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University of Indianapolis Announces Accreditation for Engineering Programs, $1.8 Million Gift, and Establishment of High School Partnership

The University of Indianapolis announced today that the R.B. Annis School of Engineering bachelor’s degree programs in Industrial & Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

“We’re very excited to announce this accreditation. It’s been the culmination of several years of hard work and is a testament to our faculty, current students, and recent graduates,” said Associate Dean and Director of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering Dr. Ken Reid. “Having the ABET seal shows to outside parties about our program’s legitimacy what we and our corporate and community partners knew to be true: That we have a world-class faculty and curriculum here at the Annis School.”

Sought worldwide, ABET’s voluntary peer-review process is highly respected because it adds critical value to academic programs in the technical disciplines, where quality, precision and safety are of the utmost importance.

Developed by technical professionals from ABET’s member societies, ABET criteria focus on what students experience and learn. ABET accreditation reviews look at program curricula, faculty, facilities, and institutional support and are conducted by teams of highly skilled professionals from industry, academia and government, with expertise in the ABET disciplines.

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with ISO 9001:2015 certification. It currently accredits 4,361 programs at 850 colleges and universities in 41 countries and areas.

More information about ABET, its member societies and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs can be found at www.abet.org.  

Zane and Frances Todd Gift

The University of Indianapolis has received a $1.8 million gift from Zane and Frances Todd. The gift will be used to establish the Zane and Frances Todd Merit and Leadership Scholars Fund endowment, which will support students majoring in STEM-related fields, with a special emphasis on engineering. 

Zane Todd, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Indianapolis Power and Light Company, served on the UIndy Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1991 and served as the Chair of the Board from 1981 to 1991. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from UIndy in 1993. He and his wife, Frances, who also worked at IPL, were married for 29 years. 

“We are grateful to the Todds for their generous support of our students and their futures,” said Interim President Phil Terry. “The University remains dedicated to ensuring our students have access to the best education we can offer and gifts like these not only allow us expand access, but also to build upon our strong programs. We look forward to continuing the growth of our STEM programs here at UIndy.” 

“Zane and Frances Todd had an incredible vision for the future of engineering at UIndy even before the R.B. Annis School of Engineering was established,” said Dr. Ken Reid, associate dean and director of the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. “Now, we are fulfilling that vision and building upon it to cultivate the next generation of talented, innovative engineers.”

The gift will also be used to fund the Frances and Zane Todd Merit and Leadership Scholars in Health Sciences and Nursing scholarship funds. The scholarships will have preference for non-traditional students, in honor of Zane’s own background, including students who are working to fund their education; students who have been honorably discharged from military service; students who have children for which they have financial responsibility; and students who are married.

High School Partnerships

The University also announced today its partnership with four Indianapolis-area high schools to help provide incentive to area students to attend higher education as well as provide those high schools with the resources available within the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. The four high schools involved in the partnership are Fishers High School, Pike High School, Perry Meridian High School and Southport High School.

Each year, representatives from those schools will select one prospective engineering student, based on their own criteria, and the University of Indianapolis will award them—contingent upon their acceptance at the University—with a full-tuition scholarship to study at the R.B. Annis School of Engineering. Additionally, faculty from the R.B. Annis School commit to making themselves available to visit these partner schools to give talks or help in classrooms. 

“Right now, just 54% of Indiana high school seniors are pursuing 4-year college degrees, we want to do our part to increase that number and better prepare students for higher education,” said Reid. “These partnerships will allow us to work more closely with the students and teachers in these schools to help strengthen engineering within K-12, and prepare those students for higher education and to prepare them for STEM careers.”

Phil Terry, interim president at the University added, “The Annis School is meeting a critical need in our state’s economy by preparing career-ready engineers who are trained in a culture of collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship.” 

Students and faculty in the School are building community and industry connections through the Annis School’s Design-Spine curriculum with partners that include Crane Naval Base, Citizens Energy, Huntington Bank, Anthem NGS, Easterseals Crossroads and others. The class of 2022 had a 96% placement rate upon graduation with an average salary of over $72,000.