Commissioner Teresa Lubbers awarded IU president’s highest honor
This past Wednesday (Feb. 9), Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers was awarded Indiana University’s President’s Medal for Excellence in recognition of her distinguished service to Indiana and to higher education. The medal is the highest honor the university’s president can bestow.
Lubbers is stepping down as commissioner in March after 13 years in the role and following the legislative session.
IU President Pamela Whitten presented Lubbers with the award at a special event held prior to one of Lubbers’ final commission meetings, which was held on the IUPUI campus.
In her remarks, Whitten praised the positive impact that Lubbers has had on ensuring the success of Indiana students and in positioning the state’s public universities for sustained progress in the years ahead.
“In my first seven months on the job, her positive impact on students during her tenure as commissioner has been incredibly clear: completion rates are up, borrowing is down and tuition rates at Indiana’s public universities are among the lowest in the nation,” Whitten said.
The day before, Lubbers delivered her 10th and final State of Higher Education address at the Indiana Statehouse before an audience that included Whitten and education, government, business and community leaders from across the state. In the address, Lubbers reflected on her 13 years of service and the challenges and opportunities facing higher education in the Hoosier state. She also shared evidence of how Indiana and its higher education institutions continue to transform higher education to meet the diverse needs of learners and a changing economy.
"Higher education is often labeled as not being adaptable, but I believe this is a lagging narrative," she said. "Over the past two years due to the impact of COVID, we've seen institutions adjust how they deliver education and respond to changing needs."
"We know higher education is capable of change,” she added. “By prioritizing overall quality and focusing on affordability, access and relevance, Indiana's higher education system will be poised to adapt to future uncertainties."
Read the full 2022 State of Higher Education address
The sixth week of session continued to pick up pace after the intersession break. The House has six more business days to hear Senate bills in committee and the Senate has eight more business days to hear House bills. IU State Relations anticipates significant bill movement next week as legislators negotiate which bills will continue to move through the process.
Statehouse Update • February 11, 2022
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