As the 2021-22 academic year comes to a close, I’m witnessing the IUB campus blooming with life from my new office windows in the Mies van der Rohe Building. Observing students, faculty, and staff once again interacting in classrooms, galleries, lecture halls and across our beautiful campus this spring brings 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, and 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 role in producing solutions. In my opinion, the work of advancing knowledge and understanding through research and instruction has never been more relevant. This work can be stressful, but I believe my colleagues and I all feel its substance and significance.
It can be difficult to find time for reflection on what’s most valued in our university community, but it’s so important to do so. At the top of the 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 will 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 are expanding the role of the school’s DEI Coordinator from a half-time appointment to a full-time Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Director. This increased commitment is 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 on our school news and faculty research pages, they continue to move their research, creative activity, teaching, learning, and service forward in powerful ways.
I hope you and yours are well. Please stay in touch with us, either virtually, or hopefully in the near future, in person.
Health and peace,