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Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Plater photo
Chancellor’s Professor
Director, Office of International Community Development

In July 2006, William M. Plater became the director of the Office of International Community Development, a joint program of the IU Center on Philanthropy and the Center on Urban Policy and the Environment of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In this role he will help coordinate and develop the international work of these two centers in cooperation with campus and university offices of international programs while developing new initiatives to promote international civic engagement. The Office of International Community Development will help build the capacity of cities around the world for democratic processes and civic engagement based on these existing areas of excellence.

Prior to this appointment, Plater served as Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) for 19 years. As the chief academic officer, Plater led campus efforts to improve undergraduate retention, enhance the effective use of technology, develop IUPUI as a model for civic engagement, and increase research productivity as a part of the campus vision to become a leading urban research university. Plater was responsible for faculty appointments and advancements, academic programs, and academic support services. Before assuming this current position, Plater was Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI (1983-87) and Associate Director of the School of Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1977-83).

Plater has become a recognized national leader in undergraduate education and has helped make IUPUI a model of the urban university across the country. Plater has been actively involved in the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American Association for Higher Education, and numerous other national organizations involved with higher education. As one recent example, Plater has led IUPUI in The American Democracy Project, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in collaboration with The New York Times and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Administrators and faculty come regularly to IUPUI to learn about its innovative programs in undergraduate education, programs that Plater was instrumental in designing and developing. Plater also serves as a Commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, helping oversee evaluation and accreditation processes for educational institutions of all levels.

Plater holds baccalaureate (1967), Master’s and Ph.D. (1973) degrees in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a Professor of English at IUPUI and teaches in the area of contemporary American literature. His research interests focus on contemporary fiction and the interplay of fiction with other genre. He holds adjunct appointments in philanthropic studies and informatics. He has written on numerous topics related to technology, higher education, and planning as well as literature.

Plater is active in his community, serving currently or formerly on the boards of The Children’s Museum, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Indiana Humanities Council, the Indiana University Press, the Indiana Partnership for Higher Education, the Indianapolis Economic Development Advisory Board, MUCIA, WFYI, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Expertise: International civic engagement and service learning; faculty work; assessment; use of technology in learning; leadership

Years of relevant experience: 20+

Relevant Papers and Publications:
“Collaborative Leadership for Engagement,” Democratic Civic Engagement:  Institutional Change for Reclaiming the Purpose of Higher Education, John Saltmarsh and Matthew Hartley, editors, Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, in press

“Educating Globally Competent Citizens through International Service Learning,” William Plater, Steven Jones, Robert Bringle, and Patti Clayton, The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad:  Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship, Ross Lewin, editor, New York:  Routledge, in press

“The Context for International Service Learning,” International Service Learning Research, Robert Bringle, editor, Stylus Publishing, in press

“Leading Engaged Institutions,” William Plater and Lorilee Sandman, Institutionalizing Community Engagement in Higher Education:  The First Wave of Carnegie Classified Institutions, San Francisco:  New Directions, in press

"The Future of the Professoriate," Plater, W. Academe, July-August, 2008.

"Civic Engagement, Service-Learning, and Intentional Leadership," in Public Work and the Academy: An Academic Administrator’s Guide to Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, William M. Plater, and Mark Langseth, co-editors, Bolton, MA: Anker, 2004.

"A Profession at Risk: Using Post-Tenure Review to Create an Intentional Future," in Post-Tenure Faculty Review and Renewal Experienced Voices, Christine M. Licata and Joseph C. Morreale, editors, Washington, D.C.: AAHE, 2002.

"Habits of Living: Engaging the Campus as Citizen One Scholar at a Time," in Colleges and Universities as Citizens, by R.G. Bringle, R. Games, and E.A. Malloy, Allyn & Bacon, 1999. 


Office of International Community Development IUPUI ICD

Indianapolis, IN

Mission: The Office of International Community Development at IUPUI works with university programs and the greater Indianapolis community to align international projects and initiatives for greater sustainability and impact with the goal of making Indianapolis one of the world’s best places to live, work, and learn by the mid-part of the century.

Staff Size:

Overview of programs:
Information sharing


Contact information:
Phone: (317) 261-3000