University of Indianapolis to lead coordination of $9.8M Lilly Endowment grant

INDIANAPOLIS—The University of Indianapolis has received a grant of $9.8 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. through the competitive Phase 3 of its initiative, Charting the Future of Indiana’s Colleges and Universities. The grant will support a collaborative effort coordinated by the University of Indianapolis to improve student retention through the use of data analytics at the partnering universities. The University of Indianapolis, Anderson University, Indiana Institute of Technology, Martin University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the University of Southern Indiana will jointly work to create unique models that increase graduation rates, and year to year retention rates at each of their institutions.

The University of Indianapolis is one of 16 Indiana colleges and universities that will be supported by funding in the final phase of Charting the Future, an initiative designed to help colleges and universities in Indiana assess and prioritize the most significant challenges and opportunities they face as higher education institutions and develop strategies to address them.

This grant will support the collaborative project led by the University of Indianapolis to use predictive analytics to improve student retention and graduation rates. The University of Indianapolis, Anderson University, Indiana Institute of Technology, Martin University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and the University of Southern Indiana will develop customized predictive models to identify students who may leave their schools and their possible reasons for leaving. This grant will allow the schools to provide appropriate interventions which will enable the schools to more effectively utilize their resources to retain students.

“The University of Indianapolis is grateful to Lilly Endowment for its generous support of this project. Higher education’s new design challenge is to find ways to solve some of the most pressing issues at our institutions. By creating data-driven models that help us understand better why and when a student is likely to leave, we will be better able to design interventions and programs to increase and assist them in completing their degrees. By increasing these rates, we can ensure that our students are graduating and supplying the Indiana region with an educated and talented workforce,” said Robert L. Manuel, University of Indianapolis president.

“Indiana’s colleges and universities face myriad challenges as they work to fulfill their educational missions while adapting to growing financial pressures, rapid demographic and technological changes, and evolving needs and demands of students,” said Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We are pleased with the creative and collaborative approaches the colleges and universities are taking to address these challenges and seize opportunities to better serve their students, institutions, communities and the state of Indiana.”

Lilly Endowment launched the three-phased Charting the Future initiative in 2019 to help leaders of the state’s 38 colleges and universities engage in thoughtful discernment about the future of their institutions and to advance strategic planning and implementation efforts to address key challenges and opportunities. Collaboration was encouraged, especially in the third phase of Charting the Future, and several schools proposed collaborative programs and strategies. Through three phases of grantmaking, Lilly Endowment awarded more than $138 million to the schools.

Through earlier rounds of the initiative, all 38 schools received planning grants, which were approved in December 2019, and implementation grants approved in June and September 2020. The implementation grants funded strategies to improve efforts to prepare students for successful futures and strengthen the schools’ long-term institutional vitality.

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. The University is ranked among the top National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of nearly 5,600 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 100+ undergraduate degrees, more than 40 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs. More occupational therapists, physical therapists and clinical psychologists graduate from the University each year than any other state institution. With strong programs in engineering, business, and education, the University of Indianapolis impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.” Learn more: uindy.edu.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community developmenteducation and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.