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Office of the President, Michael A. McRobbie

President McRobbie speaks from the podium on the left while Chancellor Cruz-Uribe listens on the right

The Installation of Kathryn Cruz-Uribe as Chancellor IU East

Pennsylvania Railroad Depot Building
930 North E. Street
Richmond, Indiana
October 25, 2013

Introduction: A Partnership of Campus and Community

Today, as we gather in Richmond’s historic Pennsylvania Railroad depot building to install Kathy Cruz-Uribe as the sixth chancellor of IU East, we celebrate the very first installation of a regional campus chancellor to be held at an off-campus location.

This iconic building, designed in the studio of renowned architect Daniel Burnham, truly is a fitting location to celebrate the close ties that have always existed between IU East and the broader community. This depot was, for many years, a hub of community life, and our celebration today in this magnificently restored building serves as a reminder of the spirit of collaboration that has long been a hallmark of the city of Richmond and IU East.

A Brief History of IU East

That history of collaboration dates back to 1946 when Indiana University and Earlham College joined forces to establish the Earlham College-Indiana University Extension Center. In 1967, Purdue University and Ball State began offering classes at the center, which changed its name to the Eastern Indiana Center of Earlham College. When enrollment expanded beyond the center’s capacity, the community raised over a million dollars towards the cost of a new site and construction of a campus in Richmond. Community organizers requested that Indiana University establish the planned regional campus, which was officially established as IU East on July 1, 1971.

The campus, has, of course, continued to grow, with the opening of Whitewater Hall; Brice Hayes Hall; Middlefork Hall, which was renamed Tom Raper Hall in 2009 after an extraordinarily generous gift from Mr. Raper; and Springwood Hall. Three off-campus instructional sites have also expanded the campus’ educational reach.

Today, IU East is Indiana University’s fastest growing campus. This fall, the campus enrolled a record 4,456 students, who are taking a record number of credit hours. This marks the 17th consecutive semester of enrollment growth at IU East. The number of students enrolled has increased by a remarkable 96.6% since the fall of 2007.

The strong tradition of academic excellence that has developed here is evidenced in the campus’s more than 50 academic bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

And the campus is a leader in online education. A recent major study by the UK-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education concluded that in the coming years, “students will prefer blended learning to fully online learning”—as they put it, “the future is blended.” This is a conclusion that is very much consistent with the main directions of IU Online—our major online initiative announced almost exactly a year ago. IU East is well ahead of the curve in this regard, as nearly 50 percent of IU East students are taking at least one online class this semester.

And it is the invaluable contributions like these that campuses like IU East make to their regions that underscore again the great and continuing importance of IU’s regional campuses to the State of Indiana.

They are invaluable community resources that serve a broad spectrum of students, and they are increasingly a first choice for some of the best and brightest high school students in Indiana, as can be seen in the large gains in the number of students earning Indiana Academic Honors degrees from their high schools and those being named 21st Century Scholars by the state.

Our regional campuses, all of which have seen their enrollments increase to record levels in recent years, also serve as invaluable economic and community development catalysts in their regions and are playing a key role in helping the state achieve its goal of dramatically increasing the number of Indiana residents with college degrees.

The history of IU’s regional campuses is a history of leadership and partnership across the university and across the state, and this is certainly true of IU East. This tradition of leadership began with Chancellor Alexander Schilt, and included Chancellor Glenn Goerke, as well as former chancellors Charlie Nelms, David Fulton, and Nasser Paydar, who I am very pleased could join us this afternoon. All of these leaders helped build an intellectual community that is a vital part of this civic community and this entire region.

Introducing Kathryn Cruz-Uribe

Today that strong leadership continues as we officially welcome and install Kathryn Cruz-Uribe as the sixth chancellor of the Richmond campus of Indiana University.

Having begun her duties on July 1st of this year, Kathy may need no introduction to many of you.

She has spent much of her first three months on the job meeting people on campus and in the community, assessing the many strengths of IU East, and planning for the future.

But let me take a moment to highlight a few of her accomplishments prior to her tenure at Indiana University.

Most recently, Kathy served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Monterey Bay.

There, she developed and implemented a 10-year strategic plan, which included a five-year academic plan. During her tenure, freshman retention rates rose from 65% in 2007 to 79% in 2012. Enrollment grew by about 50%, accompanied by a commitment to academic and space planning to accommodate such growth. The general education program was revised and eight new academic degree programs came into existence under her leadership.

Prior to her service at Cal State Monterey Bay, Kathy served as a member of the faculty in the Department of Anthropology and as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University.

I am also very pleased to note that Kathy’s husband, Eugene Cruz-Uribe, has joined the faculty at IU East as Professor of History. Gene is an accomplished Egyptologist, who has worked as a lecturer at the Field Museum in Chicago and as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the renowned Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit. Please join me in welcoming Gene to Indiana University.

Like the countless individuals who have contributed to the growth of this campus, Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe is building towards a future of continuing partnership between eastern Indiana and IU East.

This is a partnership based on shared aspirations and dreams, and it is a partnership of which all of us can be proud.