The real measure of a university is the performance of its students, faculty, and alumni. There is a strong relationship between student achievement and the character of both the faculty and the administration. Ideally, from our perspective at least, the faculty should be predominantly neither those who pursue scholarship at the exclusion of teaching nor those who consider teaching to be their sole responsibility.
Our model is the teacher-scholar, who combines the best of both in a manner that results in teaching that is enhanced by scholarship. This pretty much reflects the kind of institution we are, situated between the purely teaching colleges and the mammoth research institutions. The university's learning and scholarly environment is affected also by the extent to which the administration has the ability and the contacts to create opportunities, and by the extent to which university leadership promotes the values that sustain the institution and point it toward the next level of excellence.
During the past year our IUP students continued to achieve in remarkable ways. Many of their achievements have been reported in the pages of this magazine. In this issue, for example, is news about Luke Matthews and the Ali-Zaidi Award and about IUP’s excellent showing in Sears Cup athletic competition. IUP students have won Fulbright, National Science Foundation, and Phi Kappa Phi awards and have appeared on the USA Today All-American Academic team. They’ve won performance recognition with saxophones and set design. The list is too long to publish here—and it is growing every day.
The football team won the conference championship. The men’s basketball team advanced to the Final Four nationally. Individually, IUP athletes won twelve All-American citations last year, not to mention three Academic All-American awards. In this issue of IUP Magazine is a story about our national champion in the javelin and about the student who finished second—and who is also from IUP.
Our graduates have won admission and fellowship support this year to such distinguished graduate, law, and medical schools as Cambridge University in England, Princeton, Georgetown, New York University, University of Virginia, Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of North Carolina. Our candidates for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, Luke Matthews and Larry Skillin, startled the Marshall selection committee with applications that surpassed in strength and merit those from over half the Ivy League applicants.
Many other students won a variety of local awards, graduated with honors, high honors, or highest honors, and entered the job market with impressive first job assignments. Still others distinguished themselves with internship assignments around the world. Many were honored for their public service and humanitarian activities.
The world around us is changing rapidly, and our environment is ever more competitive. IUP must change too, and we are, but not so rapidly as some of us would wish. But no matter how we change in the pursuit of excellence and in the interest of protecting our competitive positioning, fundamentally we shall always be the IUP that our alumni remember: a nurturing place that puts the student first, transforms lives, and celebrates each success that our students achieve.