funded through IMU renovation funds.

Goodbody Hall and Memorial Hall in Wells Quad will be renovated and repurposed from academic space to student housing. Both facilities were originally built as residence halls. Memorial Hall, built in 1924, was the first IU-constructed women's dorm; and Goodbody Hall opened in 1936. The renovation will add 182 beds to student housing along with a 200-seat dining hall. The estimated $30 million project will be funded through auxiliary revenue bonds repaid by Residential Programs and Services funds.

The trustees reviewed the projects in a Facilities and Auxiliaries Committee meeting Thursday and gave them official approval in a business meeting today.

Source: Indiana University

April 17, 2015

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. -- Indiana University trustees approved a proposal to establish a new engineering program on the IU Bloomington campus and the first two degrees in the program.

The new program, which followed the release of an economic development study for southwest central Indiana in late 2014 and was strongly endorsed by a university task force and an external blue ribbon committee of engineering experts, will be housed within the School of Informatics and Computing and have close ties to other scientific disciplines on the campus.

"An engineering program at Indiana University Bloomington is vital if the campus is to reach its fullest potential in providing students with relevant and rewarding educational opportunities and to support the very best research of our faculty," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who introduced the idea of establishing the new program in his October 2014 State of the University address. "Such a program, based on our strong traditions of critical analysis, creativity, innovation and exploration, will substantially enhance our ability to increase Indiana's economic competitiveness and support a culture of entrepreneurism across the whole state."

IU trustees also approved proposals for a bachelor's and a Ph.D. degree in engineering that will commence in the 2016-2017 academic year. A master's degree track is expected to follow closely after the program's initial launch. The degree proposals will now move to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for its consideration.

The goal of establishing an engineering program at IU Bloomington is part of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, which IU trustees approved last December.

Joining President McRobbie in presenting the proposal for the new program to IU trustees were IU Executive Vice President and IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel and Bobby Schnabel, dean of the School of Informatics and Computing.

Schnabel chaired the IU faculty task force that, in December, presented McRobbie with an internal, self-study report on the establishment of the new, nationally competitive program in IT-related engineering that would augment the Bloomington campus's existing strengths in science, technology and the health sciences and enable existing academic schools and departments to attract top faculty and students.

The task force report was subsequently reviewed and endorsed by a Blue Ribbon Committee on Establishing an Engineering Program at IU Bloomington, chaired by James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus and university professor of science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

In his remarks before the IU trustees, McRobbie noted that IU Bloomington is the only one of the 62-member research universities of the Association of American Universities that does not have some form of engineering.

The 2014 "Strategic Plan for Economic and Community Prosperity in Southwest Central Indiana," funded by the Lilly Endowment and prepared by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, specifically recommended the creation of an engineering program at IU Bloomington, citing the necessity of such a program to the economic development of the region and state.

More than 100 current faculty on the Bloomington campus possess engineering or comparable qualifications.

Source: Indiana University