July 21, 2022
Returning to Bloomington after many years has been both a familiar and an enlightening experience. Some previously beloved sites for me, like Bear’s Place and Mark Pi's, have moved on, while new exciting new destinations, like C3 and Inkwell Cafe, have appeared. I have enjoyed getting out in recent months to explore the town—dining along 4th Street, playing laser tag with my kids, visiting the farmers’ markets, meeting runners on the sidewalks, closing the day with a sweet treat at the Chocolate Moose. With every new person I meet, I learn more about our shared community, what we love about our lives and home here, and how we aspire to grow together.
I have recently had the chance to meet several local and state community leaders, including with the Indiana and Bloomington Economic Development Corporations. Leaders involved with both these groups are clearly engaged in our work on campus and keen on ways that we might work more closely together for shared benefit. Major developments, like local growth of the IU Health System, the Bloomington Schools of Medicine and Public Health; the upcoming Bloomington expansion of our IU School of Nursing in 2023; the work of the Center for Rural Engagement and IU Corps; and the remarkable growth of Sustain IU partnerships with the city are adding great value for the community.
As a campus community, we must look to ways that we can continue and expand our impact here through these and other new opportunities, including support for new innovative research and collaborations.
Local leaders are also attentive to our shared challenges, like cost of living and affordable housing and childcare, equity and inclusion, sustainability, planful development, regional economic growth, and creating a stronger sense of community and belonging. I am committed to opening new lines of communication with local leaders and community members to learn from their perspectives and foster collaboration and solutions that help us all. I encourage you also to seek out new connections, through campus and the community, that can bring positive change.
When I think about our priorities at IUB for the future, they are all tied to the impact that we can have within our communities, in Bloomington, across Indiana, and far beyond.
Together as an IUB community, with the genius of our faculty, staff, students, and partners in research, teaching, and service, we have an incredible power and breadth to create good, including and especially here in Bloomington. I look forward to joining you and our local community in making our town and region the best they can possibly be.
I hope that you are having a joyful summer and finding moments of peace and rest. Thanks, as always, for all you do.