Charles Bantz to step down as IUPUI chancellor in August 2015

  • Nov. 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDIANAPOLIS -- Charles R. Bantz, who has guided the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus through a period of growth and unprecedented student success for more than a decade, announced today that he will step down as chancellor effective Aug. 15, 2015.

Bantz, 65, joined IUPUI as chancellor and IU vice president for long-range planning in 2003 and was named IU executive vice president in 2006. In August 2015, Bantz will begin a one-year leave before returning to IUPUI as a member of the faculty.

“IUPUI has flourished under Charles’ outstanding leadership and today is a vibrant urban university campus that plays a unique role in the lives of the students it serves,” said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. “Much of this recent success can be attributed to the work done by Charles and his leadership team over the past decade.”

Bantz, who joined IUPUI from Wayne State University in Detroit, where he was provost and senior vice president, has overseen significant growth in the number of students graduating from the IUPUI campus, which currently is home to nearly 31,000 students.

For example, the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred jumped by 66 percent, from 2,212 in 2003 to 3,682 this year, with graduates coming from all 50 states; while this year’s freshman class boasts the highest incoming average grade-point average and SAT scores in campus history. In addition, IUPUI has created 10 new doctoral programs, 10 additional master’s programs and 11 more bachelor’s degree programs during Bantz’s tenure as chancellor.

Helping to fuel that growth has been a commitment to creating new facilities on the campus, including student housing, additional class and research space and the Campus Center, which opened in 2008 and serves as the center of student life on the campus.

The number of students living on the IU campus has grown from about 350 in 2003 to more than 2,000 this year. In addition, several new academic buildings have been constructed in the past 11 years, including the Ezkenazi Fine Arts Center, the Science and Engineering Laboratory, University Hall, the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex and the Neurosciences Research Building, which opened just last month.

“It is an honor to serve as chancellor of this dynamic campus,” Bantz said. “I have been fortunate to work with many, many outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to providing a first-rate educational environment for our students and to conducting important research, and I am confident IUPUI is poised to reach even greater heights in the future.”

Bantz pointed to the recently completed IUPUI strategic plan as well as the completion late in 2013 of the campus’s $1.4 billion fundraising campaign as examples that the campus is on a solid foundation for the future.

“This is a good time for a transition,” Bantz said. “We have accomplished a tremendous amount in the past 11 years and are well-positioned for success in the future. The time is right to make way for the next leader of this great campus, and as an expert in organizational communication, I am ready to bring my administrative experience to my research and teaching.”

When Bantz became chancellor in 2003, research funding associated with the IUPUI campus was $202 million; by 2014, that figure was $325 million. The campus is also home to two new, named IU schools, both opened in the past two years: the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Fairbanks School of Public Health.

During Bantz’s tenure, the campus also created the IUPUI Honors College and launched its Signature Center Initiative designed to grant seed money for research such as that done by the Lugar Center for Renewable Energy. In addition, in late 2011, the law school was renamed the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law in recognition of a generous gift from the well-known Indianapolis lawyer, banker and philanthropist.

Building on a legacy of community service and a culture of diversity

IUPUI’s location in the heart of Indiana’s capital city has long brought with it a special responsibility of service to the residents of Indianapolis, and the campus has significantly strengthened its ties to the city during the time Bantz has served as chancellor.

For example, more than 8,700 IUPUI students enrolled in service learning courses last year, more than quadruple the number in 2003. Additionally, the campus has been recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as among the country’s best for community service seven times in the past eight years.

Under Bantz, IUPUI also has improved its commitment to diversity, significantly increasing the number of minority students receiving degrees and earning national recognition for being among the best campuses for minority students by leading diversity publications.

“By almost any measure, IUPUI serves its students, employees and the city of Indianapolis exceedingly well,” McRobbie said. “We are going to miss Charles’ leadership and passion, but he has positioned the campus for future success, and we are very appreciative of all that he has done for IUPUI and the entire university.”

McRobbie added that details on the search process for a new chancellor would be announced in the coming weeks after he has consulted with various interested parties.

Before his tenure at Wayne State, Bantz served as a vice provost at Arizona State University, where he also served as chair of the Department of Communication and as a member of the faculty. He also was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and the University of Colorado at Boulder during his career.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in communication at Ohio State University.