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Alumni gather to meet IU Northwest Chancellor William Lowe

Chancellor discusses the university’s strengths and future plans


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Emily Banas
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Just days before the start of the Fall 2010 semester, Indiana University Northwest Chancellor William Lowe addressed one of the university’s most important constituencies: alumni.

The event, held at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville and hosted by the IU Northwest Alumni Association, the IU Alumni Association - Lakeshore Region Chapter, and the IU Alumni Association, was an opportunity for local alumni to meet the new Chancellor and his wife, IU Northwest First Lady Pamela Lowe.

Dr. Lowe succeeded the previous chancellor, Dr. Bruce Bergland, on July 1, and will be formally installed as the sixth chancellor of IU Northwest on Oct. 29.

The Aug. 26 reception gave the Chancellor a chance to share his vision of IU Northwest with an important group of the university’s supporters. His address touched on the university’s strengths, challenges, priorities, and strategies.

Dr. Lowe also acknowledged that he was greatly looking forward to the beginning of the new semester.

“Even though I’ve been in higher learning for my entire adult life, I still get a kick at the beginning of a new academic year,” he said. “The students and faculty return, and the campus really does burst to life. This year, as the new Chancellor of IU Northwest, I get to share the experiences with the incoming students as we all get to learn about the seasons and pace of campus.”

Dr. Lowe acknowledged that his learning process continues at a brisk pace just a few months into his new job. But he said that several of the institution’s strengths and challenges have already become apparent to him.

“A strength for IU Northwest is that we serve a diverse region and student population that preview the 21st century future of urban, comprehensive higher learning,” he stated. “We are situated in a diverse urban, industrial region of Indiana that is adjacent to one of the nation’s most exciting metropolitan areas. Our student profile reflects the realities of accelerated change in academic learning and distinguishes us, even among other IU regional campuses.”

As for challenges, Chancellor Lowe mentioned the need for more campus space in the wake of the loss of Tamarack Hall to flooding in 2008. He also cited the need for continued investment to support higher enrollments and student success in an environment of dynamic, continuing change, as well as the importance of meeting the university’s high and unsatisfied expectations for community-based engagement.

“These are just some preliminary themes that will be a part of larger planning discussions,” Lowe said.  “There’s plenty to do and plenty of opportunities for members of the entire IU Northwest community, including alumni, to engage, helping us to plan for the future of our campus.”

John Applegate, Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law and IU Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning, and Policy, was in attendance at the event, as was IU Alumni Association President J. Thomas Forbes.

Applegate acknowledged Lowe’s strong wealth of experience and said he would prove to be a strong leader for IU Northwest.

“I have every confidence that the (Chancellor Search) Committee chose well, and that Bill is the right person to lead this campus into the future,” Applegate said. “He knows, having already served in leadership capacities how to guide in a student-centered, urban campus. He understands the dynamics of strategic management; he has a proven history of productive collaboration with communities and engagement with alumni. In short, Bill knows the lay of the land; he knows his business.”

Chancellor Lowe came to IU Northwest from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., where he had served as provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2003. He served as interim president of that university from 2007-2008, and he was also a professor of history.

From 1997-2003, Dr. Lowe was vice president for academic affairs at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. He has also served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit and dean of Graduate Studies at Chicago State University in Chicago. He has also held administrative appointments at State University of New York at Cortland in Cortland, N.Y., and Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio.

Dr. Lowe is active in research and writing in the field of modern Irish history, and he has been a Fulbright Scholar. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Michigan State University and a doctorate in modern history from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.