Indiana State University Newsroom

University eyes future construction as part of strategic plan

May 7, 2010

Indiana State University's "Pathway to Success" strategic plan continues to move forward. A newly approved construction timetable calls for building renovations to accommodate a Center for Student Success and the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services.

The university's board of trustees Friday endorsed a 10-year capital projects plan that includes renovation of 100-year-old Normal Hall and the Health and Human Services (Arena) building.

The plan would utilize Normal Hall, Indiana State's original library and considered the campus's most architecturally significant building, as a central location for Student Academic Services and the Career Center.

A renovated and expanded Arena Building will serve as the southern anchor for the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative. The collaborative seeks to develop the area between the ISU campus and Union Hospital as a center for innovation in rural health care to support the state's emphasis on life sciences.

"The strategic plan has as its core focus the recruitment and retention of students," said Jack Maynard, ISU's provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Dedicating Normal Hall to provide out-of-classroom support for improving student retention, graduation, and placement will send a clear message of excellence to the students of Indiana State and the surrounding corporate community."

The Arena Building was constructed in 1961 and expanded in 1986. Investment in the building is necessary to provide innovative programming in the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services to meet the state's wellness needs, said Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs and finance. The building also does not meet requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"A renovated facility will not only provide students with up-to-date classrooms, labs, and meeting space, but also provide the state with a facility in which faculty are able to work across disciplines and with medical, health and human service professionals to address some of Indiana's most pressing health needs in rural areas," McKee said. "ISU is proud to be an active participant in fulfilling this important need and believes the state's investment in a renovated facility for the college also serves as an investment in well-rounded health and wellness care for Hoosiers."

The plan calls for $14 million in state funding for the Normal Hall project and $40 million for the first phase of the Arena Building renovation in 2011-2013.

"We have identified these projects as the most important construction needs for the university in the 10-year plan and hope that funding will be approved in the coming biennium," said ISU President Dan Bradley. "However, we recognize the current economic situation and that there are many interests competing for limited dollars and will continue to do our part to help the state live within its needs."

Longer term projects in the 10-year plan include the second phase of the Arena Building renovation at a projected cost of $40 million in state funds, and several projects to be funded by non-state sources include residence hall renovations and new athletic facilities.

Also with an eye toward the future, trustees approved a reorganization in the College of Technology to accommodate the pending move of programs from other academic units and the consolidation of existing programs.

A new department of built environment will gain the interior design (interior architecture design) program that is currently in the College of Arts and Sciences. The department will also include the existing construction management program.

"Built environment is the term used in virtually every country outside the United States. As we welcome these programs, the new name will send a signal to prospective students and to industry that we offer a world class education at Indiana State," said Bradford Sims, dean of the College of Technology said. "This reorganization will position the college for growth not only in the built environment but in other areas."

Mechanical engineering technology and automotive engineering technology will merge into the department of applied engineering and technology management. Information technology will move from the department of math and computer sciences to the department of electronics and computer engineering technology. The textiles and apparel merchandising program will move to a new department of human resource development and performance technologies from the department of family and consumer sciences

One department, aviation technology management, remains unchanged but will see the addition of classes in unmanned aircraft, leading to completion of a minor in unmanned aerial vehicle studies.

In other action, Indiana State University trustees:
• Approved the move of the department of social work from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services
• Set fees for new doctoral programs in physical therapy and nursing practice and a new master's program in physician assistant studies
• Approved changing the name of the department of athletic training to department of applied medicine and rehabilitation, reflecting the addition of the physical therapy and physician assistant studies program
• Adopted a revised hospitality policy to comply with IRS requirements for business-related expenses involving entertainment, meals and social events
• Approved changes in the code of student conduct, including a streamlined interim suspension policy, a better articulated anti-hazing policy and a more inclusive policy on alcoholic beverages
• Approved a change in pension contributions for employees covered by TIAA-CREF to a flat rate of 10 percent of base salary for all employees, replacing a three-tiered system based on date of hire; faculty and exempt staff hired before July 1, 2004 will have the difference between the new and old contribution rates added to their base salary

Photos: - Normal Hall, which turns 100 years old this year and is considered the most architecturally significant building on the Indiana State University campus, is in line for a major renovation as part of a 10-year capital projects plan approved by the ISU Board of Trustees. - The Health and Human Services Building, more commonly known as the Arena, on the Indiana State University campus will be renovated and expanded to accommodate new programs in health care as part of a 10-year capital projects plan approved by the university's board of trustees.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or