September 18, 1969
On this day, the Indiana University School of Business launched its first four-year baccalaureate degree program at the Indianapolis campus. For the first time, IUPUI students could complete a B.S. degree in business by taking all their courses in Indianapolis.
Previously, most IU programs in Indianapolis (for many years known as IU-Indianapolis Extension and later IU-Downtown Campus and then IU-Indianapolis) required students to complete upper-level coursework at IU-Bloomington. This arrangement meant that library and other research resources at Indianapolis and other Extension campuses were kept minimal and unable to support advanced studies. In essence, Indianapolis and the other campuses served merely as feeder programs for Bloomington. Despite Indianapolis being the banking, industrial, and business center of the state, students could not simultaneously be employed in business and complete a business degree in the city.
The IUPUI business program started out humbly as the Division of Business. The tiny full-time faculty resided in temporary digs, moving three times in three years. Writing in the 1972 IUPUI accreditation self-study, division administrators expressed the aspiration to be "on the west side campus near the [downtown] Business community and other related academic disciplines such as Law." They had to wait a few more years until the Business/SPEA building opened in 1981.
The 1969 business B.S. was just the tenth baccalaureate degree available at the newly created IUPUI. Many more degree programs came online in the coming years. Today IUPUI is the most comprehensive university in the state.
To learn about IUPUI's close connections to Indianapolis business, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.
Check in every day during IUPUI's 50th Anniversary to read about what happened On This Day in IUPUI History.