Michael McRobbie has weathered the Great Recession, a higher education affordability crisis, and a nationwide reckoning about the very purpose of college—all since 2007, when he became Indiana University president. But the Australian-born computer-scientist-turned-college-leader hasn’t let that tumult stop him from embarking on a quiet transformation of the giant Indiana public institution that serves nearly 45,000 students across nine campuses and online, with a $3.7 billion budget. Marsh McRobbie, 68, has both invested in brick-and-mortar and rearranged the academic guts of the university system, all while the school experienced several years of cuts in state funding. State appropriations in 2018 were just 5 percent more than when he started in 2007. “I really think the sheer amount of change that has happened at IU the last 10 years completely negates the claim that universities are slow to change or impervious to change or that academics hate change,” McRobbie told IBJ. “The amount of change has been huge.” Across IU, some changes are obvious to the naked eye—and reflect McRobbie’s priorities. He has embarked on $2.5 billion in renovation and new construction of 100 projects on the Bloomington, IUPUI and regional campuses. There’s the glimmering new, $53 million Global and International Studies Building that echoes… Read full this story
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