I was in Louisville, KY right before the New Year on a family trip. Louisville is home to several colleges and universities and within a short drive of quite a few. In several respects, the area is not unlike the Memphis metropolitan area where I live. Both cities are in the 1.3 to 1.4 million range of total metropolitan population, and both are river cities. Memphis is in the southwest corner of Tennessee, and the metropolitan area extends across the state borders of both Mississippi (to the south) and Arkansas (to the west across the Mississippi River). The metro Louisville extends the Indiana border to the north across the Ohio River. In both cases, there are colleges just across the border. In Louisville’s case, the eight institutions in the metro area are part of a consortium called the Kentuckiana Metroversity. It is an interesting organization in that students at any member institution can take classes at the others. One of the institutions is Indiana University Southeast, which is located a less than five miles from Louisville as the crow flies and about ten miles driving distance.
I knew all of that before we took this trip, but what I didn’t know was that IU Southeast has a presence in Jeffersonville, IN, which is literally just across the Ohio River from downtown. We hopped across the river so our sons could see the fossil beds located in and around the Ohio on the Indiana side. If you are unfamiliar with Louisville, an ancient reef is exposed by the Ohio there, and you can literally walk along the riverside and see fossils in the rocks. It is a really neat thing to see and there is a nice park on the Indiana side which also provides great views of the Louisville skyline and of the many UPS cargo planes landing and taking off from the airport. We crossed the river on the Clark Memorial Bridge and as we exited in Jeffersonville, we saw a unit of IU Southeast.
What you see here is the IU Southeast Graduate Center. It is home to classrooms and some offices and is a location for classes in business and education. Obviously, this is a rented facility and not a permanent fixture, but I wanted to share it both because I didn’t know it was there and because it reflects something very common in higher education today. Many institutions have graduate centers in metropolitan areas far away from their main campuses. Working adults frequently want to further their educations and grad centers offer institutions the ability to tap into this population and provide options that might not otherwise exist. Virginia Tech, for example, has a campus in Washington DC, and George Washington University, which is located in DC, has a campus in the Virginia suburb Ashburn.
Other than learning that it is a grad center, I was unable to find out when the unit was located here or anything else about it. The area is home to several older structures which have been renovated and are now used for offices, retail, and some museum space. I will leave the history and other information about the main campus of IU Southeast for another time.
This is not the best photo in the world, I know. Just keep in mind that it was taken from my car at a stoplight with my phone!
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University Grounds is a blog about college and university campuses, their buildings and grounds, and the people who live and work on them.
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