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Indiana University chief wants combined degrees, better advising

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 02, 2013 08:07 am
BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University should help students' career planning with more combined degree programs and improved academic advising, President Michael McRobbie said in his State of the University address Tuesday.McRobbie suggested IU schools search for more opportunities for combined areas of study, such as combining a liberal arts degree with a business certificate, The Indianapolis Star reported.

He also emphasized the role of a liberal arts education in job preparation.

"What surveys show and what academic leaders hear every day is that employers are looking for individuals with analytical, learning and communication skills . not just training for the next job," McRobbie said.

McRobbie says a university task force will gather employment and career information from graduates.

While praising IU's increasingly proactive approach to academic advising to keep more students on track for graduation, McRobbie said the university could do more.

"Academic advising must be more than an add-on. . It must become part of the fabric of a college education," McRobbie said. "We cannot be casual about the rates of completion or the time to a degree," he added.

Turning to other topics, McRobbie said the university's 200th anniversary in 2020 will include a university-wide strategic plan and a $5 billion fundraising campaign.

McRobbie also announced a $15 million, five-year initiative for digitizing and preserving the university's collections. The preservation of knowledge, he said, is IU's third fundamental mission behind research and learning, and will make the university's assets more widely accessible.

"That will affect everything that we do," said Herb Terry, president of the Bloomington faculty council. "It affects our teaching. It affects our research. It affects our contributions to the state."

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