With an aim toward creating more programs that mix liberal arts and professional education, McRobbie singled out IU’s Liberal Arts and Management Program, or LAMP, as a model for similar programs. LAMP offers graduates a liberal arts degree with the College of Arts and Sciences but also a certificate in business from the Kelley School of Business.
McRobbie said he would support Provost Lauren Robel’s proposal for a merger of the School of Journalism and the departments of telecommunications and communications and culture, forwarding it to the IU Board of Trustees for approval. He continued the trend of calling it the Media School, or “MSchool,” the tentative name offered up by Robel’s proposal.
The president said he has asked his administration to “accelerate” renovation projects for the student housing stock. He said the university is more than halfway done with those upgrades, including completed projects at the Union Street Complex, Tulip Tree Apartments, Briscoe Quad and others, but the goal is to have the renovation plan completed by the bicentennial.
UNION PRESIDENT RESPONDS
In a prepared response to IU President Michael McRobbie’s speech Tuesday, the union president for support staff at the university called the situation for workers at IU a “precarious one.”
Ed Vasquez, the president of Communication Workers of America, Local 4730, questioned efforts by the university to consolidate student services and a proposed merger of the School of Journalism with two other departments.
“‘How else will these changes affect staff?’ remains a pressing question,” Vasquez wrote. “With insufficient state resources from a state government which still fails to give IU the means to function fully without austerity, is the solution to sell off parts of IU for quick cash?”
Vasquez went on to question a possible move by the university to privatize parking. He also referenced IU’s move to cut 50 workers from the physical plant department, instead contracting with a temp agency, saying “the state of Staff at IU is a state of nervousness about an uncertain future to outright demoralization.”