By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–An upbeat Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace delivered the 2019 State of the Campus address.
The speech marked the fifth anniversary of Wallace’s installation as Chancellor in 2014.
While acknowledging ongoing enrollment and persistence challenges within higher education nationally–trends to which IU Southeast is not immune–Chancellor Wallace described the campus as a university hitting its stride and capable of the kind of evolution that will secure its future.
Indications of that evolution have made themselves felt over the past five years, and Chancellor Wallace provided an overview of recent accomplishments. These included:
- new and expanded academic programs
- new online and collaborative offerings
- new enrollment management strategies and services
- updated facilities
- a solid budget
Among other plaudits, the Chancellor revealed that IU Southeast has become the first regional campus to achieve its fundraising goal for the IU Bicentennial Campaign.
In boosting its standing among IU regional campuses from last to second place, IU Southeast also has 26 Quality Matters-certified instructors of online courses.
Challenges abound for higher education in the years ahead, Chancellor Wallace said, and IU Southeast will feel their impact.
These include demographic shifts that will reduce the number of high school graduates in the service region, and a growing economy that may induce some prospective and even current students to postpone the pursuit of a degree.
The retention of currently enrolled students remains a concern at IU Southeast, as at nearly all institutions of higher learning.
In response, Chancellor Wallace pledged that IU Southeast will prioritize retention. The first visible step will be the creation of a “crimson-ribbon” panel composed of faculty, administrators, staff and students that will brainstorm, develop and implement new strategies to improve student persistence beginning as early as 2020.
With the creation of Student Central, improvements to buildings, technology and other infrastructure, expansion of student-focused assistance programs like the Center for Mentoring and personal counseling services, IU Southeast is already finding ways to make enrolling, learning and living at IU Southeast easier and more fulfilling than ever before.