|One of the most exciting activities at Indiana University East for me in the last decade and a half has been the planning and completion of the Campus Academic Master Plan. That major undertaking has been a challenge and a fascinating adventure. It is rewarding to build on a college campus, where you immediately see what physical facilities can do for intellectual and social needs of students and faculty.
In realizing the master plan at IU East, we have had unfailing support from the community and the state. The community contributed nearly $2 million for acquiring the land, raising the Whitewater Hall in 1975, and Hayes Hall 10 years later. The state has continued to invest in this campus as an intellectual base in east-central Indiana. We are thankful to our area legislators for their constant work to secure adequate resources.
The original master plan for a campus of 4,500 students was based on unrealistic expectations of demographic growth in the area. Revised in 1986 and again in the early 1990s, the plan envisioned facilities to accommodate up to 1,800 full-time students. This plan included three additional buildings. All have been finished, the four buildings forming a quadrangle give the IU East campus the appearance of an attractive academic village.
The master plan identified the academic facilities necessary for us to carry out our mission. It was at this point that IU East’s mission, serendipitously, changed from that of an associate-degree-granting institution to a baccalaureate campus. Still, the planning work required foresight and flexibility. Especially exciting—and crucial—was the involvement and input of faculty and staff as they devised new instructional programs and support services. The ultimate question facing us was: What kind of infrastructure is needed for the educational process in a baccalaureate institution during the next few decades and beyond? Inseparable from this was the role of exploding technology, which was immediately impacting education, so we had to plan accordingly, paying special attention to the library’s format and content, introducing computer labs, discipline-based labs (as in nursing, psychology and art), and generally rewiring the campus.
The last stage in this process is the technology-driven renovation of Hayes Hall. Besides the remodeled library, Hayes now houses an expanded set of computer classrooms and an enhanced Information Technology Department, the Teaching and Learning Center and the television studio (WCTV), all permeated with communication technology and vibrant with new activities and programs. This new technology is rapidly changing the face of academia, something no one could have foreseen in the 1980s.
The master plan has thus changed in time, as has our thinking about what should and could be done.
In the process, an Indiana meadow touching I-70 first became cultivated nature, a campus, and now that traditional campus and its physical infrastructure is transiting into something else, an information- and communication-filled environment which, we are confident, will be more conducive to academic pursuits of the future. When we began realizing the master plan, we were starting from scratch; when we were completing it, we were building on our acquired experience. All the time, we were building our vision.