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New Committee Could Create, Restructure Academic Units at IU

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie Tuesday announced the creation of a committee charged with considering new academic programs.

Speaking during his second State of the University address Tuesday, McRobbie says the New Academic Directions Committee could also restructure existing programs across IU’s nine campuses.

“Are we offering the right kinds of degrees and educational opportunities that one should expect of a university that aspires to be one of the finest universities of the 21st Century? Are there areas we should be considering other schools or units in which our peer institutions nationally and internationally have already flourishing academic programs not yet present at IU?” McRobbie said.

IU administration has not created a new school since the founding of the Informatics program in 2000. Prior to that, SPEA – the School of Environmental and Public Affairs – was the newest, founded nearly 40 years ago.

Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson will co-chair the committee. She says the group hasn’t been charged with finding savings through restructuring, although she did acknowledge that possibility.

She says competition among universities for students and research dollars makes the committee a must.

“The time is right. This is something that in way we should be thinks about all the time. How are we responding to changes in the outside environment? New fields of knowledge coming online that students coming to us now [want]. It’s something we’re always thinking about,” Hanson said. “There are ways that putting forth a concerted effort into thinking about this structurally is appropriate. We’ll make the deadline.”

McRobbie says he expects a report from the committee by the end of the calendar year.

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