Indiana University Northwest recently appointed Margaret Skurka, MS, RHIA, CCS, as Chancellor’s Professor, a special academic title conferred on senior faculty members who demonstrate “highly meritorious performance in all areas of faculty work: teaching, research or creative activity, and service.”
Skurka, Professor of Health Information Management (HIM) and Chair of the Department of HIM within the College of Health and Human Services, began her appointment on January 1. The honor of Chancellor’s Professor is a title that remains with recipients throughout their careers at IU Northwest.
“Margaret’s many academic and professional accomplishments, her dedication to teaching, and commitment to IU Northwest embodies the definition of the titled rank of Chancellor’s Professor. She will continue to set the highest standard for future nominees,” Chancellor William J. Lowe said.
Lowe said that the requirements of the Chancellor’s Professor program are demanding and intended to identify and recognize faculty colleagues whose consistently outstanding contributions as teacher-scholars and active campus and professional citizens set them apart, even in the company of a very accomplished faculty.
“The criteria call for nothing less than faculty members who contribute in concrete, demonstrable ways to the development of IU Northwest as an academic community of exceptional quality and integrity, as well as their disciplines, through the creation and application of knowledge,” Lowe said.
The search committee charged with naming the Chancellor’s Professor received detailed letters of support, each citing their professional and personal assessment of Skurka over her almost 40 years of service at IU Northwest.
Skurka was first hired as assistant director of IU Northwest’s health information technology program in 1977. She was then promoted to program director and appointed assistant professor in 1978, associate professor in 1984, and professor in 1997. Her respected work includes more than 30 published articles in various HIM publications, a text book now in its 5th edition, and more than 250 professional presentations throughout the U.S. and 13 countries. Over her career, she has received the IU Northwest Campus Service Award, IU Northwest Teaching Award, Indiana State Health Information Management Distinguished Member award, and the National Professional Association Distinguished Member award, the HIM profession’s highest award.
Skurka has established herself a leader on campus and within her profession through numerous service positions she has held. At IU Northwest, she has held positions as a member of the Chancellor’s Vision/Strategic Planning Committee and on the Promotion and Tenure Committee at the university and campus levels. Nationally, she served as president of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the professional membership organization for HIM professionals.
David Malik, IU Northwest’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Skurka’s unique role as a president of a professional society brings uncommon attention to IU Northwest and the calibre of its faculty. He also described Skurka as a faculty member well regarded by her colleagues for her professional accomplishments, devotion to teaching, and commitment to improving the health of Northwest Indiana communities.
“Margaret’s research and accomplishments within the HIM field are abundant and recognized throughout the U.S. and internationally,” Malik said. “Her dedication to teaching is apparent through the excellent student evaluations she’s received during 40 years of teaching, while her commitment to enhancing the health of Northwest Indiana residents is evident through the service she’s offered to local hospitals in providing free continuing education to health professionals.”
Skurka said she is “very honored” to receive the appointment.
“I have spent a lifetime at IU Northwest and have loved it,” Skurka said. I’ve watched the campus and our health programs grow and continue to be very highly regarded by health care institutions in the area. The students are my favorite part of this work – the connections I’ve made with them through the years is nothing short of amazing.”
The Chancellor’s Professor program began in 2013, with the first appointments of George Bodmer, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of English, and David Klamen, Chancellor’s Professor of Fine Arts. The program continued in 2014, with the appointment of Chuck Gallmeier, Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology.
About Indiana University Northwest.
As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of more than 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home. IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit www.iun.edu.