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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Hutton Honors College
Indiana University Bloomington


Greetings and Farewell from the Dean

Dear HHC Alumni,

I've lost count of the number of high school seniors who earnestly mentioned, "challenge" when I asked why they hoped to join the Hutton Honors College, i.e., "I seek challenging course work," or "I want classmates and professors who can challenge me intellectually."

Aspiring Hutton students are not alone in seeking a challenge. To wit: faculty members join the HHC to be challenged by students who pose thoughtful questions. Hutton academic advisors know they'll be stretched by advisees working towards multiple degrees, majors, minors, and certificates.

Deans seek a challenge, too. When I joined Hutton in the fall of 2008, I endeavored to grow the program in a manageable way - literally bring in larger numbers of students so as to offer distinctive academic resources to as many young men and women as possible without compromising current students' access to those same resources. Thanks to a dedicated staff, including our academic advisors, extracurricular program experts, student leadership mentors, study abroad and grant professionals, and many others, the HHC has been able to take on board as many as 200 or more students beyond our long-term average (~725 student) in most of the entering fall classes since 2009.

To accommodate more students, more courses have been offered, with fabulous teaching talent recruited from a variety of units on campus including, notably, from IU's professional schools - a departure from historical practice. Growth in honors courses in the HHC as well as in other academic units at IUB is evidence of IU faculty and administrators' growing willingness and interest in making honors-level educational experiences available to high-achieving undergraduates.

There are other trends to recognize. Study abroad by HHC students has recovered since the recession years of 2009-10. HHC's manager of the Hutton International Experiences Program, J.R. Nolasco, can take credit for the turnaround. Remarkably, whereas 25% of IUB undergraduates go overseas at some point in their undergraduate career, 39% of HHC students are studying, interning, or volunteering abroad. We expect Ed Hutton, IU's single most generous patron of international experiences, would be proud. Last year, a new generation of Huttons made their own generous gift for study abroad. If you have wanderlust, it's a good time to be a Hutton student.

The attention to indicators and outcomes is partly driven by a need to "sum up" after 5 years as the HHC dean. This is the last of my newsletter messages to Hutton Honors College alumni. I am headed east for a new adventure at Bates College in Maine. But permit me to save the best for last: I am enormously proud of the impactful work performed by the Hutton Honors College Alumni Association Board of Directors and the IU Alumni Association. The Board boasts incredible talent and has shown unflagging zeal in organizing and sponsoring various Hutton functions, including serving in the HHC Alumni Network, participating in events on campus with current students, helping organize HHCAA events in major US cities, and helping develop the HHCAA presence on the web and in social media. Neither an HHC alumni association nor board existed in 2008; both are alive and well in 2013 thanks to tireless efforts by board president Doug Dayhoff, other board members, and by IUAA's Rachael McAfee. They have been especially generous with their time and are models of enlightened leadership for HHC alumni and students, alike. Professor Edward Gubar, meanwhile, has been the principal author of the HHC alumni newsletter which remains a vital tool to keep you up to date and informed.

This summer, I leave IU after 18 wonderful years. My preparation for a new challenge (returning to the "challenge" theme) is fundamentally a result of experiences working with Hutton staff and faculty who have high expectations of themselves, their dean, and of HHC students. The Hutton team often hits its mark, and that's as it should be, considering that Hutton staff and faculty are good at what they do, they fundamentally care, and they have a compelling mission: to promote the intellectual and personal development of superb students.

I urge all HHC alumni to keep challenging themselves, and also, to help fellow alumni and current HHC students to strive higher.

Thank you and please stay involved with the HHC!


Matthew R. Auer
Dean, Hutton Honors College
Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University


  • Join the Hutton Honors College LinkedIn Alumni site here.
  • Submit HHC Class Notes through the online form on the IU Alumni Association website. There is also a link through the IUAA alumni magazine here.
  • Alums can also send notes in print form or email to IUAA Advancement Data Operations ( Notes for IUAA members will go in the Alumni magazine and HHC publications. IUAA non-member notes will go in the HHC publication only.
  • IUB Fall 2013 Homecoming Information
  • HHC National Award Winners

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