IU President Michael A. McRobbie visited IU Kokomo on April 13-14, where he toured a historic glass factory, met with students and faculty, discussed IU’s research vision with community leaders and dedicated IU Kokomo’s Main Building.
Throughout his “McRobbie on the Move” tour, designed to highlight the importance of IU’s regional presence to Indiana as a whole, McRobbie has emphasized the contribution of each campus to Indiana’s economic vitality.
According to the most recent figures available, operations at IU Kokomo had an overall impact of $52.1 million in 2011 — about half of that coming from direct effects and the rest attributed to indirect or induced impact. The campus carries a total employment impact of 626 jobs and generates more than $2.7 million annually in state and local tax revenue.
— IU President Michael A. McRobbie
Additonally IU Kokomo faculty, staff and and its total student enrollment — which fluctuates between 3,400 and 4,100 students per semester — are estimated to generate more than $3.4 million annually in charitable donations and volunteer services.
“Nowhere is the impact of IU’s regional campuses more greatly felt than here in Kokomo,” McRobbie said during a Wednesday evening speech at the IU Kokomo Art Gallery. “Nearly 80 percent of IU Kokomo graduates stay in the region, using their new skills and knowledge to strengthen the local economy and enrich their home communities.”
McRobbie also noted that as IU approaches its bicentennial in 2020, the most ambitious research effort in IU history — the $300 million Grand Challenges Program — involves five finalist proposals that each offer “major potential” for Kokomo, Howard County and the surrounding north central Indiana region.
One example involves a proposal to develop new technologies, data systems and policies to ensure the sustainability of high-quality water for the region.
“As you know, the Environmental Protection Agency added a 300-acre plume of contaminated groundwater beneath Kokomo to its Superfund National Priority List last year. Our river basins also face periodic threats from water scarcity and flooding, as the devastating 2013 flood here in Kokomo illustrated,” McRobbie said.
“The aim of this project is to conduct research that will lead to the creation of new tools for effective water resource planning and decision-making and new tools that can be used to address and reverse threats to water quality all across the state and beyond.”
Earlier in his visit, McRobbie toured the nation’s oldest art glass company, Kokomo Opalescent Glass. He also met with students and faculty about their experiences at IU Kokomo, where he emphasized the importance of overseas study programs.
“In a world where there’s no area not impacted by globalization, it is essential that students gain that experience,” McRobbie said. “These stories underscore how important study abroad is.”
To read more about McRobbie’s visit to IU Kokomo, click here: