The Bantz Era
Last November, Chancellor Charles R. Bantz announced his intention to step down from his position in August 2015. He has served as Chancellor since June 2003, through a period of tremendous growth and unprecedented student success. Below are just some of the highlights of his impressive tenure.
IUPUI’s graduation figures have increased by 25 percent, research funding has grown by 27 percent, and the number of students participating in service learning programs has risen by nearly 400 percent.
Under Bantz, IUPUI has become significantly more diverse. In keeping with Indianapolis’s growing international profile, international student enrollment has doubled. Minority students now comprise nearly 20 percent of the student population, and IUPUI has created the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and opened the IUPUI Multicultural Center.
The chancellor has focused on expanding student life on campus, including opening the hub of life at IUPUI, the Campus Center.
The number of students living on campus has grown by more than 250 percent and nearly 40 percent of freshmen now live on campus. The number of student organizations has more than tripled (now including 450 groups), and the premier campus event, the IUPUI Regatta, was born in 2009 and quickly has become one of the city’s most significant downtown events each September.
IUPUI has enjoyed a growing academic profile during the Bantz era: Honors College, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy — the first school of philanthropic studies in the country — and the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health all have been founded during his tenure and fulfill vital needs. And the campus has responded to changing public demands by starting such vibrant degree programs as biomedical engineering, museum studies, philanthropic studies and epidemiology, to name but a few.
The campus has seen steady growth in six-year graduation rates (up from 34 to 42 percent over a four-year period), and the percentage of incoming freshmen ranking in the top quartile of their high school classes has risen by 10 percent.
Bantz has been a strong advocate of research outcomes. The Center for Translating Research Into Practice and the Bantz-Petronio Translating Research Into Practice Award both focus on excellence in scientific inquiry, and IUPUI’s growing number of signature centers take full advantage of the campus’s interdisciplinary expertise.
The campus has undergone extraordinary physical changes during his years. University Place Conference Center and Hotel was converted to student housing and includes IUPUI’s first student dining hall. Campus life also is bolstered by the Campus Center, the Riverwalk Apartments and two parking garages to fulfill campus and public needs, all facilities opened during the Bantz era.
IUPUI has new academic buildings that expand IUPUI’s reach in the arts (Eskenazi Hall for the Herron School of Art & Design), information technology (the Informatics and Communication Technology Complex), research (Walther Hall, the Health Information and Translational Sciences, the Science and Engineering Lab Building, and the Glick Eye Institute), and healthcare (the Simon Family Tower at Riley Hospital for Children and the Simon Cancer Center).
The land swap between IUPUI and Wishard Hospital paved the way for a new state-of-the art medical facility (Eskenazi Hospital) and provided room for future growth of the School of Medicine campus.
He oversaw two record-setting fundraising campaigns, including the IUPUI Impact Campaign that closed in 2014 with $1.39 billion in outside support. His tenure also saw school endowments for the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, the Fairbanks School of Public Health and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and steady growth in the number of endowed chairs to recognize and support faculty excellence.
The chancellor also served as chair of the Urban Serving Universities Coalition, and on the boards of such organizations as: United Way of Central Indiana; Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.; Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce; Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee; Indiana Sports Corporation; Indiana Campus Compact; and the Economic Club of Indiana.
No list of accomplishments would be complete without mention of the public recognition that has come to IUPUI during his years, including:
- Named a top 200 National University by U.S. News and World Report
- ‘Up and Coming National University’ by U.S. News and World Report for five years
- ‘8th Best Public University in the Midwest’ — Forbes Magazine
- President’s Higher Education Community Service Award six times, twice with distinction
- Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Partnerships
- Among Top 30 Best U.S. Non-HBCU Schools for Minorities — Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
- Received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the third straight year for that recognition
- Reclassification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community Engaged Campus
- Top five ‘Best Neighbor’ college or university based on survey findings by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships
- Ranked as the “Best for Vets: Colleges 2014” by The Military Times
- Designated a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media Inc.
In August 2015, Bantz will begin a one year leave before returning to IUPUI as a member of the faculty.