Michael A. McRobbie became the eighteenth president of Indiana University on July 1, 2007. IU is one of the largest university systems in the U.S. with eight campuses, a total budget of more than $3 billion, and more than 9,000 faculty, 11,000 staff, and nearly 115,000 students.
McRobbie joined IU in 1997 as vice president for information technology and chief information officer, and was appointed vice president for research in 2003. He was named interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for IU’s Bloomington campus in 2006, and became president the following year.
As president, McRobbie has refocused IU around six Principles of Excellence—an excellent education, world-class research and scholarship, an outstanding faculty, enhanced international engagement, excellence in health sciences, and in engagement. Supporting these core principles is an essential framework of excellence in the four areas of advancement, infrastructure and facilities, information technology, and administration.
Under McRobbie’s leadership, IU has seen a major expansion in the size and quality of its student body; a large-scale academic restructuring, during which eight schools have been newly established or reconfigured; a reinvigoration of the global partnerships that support the university’s international academic and educational programs; the construction or renovation of more than 70 major new facilities across all campuses with a total value of over $2 billion; the completion of the $1.1 billion “Matching the Promise” endowment campaign at IU Bloomington and the $1.39 billion “IMPACT” campaign on the Indianapolis campus; and the launch of the $2.5 billion “For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.” McRobbie also oversaw the development of The Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, a sweeping set of strategic initiatives that will guide the university’s work across all campuses in the years leading to Indiana University’s 200th anniversary in 2020.
In addition to his duties as president, McRobbie serves on several outside committees and organizations. He serves as co-chair of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on the Future of Voting: Accessible, Reliable, Verifiable Technology. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. He is a former chair of the Board of Trustees of Internet2, and the former chair of the Board of Directors of the Digital Preservation Network. He is a member and former chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, and a member and former chair of University Research Associates, which is responsible for Fermi Lab.
McRobbie is a member of the board of directors of the Indiana University Health system—one of the largest and most highly regarded hospital systems in the U.S.—and the OneAmerica insurance company, based in Indianapolis.
McRobbie also holds faculty appointments in computer science, philosophy, cognitive science, informatics, library and information science, and computer technology, and has been an active researcher in information technology and logic over his career. He has been the principal investigator on several major grants, has published a number of books and many articles, and has served on numerous editorial boards and conference committees.
A native of Australia, McRobbie received a Ph.D. from the Australian National University in 1979, and has honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland (2007); Sung Kyun Kwan University in Korea (2008); the Australian National University (2010); the South East European University in Macedonia (2011), which IU helped found; and Griffith University in Australia (2014). In 2013, Thailand’s National Institute for Development Administration awarded him its Prince Naradhip Bongsprabandha Plaque for services to international education.
He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012 and is an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. In 2007, he was made a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor the State of Indiana can bestow on a private individual. And, in 2010, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, Australia’s national honors system. In 2012, he was listed as one of America’s 10 most popular university presidents.
In 2014, McRobbie received the Anti-Defamation League’s “Man of Achievement Award,” which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community, justice, and equal opportunity for all.
In 2015, the Australian National University honored him as Alumnus of the Year.
In 2016, he received the International Center’s International Citizen of the Year Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the globalization of Indiana.