Indiana University East is using a grant from the Tides Center to develop “A New Model for Productivity at Traditional Four-Year Institutions.” The Lumina Foundation is providing the funding.
“IU East has earned national and statewide recognition for a model of higher education that is productive, efficient and still of high quality,” said Larry Richards, IU East Interim Chancellor. “The $385,945 grant will provide support to develop further our model for productivity. The model has garnered interest from four-year institutions around the country and, by developing the model, other institutions may be able to adapt it for their own use.”
“IU East is proud to share its best practices and to continue to develop new and unique strategies to embrace the challenges of the current economy,” said Special Assistant to the Chancellor Patty Crawford. “Initiatives that encourage partnerships and collaboration, driven by enhanced productivity, efficiency and quality, benefit all parties.”
The model was first envisioned when IU East adopted its new mission in 2007 and needed a way to implement it in a time of declining state support. Since then, IU East has become Indiana University’s fastest growing campus, experiencing a 65 percent enrollment increase over four years.
The IU East approach was recognized as a model for regional campuses nationwide in a report – “Regional Campuses’ Contributions to State and National Higher Education Goals: A Field Report from Indiana with a Case Study of Indiana University East” – commissioned by the Indiana Chamber Foundation in 2011, with support from the Lumina Foundation, and prepared by an independent firm, MGT of America.
The Tides Center grant will help IU East develop further three key strategies: Responsibility Centered Management (RCM), an internal budgeting and accountability system that provides incentives for academic programs and schools to be more productive and efficient with their use of resources; partnerships with community colleges; and online education for bachelor’s degree completion programs.
RCM has been an important factor in IU East’s continued enrollment increases, focusing on the same performance factors used by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to recommend state appropriation increases, including increased retention and graduation of students with bachelor’s degrees. RCM has been a central strategy in IU East’s ability to handle more students, retain them at higher rates, and graduate them in a shorter period of time.
IU East is the state’s leader in developing partnerships with Ivy Tech Community College, a collaboration that has increased the number of transfer students from the community college to the university, providing the opportunity for more associate degree graduates to complete an IU four-year degree. The two institutions will continue to work together on building a seamless transition from Ivy Tech to IU East, making the completion of a bachelor’s degree an even more attractive option.
Steven Tincher, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Richmond, noted that “our partnership with IU East has developed to the point that Ivy Tech Richmond graduates have a clear path to an IU bachelor’s degree and a support structure for success. This increases the alternatives available for citizens in our region to continue their education at the bachelor degree level and is a great asset for our local community.”
Recently, IU East added three more bachelor’s degree online completion programs to its academic portfolio, bringing the total online offerings available to ten. Students who have completed their general education requirements and earned an associate degree can complete their bachelor’s degree in a comparable discipline online within two years. For IU East, online students represent a significant potential for continued enrollment growth and are a key aspect of its fiscal strategy.
Crawford said that this initiative to develop the model of productivity for four-year institutions benefits the campus because IU East can assure its students of a quality IU education in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. She added that the community will benefit as IU East and Ivy Tech work together to provide the tools and resources necessary to accommodate a highly diverse group of education seekers. The initiative will also benefit the state because, over the next 20 years, employers will demand more bachelor degree completers; however, the current rate of bachelor’s degree production will not meet that economic need, she said.
“Our online degree completion programs provide a high-quality experience while also providing adults the flexibility to learn from home or work, and to do so on their own schedule. This will increase the state’s ability to keep up with a constantly changing economic and political landscape, making Indiana a stronger and more competitive player in the national and world economy,” Crawford said.