Indiana State University Newsroom

Trustees hear about ISU’s successes in inclusive excellence

February 17, 2023

Indiana State University’s Board of Trustees on Friday took up issues including the university’s successes related to diversity.

Among the positive trends:

---The persistence rate for Black students — freshmen who enrolled for the 2022 Fall semester and registered for the 2023 Spring semester — increased 17% from 2020-21. There was a 6.7% increase from 2021-22.

---Persistence for Hispanic students is 11.8% higher in 2022-23 than 2020-21.

---Students of color had improvements in percentage in academic good standing.

---The student body and workforce are more diverse than 2021-22, with significant increases in the percentage of faculty of color.

Dr. Christopher Olsen, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, attributed the successes to increased “Project Success” advising made possible by a Lilly Endowment, Inc., grant and the Indiana State Advantage, which includes a tuition-free guarantee and housing support for certain students.

“These student persistence data are particularly impressive and inspiring,” Olsen said “The students have worked hard, obviously, and they deserve the credit for their academic success. We believe, too, that our support for students who have traditionally been at the greatest economic risk is making a difference.

“Our scholarship programs that emphasize added support for Pell-eligible students —particularly the tuition-free guarantee for qualifying students — and our one-time housing support gives many first-year students and families the economic foundation they need and deserve.

“The evidence is clear that what we are doing is working. Like most institutions of higher education across the country, ISU continues to deal with smaller enrollments due to the pandemic and declining college-going rates. But that is changing, and we are on the right track and seeing positive results.”

The trustees also heard information on proposed new programs to be voted on at a later date. Those are Biochemistry, Gerontology, Sport Communication, and Professional Writing. There is also a proposed certificate in Public Lands and Recreation Administration.

“These interdisciplinary minors and certificates are exactly the sort of programs that forward-looking, cutting-edge universities are creating,” Olsen said. “It draws on faculty expertise from multiple disciplines and combines their work, skills, and knowledge for students in ways that link directly to the 21st century economy. All of these programs, too, are rooted in experiential, hands-on learning that prepares students to step immediately into high-paying, in-demand careers.”

In other action, the trustees approved recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday after the 2021 signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Act.

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131