Thanks to the Bloomington Faculty Council President Rebecca Spang for that kind introduction. One of the many benefits of having an award-winning historian as president of the Council is that President Spang has often used her office to give us small and delicious lessons in history, often something wondrous or thought-provoking from the Indiana University archives. These stories remind us of the legacy we nurture and advance at Indiana University Bloomington, a legacy of excellence in research, teaching, and service.
One of the histories President Spang told, however, was deeply personal. It was the story of her mother, Carla Kay Hinshaw, who came to Bloomington from New Castle, Indiana, in the late 1950's. Professor Spang noted that her mother "was not the first in her family to go to college-thanks to the G.I. Bill, her older brother went to Purdue after serving in the Korean War-but she was a first-generation college student," and she was able to come to IU because of the scholarship she received-a scholarship that, at that time, would have been rare and small. She graduated in 1959, with an IU diploma signed by Herman B Wells, and that degree opened the door to a master's program in New York City, where lucky for those of us who are Rebeca's colleagues and students, she met Rebecca's father.
I thought of this story often during this past fall, as I visited communities in the eleven counties that make up our part of our state. In each of these counties, I was privileged to meet with civic, nonprofit, education, and business leaders, and in each of these meetings, I asked about their connections to Indiana University. We are the largest employer and customer in the region, and many families had economic connections to us. For many, their sons and daughters, siblings, cousins, parents, and friends or they themselves had, like Professor Spang's mother, come to IU for education in our academic programs. They come to Bloomington for the arts and for music, and to visit the museums that open doors to places far beyond our region. They know our university because their children's teachers were educated here. And of course, they root for the Hoosiers no matter what. Like Carla Kay Hinshaw, they are proud of Indiana University, and they feel enormous affection for it.
This pride and affection has supported IU Bloomington as we have carefully stewarded the resources of our state through our campus. We work daily to deserve this support by excelling at our mission of research, teaching, and service. Through the past year, guided by our strategic plan, our faculty have identified grand research challenges and new frontiers of research that will provide new knowledge to improve lives. They have developed new academic programs, such as those in Intelligent Systems Engineering and in Comprehensive Design, in both existing and new and reorganized schools created to meet the needs of our students and our region. We have worked hard to make an IU Bloomington education both excellent and affordable for the people of our state and the many from around the world who are attracted to study here. We have focused on making our campus more diverse and inclusive. Our faculty have redoubled efforts to make the arts and humanities on this campus both inevitable and inviting for our students and accessible and public-facing for our neighbors.
As is my custom, I will talk about these successes, which we should celebrate collectively. And I will return at the end of our time together to talk about our state and region-our neighbors-and how we might work together with them to bring the extraordinary assets of our university to bear on the challenges that our region faces.
What is attracting this global, diverse, and talented class to IU Bloomington? Three sets of initiatives, all envisioned by our community through the strategic plan, stand out. First, we have brought the campus to life as never before through initiatives that foster conversations and discussions about hot topics, of which there are no shortage, and that bring the arts and humanities to life in new ways. Second, through the vision and hard work of our faculty, the last few years have seen extraordinary innovation in academic programs on our campus. Third, we have invested at historic levels in research. I will briefly touch on each of these areas today.
Arts and Humanities
As we continue to make a compelling case for the residential experience here at IU Bloomington, our resources in the arts and humanities put us at a distinct advantage over our peer institutions in the state and across the Midwest. From the Jacobs School of Music to the IU Cinema, from the Mathers Museum of World Cultures to the world-renowned Kinsey Institute, IU Bloomington hosts faculty, facilities, and programming in the arts and humanities that make us a beacon for cultural experience. We continue to be a mecca for artists and scholars from all around the world. And our historic strengths in the arts and humanities have been fortified and reinvigorated by the generous support of the IU community, and by the dedicated work of many outstanding individuals, departments, and units here on campus.
Last year, our campus art museum celebrated its 75th anniversary. In May, Lois and Sidney Eskenazi-two longtime friends of Indiana University-made an extraordinary gift to the museum, which now bears their name. Created during the tenure of Herman B Wells and housed since 1982 in the iconic building designed by I.M. Pei, the Eskenazi Museum of Art is not only one of IU Bloomington's architectural jewels-it is a testament to the centrality of arts and culture in the life of our campus. And the generosity of the Eskenazis ensures that the museum will continue to thrive in the heart of our campus for many decades to come.
Their gift of $15 million is the largest single donation in the museum's history. The Eskenazis also will donate their beautiful personal collection of contemporary art, which includes works by such masters as Marc Chagall. This gift has been matched by $20 million from the university. These funds will be used for a complete renovation of the museum, including enhancements to gallery spaces, technological upgrades, and expanded teaching facilities.
The renovations, spearheaded by the museum's energetic and visionary director David Brenneman, will mark the first significant upgrades to exhibit space in the building's 35-year history, allowing more of the museum's incredible permanent collection to be displayed. The renovated galleries will also afford more flexibility in the curation of short-term exhibits, such as the wonderful Vic Muniz exhibit that the museum hosted this fall and winter, and which included a campus visit by the artist. Equally as important, the expansion of teaching space within the museum will help the Eskenazi staff better fulfill the museum's mission of educational outreach, both here on the Bloomington campus and throughout the region. The Eskenazi already has robust relationships with K-12 schools throughout the central Indiana region. This past year alone, the museum hosted over 4,500 K-12 students for guided tours. The new teaching spaces will allow the museum to accommodate even more student groups, while offering those groups a more robust and interactive learning experience with the museum's collection.
The renovations also reimagine the visual relationship of the museum to the campus. Renovations will make the museum more accessible and more fully integrated with the surrounding areas of campus. These will include improvements to the museum's main entrance on the Arts Plaza, as well as a new arboretum connection that will complement the new Global and International Studies Building and facilitate the flow of pedestrian traffic in and around the arboretum and Arts Plaza.
Although these renovations will take some time to complete, the museum staff will still have an active presence on campus. They will begin a multi-year project to systematically digitize and catalogue the museum's collection, in order to make high-resolution images publically-accessible. They will also pursue a "Museum Without Walls" initiative by lending some of the museum's collections to other museums across the country, and potentially as far away as Beijing. The Eskenazi staff will partner with campus units such as the School of Art and Design and the Grunwald Gallery to present exhibits in other spaces around campus. And they will continue their partnerships with community organizations such as Lotus, the Waldron Center, and the Monroe Public Library.
These renovations and initiatives will allow the Eskenazi to thrive in the center of our campus, and to continue the vital work of sharing our tremendous resources in the arts with the people of our region.
The renovations of the Eskenzai Museum highlight our commitment to the future of the arts and humanities on the Bloomington campus. This commitment has been thrillingly furthered by the outstanding work of the campus Arts and Humanities Council, led by associate vice provost and Professor of English Ed Comentale. Since its creation in April 2015, the Council has done remarkable work making visible the enormous strengths in the arts and humanities on this campus. This year, the Council launched two major initiatives that make our arts and humanities resources not only more robustly public-facing, but also more prominent in the residential life of our students: the First Thursdays Festival and China Remixed, the Council's inaugural Global Arts and Humanities Festival.
The Council began the First Thursdays Festival on the Arts Plaza in September, and it has quickly become a fixture of the campus cultural calendar and a showcase for the cultural institutions on and around the Arts Plaza. The Lilly Library, the IU Auditorium, the IU Cinema, the Grunwald Gallery, and the Eskenazi Museum have all seen significant increases in attendance during festival days. The festival has also allowed many parts of the campus, such as the Mathers Museum, the Wylie House, the Jacobs School of Music, Traditional Arts Indiana, and the Department of Theatre and Contemporary Dance, and the Department of Philosophy, among others, to highlight their programming to a wide audience at the center of campus. And First Thursdays provide an exciting platform for student groups, from comedy troupes to musical ensembles, to showcase their talents and make connections with other students from across campus.
Approximately 4,000 people attended the three First Thursdays Festivals held during the fall semester, and an incredible 95% of those surveyed said they planned to attend future festivals. The majority of attendees were undergraduate students, and the crowds have been remarkably diverse, including not only IU faculty and staff, but also members of the wider Bloomington community. We have been especially pleased to see many K-12 students in attendance. In fact, several high schools in the region bussed students to the Bloomington campus for the November festival, and we anticipate more such collaborations in the future.
We are currently in the middle of the Council's other major initiative of the year: China Remixed. This is an incredibly ambitious program dedicated to exploring the most diverse and dynamic aspects of the contemporary Chinese cultural diaspora. The programming has ranged widely, from visiting artist Beili Liu's (bay-lee loo) exhibits and talk on female empowerment in contemporary Chinese culture, to visiting film director Popo Fan's explorations of LGBT rights in China. For our students, China Remixed provides unprecedented opportunities to not only learn from world-renowned scholars and artists, but also to forge the kinds of cross-cultural exchanges that are essential to the residential learning experience here on the Bloomington campus.
To give just one example of this program's impact: Two weeks ago, we hosted a group of students from the Focus Dance Company at Taipei National University of the Arts. I had visited this university only a few years ago, and the president is one of our graduates. These students participated in workshops with students from IU Contemporary Dance, under the guidance of program director Liz Shea. This collaboration culminated in a performance at the Buskirk-Chumley that was truly unique, both for the performers and for the audience. The program included traditional Taiwanese and contemporary dance routines, as well as a rousing collaborative routine choreographed and performed by our students and those from Focus Dance. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students to learn side-by-side with their peers from halfway around the world, and to explore the nuanced differences and fundamental similarities between our two cultures.
China Remixed is the Council's first Global Art and Humanities Festival. The Council plans to hold similar festivals each spring, focusing on a different culture each year, but with a continued emphasis on diverse, contemporary creative expression and scholarship.
New Academic Initiatives
Our campus has also seen a number of exciting new academic initiatives this past year.
Art and Design
This past year saw the School of Art and Design within the College of Arts and Sciences move into new and renovated space in Kirkwood Hall and launch its new degree in Comprehensive Design, which provides a common core curriculum for the students in the School. The faculty also developed an innovative Masters of Architecture degree that will allow students to study in that architectural gem, Columbus, Indiana. IUB's proposed M. Arch. is good for the State of Indiana. It provides a needed alternative pathway to professional licensure and other professional opportunities for our students, and would constitute only the second public pathway to a professional architecture license in Indiana. Six years ago, the Columbus community partnered with our campus to create the IUB Center for Art and Design, located in Columbus's beautiful downtown. As one outside reviewer of the program noted, "Columbus is as rare and iconic an architectural context as we have in the United States."  Columbus is world-renowned for its modernist architecture, typically ranked in the top 10 architectural sites in the US. Indeed, as Susan Stamberg wrote in a feature for National Public Radio in 2012, more than 60 public buildings in Columbus have been built by a "veritable who's who of modern masters—[among them] I.M. Pei, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, Robert Venturi and James Polshek." Hailing Columbus as a "Midwestern Mecca of Architecture," Stamberg also notes that six of the buildings have been designated as national historic landmarks.
Our faculty, led by Kelly Wilson, Marlene Newman, Louis Joyner, Steve Watt and Peg Faimon, founding dean of the School, have submitted an innovative proposal that launches from this beautiful base and extends to the world. I want to thank all of the faculty whose creativity and vision are evident in this proposal and who have worked on it over the past year, and our steadfast partners in Columbus who have been so supportive and encouraging as we have worked with the Indiana Commission on Higher Education towards its approval.
Intelligent Systems Engineering
Two years ago, the Lilly Endowment commissioned a report to analyze the needs of our region of the state, which includes Crane, improbably enough for our land-locked state, the third largest naval base in the country and one of the largest employers in the region after us. Among the key needs that report identified was for more engineers-but not any kind of engineer. What was needed was a new kind of engineer focused on intelligent systems, like the ones that power self-driving cars and have enchanted and bedeviled us as we think of the "internet of things." We heard the same need from our bench scientists at IUB, whose research was slowed by the lack of engineers to partner with on instruments and devices.
The School of Informatics and Computing launched its undergraduate and PhD programs in Intelligent Systems Engineering this year, and we will hear from an entering student in its inaugural class.
There are already 21 PhD students in this program, two of whom are here through a partnership with Crane. This program promises to be a significant addition to both our research mission and our aid to the economic development of the region. It will have interdisciplinary research facilities with colleagues from Physics in the former Cyclotron Facility, now known as MESH: Multidisciplinary Engineering and Science Hall. This program took imagination and hard work. I want to thank Professor Geoffrey Fox and his colleagues at the School of Informatics and Computing for leading the development of this program. I also want to thank Dean Raj Acharya, who is leading the school into their new facility, Luddy Hall, which is rising from the ground even as we speak.
Both of these new deans, along with Dennis Groth and Associate Vice President Stacy Morrone from UITS and a committee of staff and faculty, are developing plans to bring the benefits of their new programs to all of our undergraduates through the development of a new multidisciplinary design facility in the historic McCalla School. This facility will facilitate and incubate undergraduate student entrepreneurship in the area of technology and design. This will be an exciting addition to undergraduate entrepreneurship programs that already exist in Informatics and Computing and Kelley, and the Entrepreneurship program at the Maurer School of Law, and has the potential to add significantly to economic development efforts in our region.
Grand Challenges, Emerging Areas, and faculty research successes
- Our students also come to this campus to work with some of the best researchers in the world-a claim that is externally verified. At a time when external funding is increasingly difficult to achieve, total sponsored awards at IU Bloomington increased 10% since 2015 from $130M in 2015 to $143M in 2016, and federally funded IU Bloomington grant awards increased 19%, from $81M in 2015 to $97M in 2016, for an increase of 19%. This success is due to the importance of our faculty research, such as those faculty associated with the Light Microscopy Imaging Center, which has played a key role in several recent groundbreaking discoveries. With the equipment in the Center to support them, Yves Brun and Michael VanNieuwenhze have received considerable NIH funding (including a recently announced $4.4M grant starting June 2017) to pursue their study of how bacteria divide and build new cell walls (as cell walls are the best target for new antibiotics). Better understanding this process allows for better designed and targeted drugs. They are publishing a paper in Science this month. Associate professor of biology Sidney Shaw, technical director of LMIC, has contributed his expertise in advanced microscopy methods. Researchers say they would not have been able to visualize/observe/measure the cell division processes without the technology at LMIC.
And the LMIC allows our researchers to produce highly detailed images, such as this one of the central nervous system from a horned dung beetle. Eduardo Zattara and Armin Moczek (Biology) and Jim Powers, manager of LMIC, captured this image that shows the late pupa stage, in which the beetle was about to complete metamorphosis. The image was one of the winners of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology BioArt competition and is on display at the National Institutes of Health. It also helped answer key questions in a larger research project to investigate expanded theories about the evolution of traits in Moczek's lab funded by the National Science Foundation.
Individual faculty research successes and recognition have crossed all disciplines. Professor Lisa Sederis, Religious Studies, received a major grant from "Humanities Without Walls" to lead a team of scholars from three other universities to investigate "Being Human in the Age of Humans" with the goal of bringing humanities perspectives to climate change and other issues of human-environment interaction. Eduardo Brondizio, from Anthropology, is co-chairing the 'Global Assessment on BioDiversity and Ecosystem Services' for the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Dara Zieminska, from Physics, led the research team that discovered a new form of elementary particle, the tetraquark. Aurelian Craiutu, Political Science, has been receiving national attention for his recently published book on political moderation, including an interview on NPR's On Point, and favorable reviews in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. And Fil Menczer from Informatics and Computing dazzled an audience in this room that included Poynter Chair Roger Cohen of the NYTs just a few weeks ago with his important work on Hoaxy, which allows users to analyze whether purported news is, indeed, fake.
We have also seen many of our faculty honored this year, notably Distinguished Professor of Sociology Bernice Pescosolido, who is only the second member of our faculty elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Medicine for her pathbreaking work on mental health and stigma and Jeff Palmer, Biology, awarded the McClintock Prize for Plant Genetics and Genome Studies, for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of genome structure, function, and evolution.
It is outstanding faculty such as these that allowed us to imagine the Grand Challenges program, the largest single investment in research our university has ever undertaken.
- IU Bloomington faculty are deeply involved in IU's first Grand Challenge, the Precision Health Initiative (PHI), collaborating closely with colleagues in the IU School of Medicine to find the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Indeed, the substantial involvement from the Bloomington campus distinguishes this Precision Health effort from other similar efforts in the United States. The IUB side includes investments of $20M from the campus and 12 faculty lines. The Precision Health Initiative's goals are truly grand: providing genomic-based medicine for all the patients in the IU Health system and creating new treatments to cure cancer.
- David Giedroc, the Lilly Chemistry Alumni Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry, is co-leading the PHI chemical biology team. Predrag Radivojac, professor of computer science and informatics in the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington, is co-leading the data and informatics team. Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor of sociology at in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the IU Network Science Institute, is co-leading a precision health team, which is focused on evaluating the psychosocial factors associated with advancing precision health. Efforts have begun on campus, including faculty hires in each of these areas.
- Faculty with longstanding expertise in quantitative and chemical biology on the Bloomington campus will play a key role in building the PHI's proposed intercampus Center for Chemical Biology and Biotherapeutics. This center will integrate the precision medicine clinical cohort and basic chemical sciences to drive discovery of mechanisms that underlie patient-specific diseases.
- Because of IU Bloomington's strengths in data science, faculty from IU Bloomington's School of Informatics and Computing will help address the challenges of storing, securing, and analyzing the incredible amount of individual genetic, epigenetic, electronic medical records, and psychosocial information needed to develop new precision health approaches.
- And because health and disease are not only a matter of chemistry and biology but also of a person's behaviors, family, and surroundings, experts in social and network science from the Bloomington campus will examine social networks and the ways those networks influence individual behavior, prevention, and treatment. Their goal is to identify innovative, cost-effective strategies for personalized behavior change that work in tandem with precision medicine therapies. This addition of psychosocial information makes this precision health initiative unique in the country.
- The Bloomington campus is also making significant investments to assure that we remain on the cutting edge of research through the Emerging Areas of Research program. The program is intended to make strategic investments to advance areas of research based on IU Bloomington's strengths. These areas will build on existing strengths to enhance the quality, impact and reputation of the campus's research enterprise. Each EAR initiative will receive ~$3 million over four years and will be able to hire 1-3 new faculty. The campus plans to support up to six EAR projects over the next five years, with the next round of application this fall 2017.
- There were 24 final proposals submitted in fall 2016. These proposals involved more than 270 primary team members (and more than 400 faculty overall) from more than 80 departments and units from the College and almost all the various schools across campus.
- The initiative selected to receive funding is Learning: Brains, Machines, and Children, led by Linda Smith and involving faculty from Psychology & Brain Sciences and the School of Informatics representing expertise in developmental psychology, human learning, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. The significance of the research initiative lies in the convergence of the study of learning in human children and the study of machine learning and artificial intelligence with each area informing the other, connected by the field of neuroscience. Young children are the most effective learners out there, and the training of AI's can greatly benefit.
- Let me say a few words about Linda Smith, Chancellor's Professor and Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Linda is an internationally known and influential child development expert, especially in links between physical/motor development and language. She is the perfect leader for the first EAR initiative on Learning: Brains Machines and Children, which will break new ground in using cognitive science and neuroscience to make connections between human developmental learning and machine learning. 40-year campus "citizen". Collegial, productive, continuously funded by NIH and NSF, etc. Smith is also being recognized this year as 2017 Distinguished Faculty Research Lecturer.
- Planning grants are being organized for four other teams whose projects showed excellent potential for resubmission to the program.
These major research initiatives do more than provide funding to build our research faculty. They also provide focused opportunities for our faculty to seek each other out across disciplines, and that work has had tangible benefits in deepening cross-campus collaborations in areas ranging from the humanities to the sciences and the professional schools. As external funding becomes more competitive, this faculty work positions us to be more competitive for funding from all sources, and will help to keep Bloomington a strong research hub for our state and nation.
 Professor Richard Rosa, Professor, Syracuse University School of Architecture, Letter of January 19, 2017, at Appendix, Tab 1.
The strength of our campus is reflected in the support our faculty and staff provide, and I want to thank our community not only for your dedication of your professional lives to IU, but also for your philanthropic support. During the For All campaign, close to 8,000 faculty and staff from this campus have already contributed over $59 million to support our students and research. Like our neighbors, like Carla Kay Hinshaw and generations of our students, our faculty and staff are committed to this campus and have enormous affection and pride in what we do. IU Bloomington is one of the most significant assets in our state, and it is from this place of affection and pride that I return to where I started.
As the last election made clear, rural areas, such as those around us, are suffering. The challenges facing our region are characteristic of too much of rural and small-town America: poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and poor educational and health outcomes, including the scourge of addiction. The Lilly Endowment, which has been such a wonderful partner to Indiana University, gave us a planning grant to consider how Indiana University Bloomington might be a part of addressing these important issues, starting with the eleven counties of Southwest Central Indiana.
During the past year, with a small team and in conversations with regional leaders, faculty, deans, and vice provosts, I have been trying to answer that question, one that I think is truly its own grand challenge. This work has led to a proposal for a Center for Rural Excellence with the purpose of identifying and attacking primary issues in the region, and of providing a clear IUB partner to advance the well-being and life chances of our neighbors. The goal of the Center is to improve materially the lives of the people living in these counties, and to demonstrate how a research university's broad resources can, within the constraints of its core mission, be marshalled to improve the well-being of an entire region.
IUB's proposed Center is unique, and will be in the vanguard of approaches to the issues small town and rural America face. Its signature effort will the Indiana Eleven Initiative. Through that Initiative, the Center will focus IUB's vast and varied expertise-operational, functional, teaching, research, and service-on solving entrenched and emerging challenges facing rural communities in the eleven counties of Southwest Central Indiana. The Initiative will engage faculty and students from across Indiana University Bloomington schools and disciplines in applied research and service that directly benefit this eleven-county target area; build durable partnerships with all the components of civil society in the region; and add significantly to a knowledge base of research that will extend the impact of the Initiative far beyond our region. The Center will also leverage the resources of Indiana University as customer and employer to prioritize, wherever possible, the "IU Eleven" in support of the region. Finally, the Center will partner with other regional leaders to convene those necessary to identify, prioritize, and address our region's challenges-stakeholders in the communities, state and local officials, the private sector, professionals, youth, teachers and academicians at all levels, religious leaders, and of course our university; build alliances to solve problems; do research necessary to inform the way forward; and establish an ongoing dialogue and relationship between IUB and its neighbors that will contribute significantly to a sense of regionalism and place.
As we develop our partnership with IU Health Bloomington through the regional academic health campus; as we develop our newly-accredited School of Public Health; as we launch engineering and design; as we see talented teams of researchers conceptualize grand challenges proposals around water quality, addiction, and health equities; as we think about the breadth and depth of our social sciences and the quality of our professional schools from business to education, to law; as we remember the significant cultural assets we steward; as we imagine the enormous power of our students, who volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours of time every year to communities across the country and globe, can we imagine the impact we could have if we focused some significant attention on our neighbors and the state?
Since I visited these counties, our campus has received almost 100 requests to partner with us, from every county, and in fields ranging from sustainability and health to arts and humanities, in ways that would help the region and resonate with our core research and teaching mission. And a group of colleagues from every school has met to think through how we might organize our students to meet the needs of our neighbors, through the development of an IU Corps that makes visible their incredible spirit of volunteerism.
Our campus is up for this grand challenge, one that resonates across our nation. I will be enlisting your help and that of our student body in the coming months for this initiative, and in doing so, I know I will be building on a commitment to both our university and our state that is deep and palpable.
An address like this provides an occasion to touch on only a fraction of the outstanding work that is done on a campus like ours. Together, we are a strong and necessary force for good in the world. It is an honor to serve this extraordinary place, and a privilege to be in a position to say thank you to the outstanding people who are devoted to it.