August 18, 2022
I am sure I am not the only one for whom summer passed exceptionally quickly. I hope that you found some moments of restfulness and reflection, which we know are critical for growth. This fall we find ourselves coming directly off two academic years reshaped in many ways by the pandemic and ongoing changes across daily and campus life.
It is wonderful to see a new vitality on campus and in Bloomington with so many students, faculty, and staff returning and interacting more comfortably. While we have become more practiced in our digital ways over this time, there is an unmistakable buzz and connections that are only possible when we gather in shared space, face to face. For the more than 47,000 students we expect to join us here this fall, the residential experience with our incredible faculty and staff at IU and the vast to-dos in Bloomington and beyond remain the strongest draws. We must do more to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to form deep and lasting bonds and a shared sense of community at IU.
In recognizing this need, I am pleased to announce that we have launched a series of events, Campus Connections: Fall 2022 designed for the entire community—from undergraduate and graduate students, to faculty, staff, and their family members—to come together in shared company. I encourage us all to take full advantage of these and other ongoing opportunities across campus to engage and connect.
In this time, we have also been reminded that we have ever more to do towards equity for all members of our community. We have made important progress, including over the summer, hiring diverse new faculty, launching a new cultural center, and taking action for our students. There is much more to do, including improving the experience of our faculty and staff, but creating a more equitable, inclusive learning community must be a priority for us all.
This summer IU again raised minimum stipends for our student academic appointees, marking a 46% increase over the minimum offered only a year ago, along with covering mandatory student fees, including course fees.
As we enter the fall, I am confident and eager about our next steps together as a community. Of necessity, creation, and personal and collaborative innovation, we have kept our mission going through challenging times. We have grown and thrived and come to this moment more resilient and ready than ever to pursue a better future. Together we have the expertise, motivation, and, I believe, responsibility to play an essential leadership role in creating a better society and a better Indiana for generations to come.
Welcome back. Let’s go!