Indiana State University Newsroom

President Deborah J. Curtis delivers clarion call on impact of Indiana State University

October 2, 2019

From the social mobility of graduates to community service to bolstering the state's workforce, Indiana State University President Deborah J. Curtis stressed during her annual Fall Address what makes the institution so valuable.


Impact on the city, on the region and on the state of Indiana - but most importantly, impact on the students whose lives are transformed through the attainment of a degree.

Speaking Wednesday at Tilson Auditorium, Curtis honored the many achievements of students, faculty, and staff, and she issued a "call to action" for everyone to lift up what makes Indiana State University unique and a great educational investment. Some examples:

· ISU ranked first in the state and 194th out of 1,380 colleges and universities in CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index.

· ISU has a 95 percent placement rate for graduates, meaning employment, graduate school or military service. For those employed, the average starting salary was $47,211.

· Among the freshmen who started this fall, 77 percent are from Indiana, 37 percent are ethnic minorities, and 21 percent of those from Indiana are 21st Century Scholars.

· Campus construction projects totaling $400 million during the last decade created more than 4,600 jobs for contractors.

· More than 1,000 university courses include community engagement and more than 3,000 students are involved in programs through the Division of University Engagement.

The address, however, showed that the institution's impact goes well beyond data. The President highlighted a 2019 graduate, a faculty member, and a staff member as representatives of the many individuals who are making a difference.
They were Ricardo Gil, a flutist from the Dominican Republic whose many honors include performing in Carnegie Hall; Brian Schaefer, a dedicated faculty member whose research in criminology has been published widely; and Nick McCreary, the university's Sustainability Coordinator, for his work on the Community Garden and other projects.

In her closing remarks, Curtis asked the audience and everyone on campus to remain diligent in assisting with the recruitment, retention and graduation of the university's students.

She asked for help developing ISU's next Mission, Vision and Values statement.

She also asked that faculty, staff and students help tell the story, far and wide, of Indiana State's programs, facilities and student experiences.

"It's been clear to me every single day in this job: We are distinctive in the state of Indiana. ... Our students come from Indiana, they stay in Indiana. We tie our programs to the work needs of this state.

"It's not new that we're 50 percent Pell eligible and 50 percent first generation. That's who we proudly serve. And those are the people with the most opportunity to have their lives transformed."

Media contact:
Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication
(O) 812-237-3837
(C) 812-229-8020

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