Hello to our students, colleagues, and friends
Throughout the spring semester, I witnessed the Bloomington campus blooming with life from my office windows in the new Mies van der Rohe Building. Observing students, faculty, and staff once again interacting in classrooms, galleries, lecture halls and across our beautiful campus brought a greater sense of hope and possibility than we’ve felt in over two years. At the same time our world and our nation continue to struggle with the short- and long-term effects of this ongoing pandemic, even as vaccines alleviate suffering and sickness for so many and have allowed us to gather in community once again.
The pandemic is but one of the challenges we are rising to meet, whether on our campus, in our community, or globally. From international conflicts and climate change to the social and economic woes that beset our own country, our times demand that higher education play a significant role in producing solutions. The work of advancing knowledge and understanding through creative activity, research, and teaching has never been more relevant. This work can be stressful, but I believe my colleagues and I all feel its substance and significance.
As we reflect on the past academic year and embark on the next, we confirm and reinforce our priorities. At the top of our list is our commitment to a residential campus experience with the physical presence of our faculty, staff, and students that advances our academic mission and encourages a vibrant campus life for all. We recognize the essential role our graduate student instructors play in this experience and are dedicated to their professional development and well-being. We move into the fall of 2022 with a renewed commitment to enhance and enrich our community while continuing to innovate and evolve for the future.
As we do so, the push for social justice and diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) work continues to be at the forefront of our discussions and attention. As we progress through the recommendations of our inaugural DEI plan, we have expanded the role of the school’s DEI Coordinator from a half-time appointment to a full-time Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Director. We have also supported a first round of research and creative activities aligned with our DEI goals through the new Inclusive Excellence Fund. These increased commitments are vital to the development of our school.
I’d like to thank the entire Eskenazi School community for their dedication and innovation. As you will find in the pages of our sixth annual report, they continue to move their research, creative activity, teaching, learning, and service forward in powerful ways.
With best wishes for hope, health, and peace,
Founding Dean and Professor