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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2003

IU's Indiana Business Research Center gets a new director

NOTE TO EDITORS: To arrange for an interview with Jerry Conover, contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- After nearly a third of a century with Indiana's leading business research organization, Morton Marcus is moving on to new pursuits. Taking over the reins at Indiana University's Indiana Business Research Center is Jerry Conover, a Terre Haute native who previously directed a similar program at Northern Arizona University.

Marcus joined IU's Kelley School of Business in 1970 as a research economist and has led the school's business research center since 1985. The IBRC, founded in 1925, provides data and analyses essential to understanding the economy of the state, its local areas and the nation as a whole. It works closely with government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide insight into conditions affecting their missions.

Prior to coming to IU, Conover directed the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at Northern Arizona University, where he also was professor of marketing. He directed NAU's MBA program from 1990 to 1994 and previously served on the marketing faculty at the University of Arizona.

In his former position, Conover helped shape economic development strategy for the state and its local areas. He frequently contributed to statewide and regional economic development initiatives and helped apply university research expertise to the task of shaping strategy for advancing the area's economy. He contributed to the development of a strategic vision for economic development in the binational region comprising Arizona and the neighboring state of Sonora, Mexico. More recently, he and his colleagues played a key role in a major study of the Arizona economy leading to a 10-year plan to increase the state's competitiveness.

He earned doctorates in experimental psychology and in business administration at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan.

Conover said he plans to continue providing the wide range of services offered by the IBRC under Marcus' leadership, and to develop new opportunities to help enhance the economic future of the state and its firms.

"What attracted me to IBRC is the depth of talent and experience among its staff," Conover said, "and the high regard in which its work is held by the constituents the center serves."

Marcus said he won't suddenly become a stranger to Indiana's economic stage. Although he will retire this fall from his long service at IU, he is preparing new plans to help citizens and their leaders understand the economy so they can make better-informed decisions.

"I am delighted to see this valuable organization in the capable hands of Jerry Conover," Marcus said. "He has the talent and the will to take the IBRC to new heights of significance. I have had a great time working at the Kelley School and look forward to maintaining my many attachments to the university."

More information about the IBRC and its services is available at