At 5:00 PM on Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Indiana State University Board of Trustees held a meeting discussing both a strategic plan for the University from 2021 to 2025 and the renaming of two rooms on the Science Building’s second floor. President Deborah Curtis and all nine members of the Indiana State University Board of Trustees hosted the meeting via Zoom. It was open to the public.
The first item on the meeting’s agenda was the approval of a new strategic plan for ISU’s student success titled “Focusing on Our Future Together: A Strategic Plan for Indiana State University, 2021-2025.” This plan was introduced by President Curtis and detailed in the meeting by Brad Balch, who, according to the meeting’s agenda, has “more than 20 years of strategic planning experience and has served as a consultant to numerous educational entities.” Balch described the plan as containing four major components and designed as a cycle with no beginning and no end, but is always centered around student success. The four parts of the cycle include “Impacting lives and our community,” “Preparing for the workforce for Indiana and beyond,” “Increase institutional vitality, sustainability, and performance,” and “Ensuring equity and inclusiveness.” According to the new strategic plan, which will be implemented from 2021 to 2025, a focus on these four propositions will result in an increase in student success. The strategic plan was passed by a unanimous vote. Because it was passed, Balch will host multiple opportunities to engage campus stakeholders with sharing information of the strategic plan’s goals, strategies, and key performance indicators in order to fine-tune the plan. The final plan is expected to be shared with the Board of Trustees by May 2021.
The second item on the meeting’s agenda is the proposition to rename two classrooms on the second floor of the science building that will be developed and renamed into the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center at ISU. The center, made possible by the Porters’ donation of $250,000, will provide a collaborative approach to learning and cancer research at the graduate level. “This is going to raise some eyebrows…” said Trustee Cynthia Powers at the meeting, “…and we will let the world take a look and be proud.” The proposition also passed unanimously and has garnered positive reactions among both the Board of Trustees and Indiana State University students. Courtney Hoene, a junior chemistry and biology major, says that she is excited for what the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center will bring to both Indiana State University and the Terre Haute community. “I am very interested to see how it pans out,” she added.