Lauren Robel

A tribute to Lauren Robel

Lauren Robel served as the IUB Provost and Executive Vice President from 2012 through July 2021, when she retired from both positions to return to teaching. During her tenure, she championed growth and success on the Bloomington campus. 

Provost Robel's Legacy

In fall 2013, Robel initiated a strategic planning process aimed at reimagining and invigorating academic programs across the Bloomington campus in anticipation of Indiana University’s Bicentennial in 2020.

Robel’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington included ambitious initiatives, such as a new School of Art and Design, new programs in engineering and architecture, and the integration of health sciences programs into a new, on-campus Academic Health Center. The plan also called for initiatives to promote student and faculty success in areas ranging from financial literacy and career development to work-life balance and inclusive hiring and retention practices.

As the chief academic officer for the Bloomington campus, Robel oversaw the campuswide implementation of the 2011 New Academic Directions report, which led to the formation of several new schools and programs on the Bloomington campus: The Media School, the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, the School of Public Health, the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, the Integrated Program in the Environment, and the Office of Scholarly Publishing.

Robel’s tenure as provost saw a number of construction and renovation projects to key buildings on the Bloomington campus, including Hodge Hall for the Kelley School of Business, the East Studio Building of the Jacobs School of Music, the Global and International Studies building, the repurposing of Franklin Hall to house The Media School, the creation of the Learning Commons and Scholars Commons in the Wells Library, and the repurposing of Ernie Pyle Hall as a hub for prospective students and for the Walter Career Center. Toward the end of her tenure, Robel oversaw expansions for the Luddy School and the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, renovations to Wells Quad and the Indiana Memorial Union, renovation of Maxwell Hall into the new Cook Center for Arts and Humanities, and a robust Outdoor Venues Program that provided safe spaces for gatherings and entertainment during the pandemic.

Robel worked to solidify IU Bloomington’s reputation as a renowned international partner for collaborative research and academic initiatives, as well as a preferred destination for undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe. Robel has traveled to Brazil, Chile, South Korea, and Taiwan to explore new partnerships and reaffirm existing partnerships with leading universities in those nations.

Robel received her J.D. from the Maurer School of Law in 1983 and her B.A. from Auburn University in 1978 and joined the Law School faculty in 1985. She is the Val Nolan Professor of Law at the Maurer School, where she served as dean from 2002 to 2011 and as associate dean from 1991 to 2002. Her scholarly work focuses on the role of federal courts and addresses issues such as procedural reform and sovereign immunity. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and served as its president in 2011–2012.

The stories of Indiana University Bloomington’s faculty, staff, and students—of your grace, character, and creativity—will be the foundation on which our next 200 years is built.

Lauren Robel, 2020