September 4, 1986
On this day, newly appointed Indiana University vice president and IUPUI chancellor Gerald Bepko addressed the IUPUI faculty and focused on two major commitments: to improve IUPUI undergraduate education and to build a new "main campus library."
Bepko's speech was his first public address since succeeding Glenn W. Irwin as IUPUI chancellor. In the 1970s and into the 1980s, campus leaders had worked to consolidate programs on the near-westside campus, moving programs from 38th Street and elsewhere downtown. A major hurdle was the inadequate library collections that supported these programs. Simply put, the library didn't hold many books and journals.
The first step was to automate library holdings to meet the new challenges posed by the emerging digital world. Campus leaders celebrated the inplementation of an online catalog in 1990. In the coming years, Bepko and his colleague William M. Plater, dean of the faculties and executive vice chancellor, worked to plan a new University Library. They worked closely with University Library director Barbara Fischler to envision and design a physical structure both technologically advanced to support major digital infrastructures that would supply content to IUPUI faculty and students, and large enough to hold expanded collections of monographs and journals. With financial support from generous donors, the university broke ground for the new University Library building in 1990 and completed construction in 1993.
To chart IUPUI's path to becoming a major institution of higher education, please visit IUPUI Special Collections and Archives firstname.lastname@example.org.