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Kokomo Perspectives Person of the

Year Michael Harris


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Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:00 am |

Updated: 1:26 pm, Mon Feb 13, 2012.

Indiana University Kokomo is a much different place

than it was a year ago. In fact, it is well on its way to
becoming one of the most important and exciting
locations on the city's map. And it is due to the vision of
Chancellor Michael Harris.
Harris has been in the job for a little more than a year,
having been sworn into service in October 2010. He
wasted little time in making his presence felt
academically, athletically and as a member of the larger
community. It's difficult to know where to start in listing
his accomplishments.
Let's look at the academic changes Harris has instituted
this year. He established a million-dollar nursing
simulation center at the campus with the assistance of St.
Joseph Hospital. This learning facility allows students to
experience healthcare scenarios in an environment that
closely mimics a hospital setting. It is an amazing
addition to a nursing program that already was
renowned for its quality.

Michael Harris

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Harris also led the university through the process to add

10 new degree programs to the Kokomo campus.
Students now can earn Bachelor of Science degrees in
biochemistry and health sciences. In addition, Bachelor
of Science programs were added in biological and
physical sciences, chemistry, biology, psychology,
mathematics, sociology, new media and communication.
To help enhance the university's image as a full-service
educational campus, Harris also instituted online classes
and increased the number of Friday classes offered. And
he brokered an agreement with Ivy Tech Community
College to accept a full range of "core" educational class
credits from the college for those students pursuing a
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Increasing educational opportunities was just one part of

Harris' reshaping of IU Kokomo's academic face. He
also fortified an exchange program with Sungshin
University of South Korea, encouraging students and

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Kokomo Perspectives Person of the Year Michael Harris - Kokomo Perspective: Local News

faculty from both universities to experience education in

a new environment.

The Villages of Indiana

And, in what may be one of the most innovative
mechanisms to make education more accessible to
everyone, Harris oversaw the development of the
Student Success tuition discount program. For those
students who maintain a 30-hour class load each year
and continuous enrollment over four years, along with
academic progress, the university will discount tuition
by an increasing percentage each year -- in effect
discounting a full year of education to the participants.
This program garnered national recognition from the
Lumina Foundation earlier this fall.
No university is complete without an athletics program, however, and Harris aggressively pursued its development.
In less than a year, IU Kokomo had its first women's volleyball program and relaunched its men's basketball
program after a hiatus of nearly 20 years. These first two sports may lead the university to a full offering a athletic
program with the intent of join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
These changes had an immediate and remarkable impact on enrollment. This fall marked the largest number of
students in the school's history -- 3,318 enrollees -- which was driven by a very robust freshman class.

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Harris also made his mark outside of the IU Kokomo campus. Over the summer, he was named to the Indiana
Automotive Council by Gov. Mitch Daniels, and earlier this month he traveled to Washington D.C. to speak on the
importance of regionalism in economic development -- a presentation he has given at the state and local levels as
well. His approach is called the "triple helix," incorporating industry, government and education in an effort to
create regional hubs of innovation that can have a positive impact on economic development across communities.
If this is what Harris was able to accomplish in just one year, imagine what 2012 will bring!



Posted in Local news, Education on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:00 am. Updated: 1:26 pm.

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