Ivy Tech outlines building expansion project

The Herald-Times
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
By Jon Blau 331-4266 | jblau@heraldt.comheraldtimesonline.com

Ivy Tech has completed renderings of what it expects the main academic building on the Bloomington campus to look like when an expansion project is completed in January 2016.

The community college received $20 million from the state Legislature in July for a $24 million project, which will create 83,680 square feet of space in a two-story addition of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. The project will nearly double the number of classrooms in the building, from 29 to 57, as well as adding 13 new labs, 33 offices, a dining commons and a lecture hall that can fit up to 400 people.

Ivy Tech Community College’s board of trustees must approve the project in April, but the college hopes to receive bids for the project in February and start construction on the new wing of the academic building in late spring or early summer of 2014.

Chancellor John Whikehart said the most “special” aspect of the building project coming to fruition was simply that: the plan moving forward. The college has been planning this expansion since 2007.

“It’s funny, hearing the talk around campus, ‘Gosh, things are really moving quickly,’ with bidding and the groundbreaking,” Whikehart said. “But this has been a seven-year journey.”

Whikehart said the new plan has remnants from 2007, but much of it has been updated, taking into consideration changes over the past few years. With Bloomingfoods having a presence on the campus — the local grocer didn’t in 2007 — the renderings released Friday allowed for the business to expand its role in a larger dining commons. Students have been “deprived” of the eating space when conferences come to the college, Whikehart said. Food service space under the renovation plans will increase from 700 to 1,125 square feet. The student commons allocation will jump from 2,180 to 3,940 square feet.

The plans for the expansion once included a fitness center, Whikehart said, but that has been axed because the YMCA recently opened a new facility on the city’s west side. Whikehart said the college could partner with the YMCA to get memberships for Ivy Tech students, and the “Y” could also provide a training ground for students in Ivy Tech’s early childhood education programs.

Along with increasing space on the campus, the expansion will reduce the amount of off-campus space Ivy Tech will have to lease. The building will be able to accommodate all of the programs in rented space on the east side of Liberty Drive, saving the college about $250,000 a year in lease payments, according to Whikehart. Ivy Tech will still rent space in the former MCL Restaurant and Bakery building, because it has an industrial-size kitchen for the school’s culinary programs, which the institution can’t easily replicate.

The expansion of the academic building comes as Ivy Tech begins renovations on the Pain Real Estate building, purchased with the help of the county. The campus library will be moved to that building, allowing for the current library space in the Ferguson building to be transformed into a computer lab and testing center. There is currently 1,100 square feet of tutoring and writing lab space in the main academic building, but, after renovations, there should be 2,050 square feet set aside for those purposes.

Ivy Tech’s renderings for the new wing also show “shelled out” spaces, Whikehart said, leaving the college with the flexibility to create new classroom or lab space as program needs become more apparent.

The renderings also reflect another reality — the college will need more money to make it happen. A capital campaign will be initiated to raise the additional $4 million for the project, Whikehart said, but, for now, the architect’s rendering of the new lecture space depicts the stage. Above it reads: “Donor Opportunity Lecture Hall.”

Ivy Tech expansion exterior

Ivy Tech expansion exterior

The planned northwest entry of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington is seen in this architect’s rendering. Work on the two-story addition is expected to start in the spring or early summer, adding 28 classrooms, 13 labs, 33 offices and a large lecture hall, and expanding other areas. Schmidt Associates | Courtesy image

Ivy Tech proposed dining commons

Ivy Tech proposed dining commons

Rendering of proposed dining commons in the enlarged Ferguson Building at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus. Schmidt Associates | Courtesy image

Ivy Tech planned lecture hall

Ivy Tech planned lecture hall

Rendering of proposed lecture hall in the enlarged Ferguson Building at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington.  Schmidt Associates | Courtesy image

Whikehart’s leadership has paid dividends to Ivy Tech campus, students and beyond

The Herald-Times, OurOpinion
November 23, 2013

John Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech Bloomington Campus. Staff photo by Chris Howell

In his 12 years in Bloomington, he envisioned what he believed students at Ivy Tech needed to be successful in life. He has set goals for the campus and pursued them doggedly. When he saw gaps in the community, he sent college resources to fill them.

In that time, the campus has taken its place as a major contributor to life in this region, not simply as an alternative — or worse, an afterthought — to Indiana University. Under Whikehart’s leadership, Ivy Tech and its students have melded into the infrastructure of its service area.

Some of this has been through a civic engagement initiative begun in the 2003-2004 academic year that was portrayed as standing on three legs: individual volunteering, service learning and using institutional resources in support of the greater community. Whikehart wanted Ivy Tech’s students to become involved in public service, to understand the concept of giving back and to learn about issues larger than those on their campus. This goal was met in a number of ways, including the establishment of the Center for Civic Engagement and the O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, which occurs every spring.

Important campus directions can be seen in four other centers of excellence unique to the Ivy Tech-Bloomington campus: the Center for Lifelong Learning; the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences; the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship; and the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

That last one, the arts center, shows Whikehart’s ability to see a niche and jump in with campus resources. The college took over the arts center facility when it was in danger of closing. It’s given Ivy Tech a presence downtown and spun off dozens of opportunities related to the arts for Ivy Tech students and the greater community.

Academic options have grown dramatically. As enrollment grew from 2,600 to 7,000 since Whikehart was named chancellor, academic options have exploded. A legislative bill on which Whikehart worked has made it much easier for students to study for two years at the community college then move on to Indiana University or another four-year school. The number of transfer credit hours IU will accept from Ivy Tech has grown from 39 to 400. At least two dozen new associate degrees are in place.

The college has creatively filled the workforce needs of partner businesses. A prime example came in 2006, when Ivy Tech provided workforce training to nearly 1,400 employees of the French Lick and West Baden resorts. Another example involves designing an associate degree program in radiation therapy, which was needed by the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute (now the IU Health Proton Therapy Center).

While the campus was transforming, Whikehart also was busy engaging in Bloomington and Monroe County. He’s served on 26 boards and commissions over the past 12 years, and currently serves on eight.

He’s elevated the stature and success of Ivy Tech to heights that would have previously seemed unreachable. His successor will have a blueprint from which to build — and a tough act to follow.

Posted in Opinion on Saturday, November 23, 2013 12:15 am.

Bloomington Ivy Tech chancellor to retire

Indiana Daily Student
By Alli Friedman | IDS

UPDATED AT 12:38 AM ON Nov. 22, 2013

After 22 years of service to Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington campus Chancellor John Whikehart announced this week his retirement, effective Jan. 15, 2014.

Whikehart has been a leader in Bloomington for 12 years and has increased Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus enrollment by 150 percent since 2001.

“It’s been amazing to witness the transformation of this institution from both a vocational/technical school when I first started in 1991 to a comprehensive community college,” Whikehart said. “It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve had the great good fortune to work with some wonderful faculty and staff on this campus.”

Whikehart said he will miss his co-workers because they’ve provided a family experience.

“We’ve had so many successes on this campus; one of them, clearly, is the relationship we’ve developed with Indiana University Bloomington,” Whikehart said. “In the 12 plus years I’ve been here, the collaborations, the educational partnerships, the transfer credit opportunities that we’ve created for students so they can move seamlessly between our two institutions, has been an accomplishment of which I’m very proud, and I’m very proud to have worked with colleagues at Indiana University.”

During his 12 years, Whikehart established the Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for Lifelong Learning, the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences, the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.
Kenneth Gros Louis, IU chancellor emeritus, worked closely with Whikehart between 2004 to 2006 to increase the number of courses that could be transferred from IU Bloomington to Ivy Tech.

“He was so wonderful to work with,” Gros Louis said. “Everyone I know in the community is extremely fond of John and our main concern over the last decade is that he was so good that he might be taken away and moved to the central office in Indianapolis.”

Gros Louis said Whikehart greatly improved the Ivy Tech’s quality.

“From my observations over the years, the Bloomington Ivy Tech, especially under John, is probably the best, if not one of the best Ivy Tech campuses in the state, and that’s really due to his leadership and through his involvement,” he said.

Though Whikehart is retiring from Ivy Tech, he said he is not retiring from life.

“I’m going to see what’s out there, explore opportunities, and I hope that I can make or continue to make a contribution to our community, the Bloomington community,” Whikehart said.

Mayor Mark Kruzan has known Whikehart since 1986, when he was elected to be a state representative for Bloomington in the Indiana General Assembly, and Whikehart was on the senate Democratic staff of the Indiana senate.

“He truly loves the student body,” Kruzan said. “It’s important to him that everybody has an opportunity to improve themselves.”

Kruzan said the City of Bloomington has benefited from his leadership because he is a strong advocate for civic engagement who has worked hard to encourage Ivy Tech’s staff, faculty and students to get involved in the community.

“John built a team that transformed Ivy Tech into a true community and regional institution,” Mayor Kruzan said. “His commitment is to the principle that everyone should be empowered to achieve their potential. You just don’t meet that many individuals for whom every person’s future is important to him.”

Follow reporter Alli Friedman on Twitter @afreedz.

Ivy Tech’s John Whikehart to retire in January

The Herald Times

Ivy Tech’s John Whikehart to retire in January

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:27 am, Fri Nov 22, 2013.

By Jon Blau
331-4266 | jblau@heraldt.com

Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor John Whikehart had a set of numbers on his mind for how long he wanted to wait before retirement: 20 years at the college and 10 years as Bloomington chancellor.

As of this week, he was approaching 23-13, a bit longer than he had anticipated. It was still a shock to the college community when Whikehart announced Thursday he will be leaving Jan. 15. He had notified Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder Nov. 11 of his decision, and Whikehart had his wife, Linda, by his side when he told the rest of the staff in Bloomington Thursday, a week and a half later.

“It’s that old saying, ‘It’s better to leave five years too early than five days too late,’” Whikehart said. “I’d rather retire now than wait a few years and have people saying ‘Thank God he’s leaving.’”

The college has been in the process of creating a new nursing school and expanding its main academic building, which has left Whikehart with enough incentive to stay even longer and see this through. But Whikehart has already accomplished a lot during his tenure.

Under Whikehart’s leadership, Ivy Tech has transformed from a vocational school to a larger community college. The Ivy Tech Bloomington campus has grown about 150 percent — 2,600 students to 6,500 students — from 2001 to present. Whikehart has also spearheaded efforts with the state Legislature and Indiana University to allow for increased credit-transfer opportunities for Ivy Tech students.

Looking back on his career with the college, Whikehart is proud of how the college has integrated into the Bloomington community, as well, helping maintain the John Waldron Arts Center’s presence downtown.

“John has been an incredible partner in re-engineering Ivy Tech,” Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder said. “I’m hoping to have his guidance and counsel as long as I’m here, but I recognize that chancellor is a 24-7 responsibility. A person in that role sacrifices a lot in service to the community.”

Whikehart said Brad Thurmond, vice chancellor of academic affairs at Ivy Tech Bloomington, will assume responsibilities as interim chancellor when Whikehart officially steps down.

Snyder said he expects the search process to take four to six months, but Whikehart will remain as a “chancellor emeritus,” helping with the transition and continuing to serve on committees with the college, primarily focusing on fundraising.

Whikehart said he also hopes to find another position in the Bloomington community, but he was not sure what that might be. This is the second loss for Ivy Tech in less than two months. Joyce Rogers, the Ivy Tech system’s vice president for development, left in October for a position with the IU Foundation.

“That’s just life in an organization. People come and people go,” Whikehart said. “Whoever comes onto this campus will be extremely fortunate.”

Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart announces retirement

November 21, 2013

Ivy Tech-Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart announces retirement

Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor John R. Whikehart announced this week his retirement effective January 15, 2014, after 22 years of service with the college.

Whikehart has led the Bloomington region since 2001, which officially includes a six-county service area of Lawrence, Greene, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, and Owen counties, and recently also serving Brown and Orange counties. Under his leadership, enrollment at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus has grown by 150 percent, from 2,600 students at the Westbury complex in 2001, to 6,500 students served today at its main campus location at 200 Daniels Way.

“In my 22 years with the college, I have had the good fortune to witness the metamorphosis of Ivy Tech from a vocational and technical school into Indiana’s comprehensive community college,” Whikehart said. “It has been my honor to have led the Bloomington campus for the past 12 years, and to have worked with such a committed group of faculty and staff who have always put the success of our students above all else. Ivy Tech has been more than my employer over these 22 years. Linda and I feel strongly that it has been part of our family, and we have been blessed by the experience.”

In the past 12 years, Whikehart established five centers of excellence unique Ivy Tech-Bloomington: the Center for Civic Engagement (2004), the Center for Lifelong Learning (2007), the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences (2009), the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship (2010), and the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center (2010).

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service, which Whikehart created, is a program of the Center for Civic Engagement that brings together the community each spring to discuss topics related to volunteerism, nonprofits, education, and political and civic service. The inaugural Institute was launched in 2004 as a one-day event featuring keynote speaker, Judy O’Bannon. Today, this signature event takes place over three days and keynote speakers have included former U.S Senators such as Birch Bayh, presidential nominee George McGovern, Pulitzer-prize winning authors and journalists such as Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tom Brokaw, Governors, political advisers and columnists such as George F. Will, and former First Lady of the United States, Laura W. Bush.

The Center for Civic Engagement also tracks the total value of campus volunteerism, service-learning, and space donations. Last year alone, Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus made a $2.35 million economic contribution to the communities it serves.

In 2003, Whikehart was instrumental in House Bill No. 1209, the statewide transfer and articulation initiative that expanded course transfer options between state educational institutions. This transfer bill was the pathway that led Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington to offer Liberal Arts degrees that transfer to Indiana University Bloomington, now recognized among Ivy Tech campuses statewide. Ivy Tech-Bloomington has grown from offering only 39 transfer credit hours to more than 400 today.

In 2004, Whikehart launched “Grow Ivy Tech,” a capital campaign that succeeded its goal of $3 million, with a total of $5.3 million raised. Since then, Ivy Tech-Bloomington has raised a total of $22 million, averaging $2.4 million annually.

Whikehart has led the campus to receiving a total of $7.8 million in grants and awards, including a $1.2 million Strategic Skills Initiative (SSI) grant for workforce development, which was the second-highest award in the state, and the result of a partnership with the Monroe County Redevelopment Commission and County Commissioners to build the ICLS. The campus was also awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation grant for advancement of life sciences.

In 2006, Ivy Tech-Bloomington was awarded a $200,000 SSI grant, and created the “5-Star Program” to provide workforce training to nearly 1,400 employees of the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind.

Earlier this year, Whikehart earned approval from the legislature to move forward with a $24 million Phase II building expansion project, which is slated for completion in the 2015-16 academic year. Additionally, Ivy Tech-Bloomington has acquired a $1.6 million building on its main campus, and plans to move the School of Nursing across the street to the new building, opening in fall 2014.

During his tenure as Chancellor, Ivy Tech-Bloomington has received countless awards, including recently being named Employer of the Year by the National MS Society. The campus also received the 2013 Monroe County Community School Corporation Celebration of Success Partner Recognition Award. In 2012, Ivy Tech-Bloomington earned the Ivy Tech Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction. Other awards received include the 2011 Maurice E. Endwright Award by the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce, the 2010 Diane Breeden-Lee Community Catalyst Award from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, the 2009 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement, six consecutive U.S President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Awards, the 2007 State of Indiana Career and Technical Education, and the 2005 Employer Recognition Award from Stone Belt, among others.

He has served on 26 local boards and commissions as member or director, and currently serves the Monroe County NAACP, Bloomington Utilities Service Board, Region 8-Indiana Workforce Board, Indiana University Credit Union Board, Bloomington Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Salvation Army Advisory Board, City of Bloomington Board of Public Safety, and the Indiana Campus Compact Executive Committee.

Whikheart will be named Chancellor Emeritus and has asked to serve in a volunteer capacity as co-chair of the upcoming capital campaign, and to assist with the 2014 annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service.

Chancellor John Whikehart



Super Science Saturday offers the right formula for families

The Herald Times

Super Science Saturday offers the right formula for families

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:00 am

By Lindsey Erdody
331-4368 | lerdody@heraldt.com


Amelia Chong | Herald-Times

Dezikru and Dezikri Amrullah, 10 and 6, watch as a volunteer demonstrates ethanol precipitation to “clean” DNA during Super Science Saturday at the Ivy Tech Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. Due to the good turnout — at least 351 people — on Saturday, there are plans to make the event an annual affair, said co-organizer and Ivy Tech faculty member Sarah Cote.

Adults and kids stood huddled together wearing thick yellow gloves vigorously shaking clear plastic bags filled with ice. It didn’t look like anything at first, but after 10 minutes, it became edible.

The make your own ice cream stand at Ivy Tech Community College’s Super Science Saturday was a popular stop for families, as a line continuously formed next to the table.

Ivy Tech associate professor Sarah Cote was one of five faculty members who organized the event and said it quickly exceeded their expectations when people started arriving at 9:45 a.m., and the event didn’t start until 10:30.

“By 10:30 a.m., we had a line out the door,” Cote said.

By 11 a.m., the parking lot at the Indiana Center for the Life Sciences was full, and more than 100 people had already attended, which was all Cote said they were planning on for the two-hour event.

Hilarie Morozoua brought her four kids there because they love science experiments and don’t get the chance to do many at home.

“We thought, well, we’ll come and check it out,” Morozoua said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but this is really cool.”

Morozoua said a great part about it was the variety in the activity stations. In addition to making ice cream, kids could create lava lamps in plastic bottles, build candy DNA, make elephant toothpaste, learn about owl pellets and extract iron from breakfast cereal.

Nelson Shaffer, section head of Indiana Geological Survey, brought his 2-year-old granddaughter to the event as a way to get her interested in science at a young age.

“I hope that the little one will grow up to be a scientist,” Shaffer said.

He said she was a little young to enjoy some of booths, but she did love one activity where ketchup is dropped into a water bottle and sinks to the bottom.

There were about 25 booths staffed by Ivy Tech students participating from nine classes either to fulfill a service learning requirement or for extra credit. Some of the students created the activities themselves, and others were suggested by the faculty.

“You never know a topic as well as when you teach it,” Cote said. “It really gets them connected to the community.”

It was the first time the classes have done an event on their own, Cotes said, mentioning they usually assist at a science night or help at WonderLab.

She said given the great turnout, it’s definitely something they’ll continue.

Morozoua said if the event is held again, they’d definitely come back.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Morozoua said.

Photos: Super Science Saturday
Super Science Saturday took place on Nov. 16 at the Ivy Tech Indiana Center for the Life Sciences. Organizers confirmed that at least 351 children and their parents attended the event; co-organizer and Ivy Tech professor Sarah Cote said that the good turnout encouraged the team to make the event an annual affair.


Ivy Tech-Bloomington named Employer of the Year by Indiana Chapter of the National MS Society

November 12, 2013

Ivy Tech-Bloomington named Employer of the Year by Indiana Chapter of the National MS Society

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus was named Employer of the Year by the Indiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at its annual Moving Forward event, held on Saturday, November 2 in Indianapolis.

“It is truly and honor for Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington to be recognized as Employer of the Year by the National MS Society and I am humbled,” said Chancellor John Whikehart. “Ivy Tech-Bloomington works hard to employ a diverse body of faculty and staff, which only broadens and enriches the lives of our students, and creates an inclusive and welcoming work environment where employees can excel in their positions.”

Elizabeth Lyon, Ivy Tech-Bloomington International Student Services Coordinator, says that Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus is worthy of this recognition because of its commitment to go above and beyond what is expected. Lyon was diagnosed with MS in 2002, and nominated the campus for this prestigious award.

“Forward thinking leader, Chancellor John Whikehart, saw potential in me that could be a real win for the college,” Lyon said. “More than once, he placed me into jobs with steep learning curves, instead of limiting the college and me to ‘reasonable accommodations’ required by law. To him, those were simply details.”

Lyon says that Chancellor Whikehart knew that given the right working environment and job to do, that she could deliver in her role at the college. He was right.

Two years ago, just days before the start of the academic year, Lyon was moved into her current position advising international students, which required intensely specialized training. Today, Ivy Tech-Bloomington enjoys a 105 percent increase in international student enrollment.

“At Ivy Tech-Bloomington, I see past disability and see ability,” Whikehart said.

“When an employer believes in abilities, the results can be of a global magnitude, literally,” Lyon said.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society–Indiana State Chapter’s Moving Forward event is an opportunity for the entire Hoosier MS community to come together in celebration of the ways in which we are moving toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. The annual event allows the Chapter’s constituents to learn more about the many ways in which the Society is fulfilling its mission of mobilizing people and resources to drive research for a cure and address the needs of all people affected by MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
For more than fifty years, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org) has been dedicated to its mission of mobilizing people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Indiana State Chapter of the National MS Society provides help for today—through numerous programs for families living with MS—and hope for tomorrow through national research to find a cure.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities.  In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.