Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.57
Liaison Jessica Davis
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2020

STARS v2.2

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Deborah Ferguson
Assistant Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

The campus actively supported the referendum on the ballot in 2016 to support a .25% income tax for mass transit in Indianapolis. This included the Chancellor testifying in support of the referendum before a committee of the Indiana General Assembly. The referendum passed and will fund an expanded, more efficient transit system that will provide reliable public transportation to a larger percentage of Indianapolis residents. https://www.transitdrivesindy.com

The IUPUI Center for Civic Literacy's mission is to increase public understanding of our civic deficit and its effect on democratic decision making, and to identify and promote the use of effective tools to help educators and others correct the problem. A current opportunity promoted by CCI and the Public Policy Institute:
Decision 2020: Electing Indiana’s Future

Every four years, in conjunction with Indiana’s gubernatorial election, the IU Public Policy Institute (PPI) sponsors a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum. This year’s event will be broadcast by WFYI and other Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, as well as available for viewing at go.iu.edu/Decision2020. The event is intended to further the mission of PPI and its Center for Civic Literacy (CCL) to produce unbiased, high-quality research, analyses, and policy guidance to promote positive change and improve the quality of life in communities across Indiana and the nation.

IUPUI POLIS Center SAVI: City of Indianapolis effort to address racial equity in city government and the community, 09/05/20:

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

[Note, the following includes both State and National policy advocacy]

Immigration and DACA:
Since 2017, President Michael McRobbie has been very vocal about the Federal Government's termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. President McRobbie coordinated with other Big Ten universities in asking Congress to find solutions for DACA statements in 2017 and signed an October 2019 Amicus Brief in support of DACA recipients as the case moved to the Supreme Court.

LGBT+ and Title IX:
President McRobbie has been very vocal in their support of LGBT rights. The University strongly opposes any discrimination on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation; this is supported the IU Board of Trustees as an IU policy in June 2018 during an update of the University's Non-Discrimination Policy. In April 2019, President McRobbie published a response to the United Methodist Church's vote to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy.

Tax Reform:
In November 2017, President McRobbie proposed changes and expressed concerns over the tax reform legislation, H.R. 1 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that was proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. This legislation as originally written would have taxed graduate school tuition waivers, as well as increasing barriers for low-income students to pursue master's or doctoral degrees.

Affordability and Access:
In 2017, US Representative Messer introduced H.R. 1429, modeled after an IU program, that requires institutions to transparently share with students what their current loan debts are and what future payments will look like. It has reduced borrowing by 22% at IU. https://messer.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=36
President McRobbie has been supportive of the Bill and has spoken openly of IU's influence on the state legislature in this area. http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/local_news/interview-iu-president-michael-mcrobbie-discusses-student-debt-school-initiatives/article_558ac278-0340-11e6-9c3b-6b52a3709697.html

In 2020, an IU-system report outlined suggestions for improving healthcare affordability in the state. https://news.iu.edu/stories/2020/01/iupui/releases/27-indiana-rising-health-care-costs-report.html

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie released a statement in support of the Governor's call for a hate crime law in 2019: https://president.iu.edu/news/monthly-update/2019/january.html AND https://news.iu.edu/stories/2019/01/iu/releases/16-president-mcrobbie-statement-hate-crimes-law.html

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie released a statement opposing Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and reaffirming IU's commitment to equality in 2015: https://archive.news.iu.edu/releases/iu/2015/03/rfra-mcrobbie-statement.shtml

IU Grand Challenge_Response to OPIOD Crisis in Indiana:

IU Grand Challenge_Prepared for Environmental Change:

Faculty can and do engage in the public policy process to advocate for and against legislation. A sample of engagement is below:

Amber Comer, Asst. Professor of Health Sciences at IUPUI testified before the Indiana House Committee on Public Health regarding a bill that would expand Indiana's health care consent law. Her class was present so they could experience legislative deliberations on a public health issue: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/04/iupui/21-intelligence-health-care-consent-law.html

Brad Ray, Director Center for Health & Justice Reform, research findings on the opiod epidemic, helped inform a new law that standardizes how coroners handle possible overdoses: https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-legislature-passes-bill-standardize-overdose-reporting-142961/

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

Affordability and Access:

In April 2017, IU President Michael McRobbie, together with other Big 10 University leaders, met with Speaker Paul Ryan to advocate for affordable public education and an increase in financial support for university research. Full summary: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/04/iu/26-matters-mcrobbie-paul-ryan.html

Summer 2017 meeting with Vice President Pence, during which IU advocated for the following:
Reducing regulations affecting higher education and research.
Building a scientific infrastructure that supports innovation.
Continuing recent efforts to preserve federal work-study and student aid programs.

During Fall 2017, The American Council on Education, on behalf of the Association of American Universities, of which IU is a member, and 45 other higher education associations, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee expressing strong opposition to several harmful provisions in the House Tax Reform legislation. In its letter, the ACE noted that these provisions would make higher education less accessible for low- and middle-income students. It also cited a Ways and Means Committee summary indicating that the bill would cost college students some $65 billion over the next decade. https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-11-28-tax-reform-legislation.html

Equity and support for underrepresented groups:
President McRobbie's Fall 2017 letter to Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer in support of DACA: https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-12-12-daca-big-ten-letter.html

President McRobbie issued a similar statement regarding DACA, which can be read here: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2017/09/iu/releases/05-daca-statement.html

Indiana University Statement on Immigration Executive Order
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie issued a public statement against the executive order on immigration signed Friday, Jan. 27 2017. The statement encouraged the executive administration to repeal the order. Additionally, the Association of American Universities, of which IU is a member, submitted a statement against the travel ban to the Trump Administration. McRobbie's full statement can be read here: https://president.iu.edu/speeches/statements/2017/2017-01-29-iu-immigration-executive-order.html

IU Government Relations:
IU Government Relations oversees all activity, support and involvement of IU in all political engagement. IU has been represented in Washington, DC in support of various Higher Education and Public Policy and Health Initiatives at the National Level. https://gov.iu.edu/federal/iu-leadership.html

Other Recent events:
Senator Donnelly, a member of the Senate Aging Committee, worked to bring Executive Director of the Hall Center for Law and Health at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Professor of Law Nicolas Terry to Washington on May 23, 2018 to testify before the committee about prevention and treatment of opioid abuse among older Americans. https://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/health-law/index.html

Dr. Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs, and Dean’s Fellow heading the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, testified on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress on Supporting Charitable Giving During the COVID-19 Crisis.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

(1) Diplomacy Lab
Launched by the Department of State in 2013 by Secretary of State John Kerry, Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to "course-source" research and innovation related to global policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at colleges and universities across the United States. Projects originate in offices across the State Department and include diverse topics on which faculty bid. Through engagement and education, students and faculty actively contribute to the Secretary of State’s public diplomacy goals. http://diplomacylab.org/


IUPUI is one of 31 U.S. institutions of higher education that participates in the Diplomacy Lab, the U.S. State Department’s initiative to “‘course-source’ research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges”. Faculty and students can explore real-world challenges, contribute to the policy making process, and further global learning.

Since 2015, Gabriel Filippelli has integrated Diplomacy Lab bids into several courses including Applied Earth Sciences: The Human Dimension and a capstone course for the B.S. Environmental Sciences degree titled Global Cycles. “Internationalizing the curriculum through engagement with the Diplomacy Lab provided invaluable opportunities for my students to learn the value of their academic training in a global setting, and for me to continue efforts to improve international diplomacy through university partnerships.”

IUPUI is now involved with our 3rd and 4th Diplomacy Lab project this semester. One project is a partnership and mentoring program between our class and a sustainable engineering course underway at the University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, with our involvement being training students and advising them on how to develop and conduct research that has real impact.

Another project is on developing tools that the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia can use in its outreach and engagement efforts to highlight the importance of environmental protection in preserving its coastal ecosystems.

More: http://international.iupui.edu/global-learning/curriculum-internationalization/profiles-in-action/filippelli.html

(2) Public Policy Institute
The Indiana University Public Policy Institute (PPI) produces thoughtful, policy-related research, analysis, and guidance. Clients use PPI research to enhance their programs and services, to develop strategies and policies, to evaluate the impact of their decisions—and ultimately to help the people they serve.

Established in 1992, PPI is part of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. A recent project of the PPI: Precursor activities related to U.S. terrorism incidents. Policy implications; Research conducted during the project was intended to help investigators and prosecutors make more educated guesses regarding the answers to several questions they must ask themselves when they become aware of a terrorist plot:The definitive temporal record of acts related to previous terrorist plots in the United States can be used by investigators, fusion center analysts, and federal prosecutors to develop a better understanding of the nature of the terrorist incident planning cycle and to help develop adaptable tools and approaches to disrupting and preventing terrorist activities.

More: https://policyinstitute.iu.edu/research-analysis/research-findings/terrorism-planning.html

(3) AMPATH Consortium
Indiana University leads the AMPATH Consortium. The AMPATH Consortium is a network of universities and academic health centers in high-income countries that aims to foster long-term, equitable partnerships with health centers and universities in low-income countries. Each institution brings their own perspective and provides its own opportunities for medical trainee exchange programs and hands-on education, both in Kenya and North America.

AMPATH provides not only treatment and care, but also programs that help patients take hold of their economic independence and their futures. And AMPATH's training, technology, and research go beyond Kenya to serve the whole world. Through the IU Center for Global Health the AMPATH Research Network seeks to improve the health of the Kenyan population through the identification, development and dissemination of relevant and timely information on health and health care systems for use by decision-makers in medical care, public health and public policy in Kenya and other resource-constrained areas of the world.

More: https://globalhealth.iu.edu/impact-map/ampath.html

4) In 2019, IU also joined the U.S. Chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a consortium created to support the achievement of the UN SDGs. IU is represented there by our Office of International Development.

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

IU Public Policy Institute thru the IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) https://policyinstitute.iu.edu/index.html
The information PPI provides is critical to the deliberations of private and public sector leaders as they strive to improve the quality of life in Indiana communities.
The Public Policy Institute includes:
Center for Civic Literacy: The Center for Civic Literacy examines the causes and effects of Americans’ low levels of civic knowledge. It also promotes tools to help educators and others improve civic understanding.

Center for Health and Justice Research: CHJR works with public safety agencies and social services organizations to conduct impartial applied research on criminal justice and public safety issues.

Center for Research on Inclusion & Social Policy: CRISP analyzes and disseminates community-relevant research about social disparities and complex policy issues with the goal of supporting and improving outcomes for Central Indiana organizations.

Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations: The Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations facilitates communication and cooperation between federal, state, and local units of government to improve services for Indiana citizens.

See Recent Impact & Outcomes: https://policyinstitute.iu.edu/impact-outcomes/index.html
- PPI findings helped inform a new law that standardizes how coroners handle possible overdoses.
- PPI helped determine what to consider when Indianapolis was choosing the locations for 4000 new street lights, Operation Night Light PPI interviewed experts and led public forums to identify the key factors for street lights placement and created an interactive mapping tool that shows the areas of highest need.
- PPI's multiyear Thriving Communities, Thriving State project examined Indiana’s changing demographics and economic realities through urban, mid-sized, and rural communities—all to provide a clearer view forward for Hoosier citizens and leaders.
- Support for refugees: To help refugee teens from other countries who recently moved to Indianapolis, PPI partnered with the IUPUI Welcoming Campus Initiative and the Immigrant Welcome Center on the RHYME mentoring program.
Improving criminal justice responses
- The Mobile Crisis Assistance Team (MCAT) pilot program launched in August 2017 in Indianapolis. MCAT integrates police, paramedics, and behavioral health specialists into teams that respond to emergency calls involving people with mental health or substance use issues. PPI researchers evaluated the program’s first five months to identify MCAT’s early outcomes, barriers, and areas for improvement.

In support of American democracy and access to fair voting, in 2018, IU President McRobbie was co-chair of a National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) committee which published a report titled, Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy. The report, shared with the State Department and Congress, "recommends steps that the federal government, state and local governments, election administrators, and vendors of voting technology should take to improve the security of election infrastructure. In doing so, the report provides a vision of voting that is more secure, accessible, reliable, and verifiable."

IU's support of Title VI and broadened access for underserved students: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2018/01/iub/inside/29-title-vi-provides-boost-for-international-programs.html

IU POLIS Center, SAVI: As one of the country’s first public online tools for community data, SAVI is a leader in creating web tools that don’t just show community-level data, but present information in context. By balancing a simple user experience and analytical power, we have created award winning web tools to support community development, non-profits, education initiatives, and more.

Civic Engagement:
IUPUI has repeatedly received national recognition as a civically engaged campus. In 2018, 72.9% of students were registered to vote, and the university was recognized with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Silver Seal and Voter Friendly Campus designation. In 2020, IUPUI was named one of Washington Monthly's Best Colleges for Student Voting.

During this election year, IUPUI is participating in the 2020 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to increase first-year student voter registration and engagement of minority students and to develop a strong student outreach campaign.

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.