April 26, 2007
Benjamin said the Presidentâ€™s Fund for Academic Excellence will use a $1 million grant received earlier as part of the Lilly Endowmentâ€™s â€œInitiative to Recruit and Retain Intellectual Capital for Indiana Higher Education Institutions,â€ along with $750,000 in one-time university funds. The fund will be used to strengthen programs with national or regional reputations for quality, and build programs that have the potential to achieve that status.
â€œWhile we are working to selectively reduce low-enrollment programs, we also want to make strategic investments in our centers of excellence and in building new programs of distinction,â€ Benjamin said.
Two of Indiana Stateâ€™s programs - financial services and teacher education - have been recognized as Programs of National Distinction for achieving a national reputation for the quality of their work and reflecting the values of Indiana State while meeting state and national needs. The two programs will receive $350,000 each.
The recognition of distinctive programs is directed internally and externally, and serves a twofold purpose, according to Benjamin. Internally, it fosters appreciation for the quality of the university's academic programs and accomplishments of faculty, students and alumni; and encourages and supports programs in their achievement of excellence. Externally, it broadcasts the pride the university feels to external stakeholders, promotes public awareness of specific outstanding accomplishments and invites investment in the institution.
â€œAll will benefit by the increased visibility and recognition that distinctive programs will bring to Indiana State University,â€ he said. â€œFaculty in programs of distinction are expected to mentor and share their experiences with others at ISU and to be visible and involved externally, including seeking external funds. This is a capacity-building initiative that should promote collaboration far and wide.â€
Both of the programs selected for the top level of support already have earned national reputations as leaders in their disciplines. The financial services program encompasses several areas including:
â€œWe have put forth much effort into offering the best financial services education possible throughout the state of Indiana and nationally. We strive to have the best graduates, not only through our nationally recognized insurance and risk management program; but also through our other quality, financial services-related areas, such as accounting, finance, marketing and others,â€ said Ron Green, dean of the College of Business.
Beginning this fall, the College of Business will offer a new major and minor in financial services. With a financial services degree, students will be able to complete an overview of financial services with specific coursework in the areas of banking, investments, and insurance with an overall focus on ethical decision making. Students in the major also will be able to declare a concentration in one of four areas, including accounting, banking, insurance and investments.
Indianaâ€™s teacher education program also has received national recognition on many levels, including:
â€œAs a result of this honor, students in the program have another affirmation of the value of a teaching credential from Indiana State,â€ said Brad Balch, dean of ISUâ€™s College of Education. â€œIt further enhances our ability to recruit the best and the brightest future teachers, and positions us as a model program, making us even more competitive in seeking external funding at the national level.â€
Balch says this award not only recognizes the work of ISUâ€™s students, colleagues and partners but also the Collegeâ€™s commitment to â€œremaining among the premiere teacher education programs in the nation.â€
The Distinctive Programs initiative also provides recognition and funding to eight Regional and State Distinctive Programs and seven Programs of Promise. The programs selected for this recognition cluster around four major areas which are linked to Indiana Stateâ€™s history and to its future, said C. Jack Maynard, provost and vice president for academic affairs. The four areas are: enhancing student success, education and human development, health and human services, and leadership in business and technology.
The Regional/State Distinctive Programs include:
The Programs of Promise are:
A total of $1,090,000 will be invested in these programs, with Regional/State Distinctive Programs receiving approximately $50,000 each, while the investments in Programs of Promise will range from $50,000 to $200,000.
Writers: Maria Greninger, associate director of communications and marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or ; Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, Indiana State University, 812-237-7783 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Indiana State University will invest $1.75 million over the next three years in selected academic programs as part of its Distinctive Programs Initiative, President Lloyd W. Benjamin III announced. The President's Fund for Academic Excellence will strengthen programs with national or regional reputations for quality (Programs of Distinction) and build programs that have the potential to achieve that status (Programs of Promise).