One of the assertions made in the October Senate meeting was that there are unexplored models of innovation and reform presented in Blueprint 2.0, the strategic plan for IU’s regional campuses, that might be very interesting and fruitful to bring to our campus. In my remarks I suggested the example of item 5C, which calls for region-focused research to be supported here. The exact wording of that section of the Blueprint is shown in the illustration that is inset here on the right-hand side.
There are some appealing things here in item 5C, but before I turn to that, let me say that there were some equally appealing things in the comments from the floor in Friday’s Senate meeting. For one thing, several of the comments hinted that we might be ready for a period of innovative thinking here at IUSB. I confess, my hunch about excellence at a regional public university is this: excellence for us will not be generic, will not particularly make us look like other campuses, but will instead arise as we grapple with the specific challenges our students face, our region faces, and we all face together in this historical moment. Isn’t the path to fresh thought routed through specificity and creativity, rather than through generic reform?
So in 5C we’re invited to turn some of our energies toward the specificity of our region’s needs and circumstances. We’re asked to establish interdisciplinary applied-research “laboratories” with strong ties to the region. We’re asked to commit to academically sound service learning also directed at the region. It would be interesting to try to dream up one or two of those laboratories, or maybe adapt one or two of IUSB’s already operational Centers to this additional mission.
But let me not get ahead of myself here. I offered one promising innovation model from the Blueprint, but what other passages in that central document catch your eye? What else has implications for us there? If you spot something, please speak up–thanks. The blog’s right-hand sidebar offers some different ways of getting in touch here.