From IU-HBCU to IU-MSI
In the fall of 2006, Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert hired The Barthwell Group to create the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative originally designed to establish long-term, mutually beneficial, highly interactive relationships among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). By 2009, twelve HBCUs became partner institutions in the Initiative. The university supported this initiative in order to create a pipeline of underrepresented minority students who were equipped to enter and succeed in graduate programs leading to masters and Ph.D. degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
In its original formulation, the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative also intended to support on-going interactions between IU and HBCU faculty - strenghtening research ties, expanding the research expertise of HBCU faculty, and extending the training of undergraduates on their home campuses.
In 2007, as part of the larger IU-HBCU STEM Initiative, Charlie Nelms, then IU Vice President of Institutional Development and Student Affair, lead the effort to create the STEM Summer Scholars Institute (SSI). The STEM SSI was created as an eight-week intensive summer research experience for high-ability students from the partner institutions. The STEM SSI operated in the summer on IU’s core campuses (Bloomington and Indianapolis) where faculty mentors provided research expertise and mentorship for the SSI participants. Shortly after the creation of the STEM SSI, Edwin Marshall took over as an IU Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs. Dr. Marshall oversaw the development of the initiative until 2013.
In 2015, James C. Wimbush, the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, was approached by the Department of Navy HBCU/MI program about replicating the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative model. However, the model had not been fully develop regarding the faculty collaborations and research components. The Department of Navy program invited IU to write a white paper that lead to a full proposal and a five-year grant. This investment changed the name of the initiative to the IU-MSI STEM Initiative, as the partnership expanded to include Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, along with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.