Charles R. Bantz led the IUPUI campus through a period of incredible growth for more than a decade, from 2003 until 2015. With an impressive increase in the campus's physical footprint as well as major changes to the student body, a notable expansion of research and creative activities, and a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion, Bantz helped to reinforce the role of IUPUI as a 21st century university.
IUPUI's physical transformation during Bantz's tenure came in the form of expanded student housing, which allowed the number of students living on campus to grow from about 350 in 2003 to more than 2,400 today. IUPUI also added research space with the construction of the Science, Engineering, and Laboratory Building in 2013. Of all the buildings constructed during Bantz's time as chancellor, the Campus Center may have made the most dramatic difference since; beginning with its opening in 2008, it has provided students a home on campus, has given them a selection of several restaurants, and offers them a place to hang out between classes. These are among a number of physical changes that mark IUPUI's evolution while Chancellor Bantz led the campus.
In addition, while Bantz was chancellor the number of bachelor's degrees conferred at IUPUI jumped by 66 percent, and the campus created 10 new doctoral programs, 10 additional master's programs, and 11 more bachelor's degree programs. During that same period, research funding grew by more than $120 million, and the campus significantly strengthened ties to the city through community and service learning, earning IUPUI a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its commitment to community service several years in a row.
In 2015, IUPUI established the Charles R. Bantz Chancellor's Community Fellowship in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the campus and Indianapolis community. This grant reflects Bantz's dedication to research that embraces community-driven goals, creates university-community partnerships, and results in community impact. In this and many others, Chancellor Bantz was — and continues to be — driven by a desire to both support and enhance IUPUI's impact on the communities that provide us a home.
From top: (From left) Chancellor Bantz, former IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties Uday Sukhatme, and Chancellor Bantz's wife and faculty member Sandra Petronio; Chancellor Bantz is presented with an honorary Indianpolis Indians jersey at a Baseball in Education game; Chancellor Bantz scoops ice cream at his first-ever IUPUI Ice Cream Social during Weeks of Welcome in 2003. Photos courtesy of IUPUI Special Collections and Archives