April 8-10, 2006
It's getting harder to get into IU; Beginning in 2011, Bloomington campus will require would-be students to have taken more rigorous high school courses
By Steve Hinnefeld
April 8, 2006
NEW ALBANY — It's now official. Indiana University Bloomington will be harder to get into, starting in 2011.
The IU Board of Trustees approved tougher admissions requirements for the campus on Friday. The standards will take effect for today's seventh-graders, giving students time to plan their high school schedules accordingly.
There was almost no discussion of the change Friday, but the vote followed months of give-and-take between trustees and Bloomington faculty.
"I'm just very pleased we ended up with a policy that everybody seems to think is reasonable and fair and in the best interest of the Bloomington campus," said Ted Miller, a public-affairs professor and president of the Bloomington Faculty Council.
The policy requires applicants to complete Indiana's Core 40 college-prep high school curriculum, plus additional credits in math and world languages.
Some trustees had pushed for IU Bloomington to adopt more rigorous admissions policies and raise the "profile" of students. The campus rejects the fewest applicants and has the lowest average SAT scores of any Big Ten university.
The proposal sparked disagreement over whether IU, as a state institution, should become more exclusive. But the faculty council's academic affairs committee largely defused charges of elitism by creating a policy that focuses on high school course selection, not test scores.
"The committee did an excellent job of putting together something which appears to be accepted by everybody," Miller said.
Under the policy, applicants must complete at least 34 academic credits in high school, including eight credits in English, seven in math, six in science, six in social studies and four in world languages. Preference will be given to students with at least a B average in academic courses and above-average SAT scores. In-state students should rank in the top 40 percent of their class, out-of-state students in the top 30 percent.
Trustees also approved a new admissions policy for IU-Purdue University in Indianapolis, effective in fall 2008. It requires first-year students just out of high school to complete Core 40 courses with no more than two Ds or Fs.
Most students admitted to IU Bloomington already complete the state's Core 40 or academic honors diploma, admissions officials say. But faculty believe requiring more math and language will improve students' preparation — and raise average SAT scores.
Miller said the other side of the equation is that faculty must take seriously their undergraduate teaching responsibilities.
"I really do believe it's going to make a substantial change to Indiana University Bloomington," he said.
Ellettsville man charged in murder of Jill Behrman
H-T and Wire Report
April 10, 2006
MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -- An Ellettsville man has been arrested in the 2000 death of Jill Behrman.
John Robert Myers II, 30, was arrested without incident Sunday night in Ellettsville, and will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on a charge of murder, Monroe County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega said during a Monday morning news conference.
Also arrested was Alisha T. Evans, who is facing felony perjury charges. An arraignment date has not been set for Evans.
The arrests followed a grand jury investigation into the death of Behrman, an Indiana University student who disappeared nearly six years ago while riding her bicycle in Bloomington.
A six-member grand jury convened in March returned an indictment against Myers.
Hunters discovered Behrman's skeletal remains in March 2003, about 15 miles north of Bloomington in Morgan County.
The grand jury also indicted Evans, 26, of Bloomington, for two counts of perjury, accusing her of not giving truthful information about her relationship with some people in the investigation. She's related to Myers through marriage.
Myers was arrested Sunday night at his home and was being held in Morgan County Jail.
"We just look at this as a big step in the right direction," said Marilyn Behrman, Jill's mother.
Rick Lang, a detective with the Indiana State Police, said officials are still looking for an anonymous caller who reported seeing a red car.
"This investigation is not over," he said.
The grand jury was the latest effort by investigators to solve the case, which received widespread media attention and was profiled on the television show "America's Most Wanted." Police have tracked numerous leads, including a theory that a drunken or drugged motorist struck Behrman. Authorities drained Salt Creek on the north shore of Lake Monroe in late 2002 after a promising tip led them to believe her body might have been dumped in the water.
The discovery of Behrman's body in the woods near Paragon redirected the case.
In December 2004, police in Mexico captured a Lawrence County fugitive who authorities said shared a jail cell with an Ellettsville man who was suspected in the Behrman case but was never charged.
Last summer, police announced they were studying DNA samples from two Monroe County men in their late 20s. Officials said Wednesday the grand jury investigation will involve the two men but would not comment on their connection to the case.
Six challenge Breckenridge for alumini seat
by Steve Hinnefeld
April 8, 2006
Six Indiana University alumni are challenging Cora Smith Breckenridge in this year's IU trustee election.
They include an attorney and former IU administrator, a filmmaker-political consultant and several alumni who have run for the board in previous years.
The deadline for petitioning to be a candidate was last week. IU Libraries official Doug McKinney, who supervises the election, said ballots will be mailed to alumni starting in mid-May.
Votes can be sent in or delivered through June. They will be counted at the Wells Library on June 30.
Alumni elect three of the nine IU trustees; the alumni trustees serve staggered three-year terms. The Indiana governor appoints the other trustees.
Breckenridge, a retired speech and language pathologist from Elkhart, became the first black Indiana University trustee when she was first elected in 1997. She was re-elected in 2000 and 2003.
Other candidates this year are: Trina (Ringenberg) Miller of Granger; Philip Eskew Jr. of Carmel; Steve Sanders of Chicago; Carolyn Louise Jordan of Gary; Steven Kellam of Carmel; and Chris Sautter of Washington, D.C.
Sautter, a 1972 IU graduate, announced his candidacy in a news release this week.
"I have been passionate about Indiana University since I arrived on the Bloomington campus in the late 1960s," he said, "but especially so since my daughter decided to attend IU. I hope to inject new energy and a progressive perspective to the IU Board of Trustees."
Sautter is an attorney, a political consultant specializing in recounts and the maker of documentary films about East Chicago political boss Robert Pastrick and 1960s Bloomington singer-songwriter Roger Salloom.
He said he will push to expand scholarships to keep IU affordable, oppose "golden parachutes" for former coaches and administrators and strengthen dialogue through trustee forums and webcasting of board meetings. He wants to name Assembly Hall for former IU basketball coaches Bob Knight and Branch McCracken.
Sanders is a former assistant to the IU Bloomington chancellor and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He left IU to attend the University of Michigan law school in 2002 and now clerks for a federal appeals court.
Kellam, executive vice president of Fortune Diversified Industries, and Jordan, retired president of Wingard Inc., both ran for trustee last year.
Kellam has a campaign Web site -- www.iurocks.com -- in which he advocates reducing student-professor ratios and reversing a decline in IU rankings. With the slogan "Say no to elitism!" he opposes increasing admissions standards.
Eskew, a physician, ran for trustee in 1994. Miller has been active in IU alumni activities in northern Indiana.
• Trina S. (Ringenberg) Miller, Granger.
• Cora Smith Breckenridge, Elkhart -- the incumbent.
• Philip N. Eskew Jr., Carmel.
• Steve Sanders, Chicago.
• Carolyn Louise Jordan, Gary.
• Steven Kellam, Carmel.
• Chris Sautter, Washington, D.C.
Raise guidelines approved by IU trustees
by Steve Hinnefeld
April 8, 2006
NEW ALBANY -- Raises for Indiana University employees will average 2.5 percent to 3 percent this year under guidelines approved by the IU trustees.
They also approved tuition increases ranging from 4.2 percent to 10 percent for IU Bloomington.
Pay increases will average 3 percent for faculty and 2.5 percent for IU Bloomington staff. Individual raises are based on merit and will vary.
Hourly staff will get at least a 2.5 percent raise, but workers near the bottom of the pay scale -- full-time employees making less than $30,000 a year -- will get a $750 raise. It's the third straight year IU is giving higher-percentage raises to the lowest-paid staff.
Trustees approved the salary guidelines Friday to let administrators develop 2006-07 budgets.
They approved a 4.9 percent tuition increase for out-of-state undergraduates, matching the increase for in-state students they approved a year ago. Undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees in 2006-07 will be $7,460 for Indiana residents and $20,464 for nonresidents.
Tuition increases for Bloomington graduate and professional students are:
• Business, 6.9 percent for Indiana residents and 6.7 percent for nonresidents.
• Law, 10 percent for residents and 6.7 percent for nonresidents.
• Library and information science, 7.2 percent for residents and 8 percent for nonresidents.
• Optometry, 8.8 percent for residents and 4.2 percent for nonresidents.
• Public and environmental affairs, 5.1 percent for residents and 4.7 percent for nonresidents.
• Other programs, 5.4 percent for residents and 6.1 percent for nonresidents.
Davis heads home as UAB coach
By Stan Sutton
April 8, 2006
Former Indiana men's basketball coach Mike Davis landed on his feet Friday, being named head coach at a Division I university in his home state.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham made it official, naming Davis to be the fourth head basketball coach in the program's 28-year history. He succeeds Mike Anderson, who resigned to become coach at Missouri.
UAB's basketball program was founded by Gene Bartow, who previously was John Wooden's successor at UCLA. Bartow coached the Blazers to seven straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a second-round win over Indiana in 1982.
Bartow later was succeeded by his son, Murry, who at one time was a graduate assistant for the Hoosiers.
"UAB is a program that has been in the national spotlight and I look forward to the opportunity to make that spotlight shine even brighter," Davis said in a news release from the university. "The support the fans and administration have shown for this program is tremendous. I and my players will do everything we can to grow that support and demonstrate it is deserved."
Davis, 45, resigned late in his sixth year as Indiana coach, taking the Hoosiers to a 19-12 record in his final season. Over his six seasons Indiana had a 115-79 record and his teams went 7-4 in the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the championship game in 2002.
Davis is a native of Fayette, Ala., where he won the state's Mr. Basketball and went on to star at the University of Alabama. He played professionally in Europe and in the Continental Basketball Association.
Davis' first coaching job was as an assistant at Miles College, a school in Birmingham where he supplemented his income by selling t-shirts out of his car trunk. He spent two seasons as an assistant at Alabama before being hired as an IU assistant by coach Bob Knight. He spent three seasons as an IU assistant and became head coach when Knight was fired in 2002.
"Mike has a history of recruiting excellent young men who perform well, not only on the basketball court but also in the classroom and in everyday life," said UAB president Carol Garrison. "I am confident he will take our program to unprecedented heights."
Added interim athletic director Richard Margison, "Mike brings a tremendous amount of energy and success to our program. His ability to recruit, play a demanding schedule and his style of play have proven to be a winning formula that I know our fans will appreciate and support."
Davis was unappreciated by many IU fans, some of whom didn't like his offense or his manner of speaking. When Indiana missed two consecutive NCAA Tournaments, he came under heavier fire.
Davis especially had trouble pleasing Knight supporters, especially when his former boss failed to support him.
"I think Mike wants to be at a place where he's appreciated and wanted," his former coach, C.M. Newton, told The Birmingham News. "He needs to be at a place where he's understood."
Former Auburn and NBA star Charles Barkley was among those supporting Davis.
"He could have had more success. You've got to get some type of support. The game is hard enough without outside distractions. All the negativity going around, it probably hurt him in recruiting," Barkley said.
Newton, now the retired athletic director at Kentucky, said Davis learned a lot during his term at IU. He referred to the time Davis told reporters that he couldn't coach this team.
"I told him after the press conference. 'You ain't Coach (Bear) Bryant. You can't get away with that."
Davis always was more popular in Alabama, where his hometown gave him a "day" after IU's march to the 2002 Final Four. Signs at both ends of the highway through Fayette still honor him.
Vaden to transfer to UAB; IU's second-leading scorer follows coach Mike Davis to Alabama
By Doug Wilson
April 8, 2006
Robert Vaden will follow coach Mike Davis to Alabama-Birmingham, according to Mike Davis Jr.
Davis Jr. said during the press conference to announce the elder Davis as UAB's new basketball coach that both he and Vaden will transfer to UAB, the Birmingham News reported today.
Davis Jr. said he was unsure about D.J. White's intentions. Davis Sr. would not talk about possible transfers at the press conference, according to the Birmingham News.
The former IU coach has not returned multiple calls from The Herald-Times and other Indiana reporters over the past 10 days.
While rumors have been flying in Bloomington during the past week that Vaden has requested to be released from his IU scholarship, IU officials have refused to comment and Vaden has been unavailable for comment. IU athletics media relations director Pete Rhoda said today that he still had no information about whether Vaden will transfer from IU.
Calls to Vaden's mother, Cathy, and his guardian, David Gadis, were not returned.
Vaden was IU's second-leading scorer and rebounder as a sophomore during the past season, averaging 13.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Davis Jr. was a sophomore walk-on who was on IU's team last season, but did not play in a game.
Vaden and Davis Jr. will have to sit out a season at UAB after transferring before they are eligible to play there.
White reportedly has been working out with the Hoosier team since IU hired Kelvin Sampson as its new coach, while Vaden has not. White has been unavailable for comment since the IU press conference to introduce Sampson.
Coaching carousel; Versyp resigns at IU to accept head coaching job at Purdue
By Stan Sutton
April 8, 2006
The Sharon Versyp era lasted exactly one year at Indiana University, which announced Friday that she has resigned to become the new women's basketball coach at Purdue.
Versyp had been mentioned as a candidate since Kristy Curry left the Boilermakers last week to become head coach at Texas Tech.
Versyp, a former Miss Basketball from Mishawaka, started at Purdue from 1985-88, during a time when the program had just begun to reach national recognition.
Purdue traditionally has enjoyed success in women's basketball and has a strong following, while IU has struggled to draw fans.
Indiana traditionally has outdrawn only Northwestern in home attendance while Purdue is among the Big Ten leaders. Although Indiana improved its record last season its attendance showed minimal, if any, increase.
Versyp discussed IU's attendance during an interview last week.
"It's like when I got my first teaching job. I thought I could change the world. I kind of got smacked down a little bit," she said.
Versyp said she did hear more of a buzz around the community about women's basketball.
"But, she said, "I'm always a believer that actions speak louder than words. If it is happening let's get it together. Let's show up at the games and let's start really rallying around."
Indiana will lose five seniors from this year's team, including All-Big Ten guard Cyndi Valentin, Jenny DeMuth and Angela Hawkins. The Boilermakers will keep the bulk of a veteran club, including Katie Gearlds, Erin Lawless, and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.
The official introduction of Versyp by Purdue officials won't occur until early next week because she is on a vacation cruise until Sunday evening.
The announcement of her resignation first appeared on the IU website at 8:50 a.m. Friday, some 16 minutes before Purdue's media relations department made the announcement.
Purdue's players were notified Thursday night of a meeting early Friday, at which time they were told of the school's plans.
A Purdue statement issued Friday quoted athletic director Morgan Burke as saying, "Sharon is our choice, and she is excited about returning to her alma mater. She will be in West Lafayette Monday to meet with the team and with senior leadership of the university and finalize a few remaining administrative details."
The Purdue statement said Versyp would be introduced to the media and fans on Monday afternoon or Tuesday.
IU then issued a four-paragraph statement announcing her resignation.
"We appreciate Sharon's efforts at Indiana and wish her well in her future endeavors," IU athletic director Rick Greenspan said in the statement."
Indiana played Purdue three times this season, winning in overtime once and losing the other two, one of those in overtime.
Upon her hiring by IU last April Versyp said she was pleased to return to her home state after coaching five years at Maine. She was immediately rumored to be a candidate at Purdue upon Curry's departure and declined to deny interest last week.
Versyp and Shereka Wright (2003-05) are the only players to lead Purdue in scoring three straight seasons.
Under Versyp the Hoosiers made significant strides, posting a 19-14 record and a 9-7 record in the Big Ten. IU had posted only 10 wins in 2004-05 under Kathi Bennett.
It is not known whether IU assistants Jody Benner, Martin Clapp and Nadine Morgan will accompany Versyp to Purdue. The Indiana staff had recruited four well-respected high school players, including Morgan's sister, Angelique Gray, of Stone Mountain, Ga.
IU said it would conduct a nationwide search for a new coach, only a week after a hectic process in which Kelvin Sampson was named to succeed Mike Davis.
Purdue had a 26-7 record last season and lost to top-seeded North Carolina 70-68 in the NCAA Tournament. IU won two games in the Women's National Invitation Tournament before losing at Marquette, 57-54.
'Carmen' as spirited and seductive as its leading lady
By Glenn Kaufmann
April 10, 2006
This past Friday night, Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music dimmed the lights on a sold-out crowd, and raised the opening night curtain on IU Opera Theater's "Carmen," the final show in their 2005-06 season.
Carmen is a wild, untamable young gypsy who has captured the hearts of the townspeople and the desire of the local soldiers, with the exception of Don Jose, a young corporal. This of course makes Carmen desire him even more.
However, Don Jose has promised himself to Micaela, and he will honor that promise, though he feels only duty and not passion for her. When Micaela comes to town with news of Jose's mother, they sing a somewhat antiseptic duet to each other.
Later, when Carmen is accused of stabbing one of her coworkers at the cigarette factory, Don Jose is sent to arrest her. As he attempts to take her into custody, Carmen works her magic and wins Jose's heart. She convinces him to help her escape. After her escape, Jose is arrested and serves two months in jail.
Upon his release, Carmen greets Jose. When he puts his duty to the military above her love, we are treated to a flash of Carmen's temper and catch a glimpse of the difficulties -- and tragedy -- ahead.
Dealing with a classic of this stature, it is always difficult to know how much to bow to convention and where to insert a bit of artistic license. Thankfully, stage director Jonathon Field, an opera veteran and a practiced hand at "Carmen" in particular, uses a just enough approach, blending styles of movement and expression while relying on Robert O'Hearn's breathtaking sets, and Francis St. Aubin's period costuming, to anchor the production on a proven classical foundation.
Mark Gibson's control of the orchestra and the vocal performances was playful, spirited and evocative. Sophie Roland's Carmen was both powerful and delightfully seductive. Marcos Aguiar's work as Don Jose was vocally strong, but dramatically understated at times. While this was clearly a choice made to accentuate Carmen's overwhelming presence, it had the negative effect of making military leader Zuniga (John Paul Huckle) and toreador Escamillo (Scott Skiba) appear far stronger than Don Jose.
In the end, Carmen proves to be a perfect mirror of its namesake, a spirited, intoxicating and seductive performance.
WHAT: "Carmen"; running time: three hours, 20 minutes
WHO: IU Opera Theater; music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Lucovic Halevy, based on the novel by Prosper Merimee
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with pre-show "Opera Insights" lectures at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Musical Arts Center
HOW MUCH: $15-$35, $10-$20 for IU students
INFO: 333-9955 or 855-7433
Time is right for 'Chorus Line'
by Nicole Kauffman
April 9, 2006
BLOOMINGTON -- George Pinney's first show after arriving at Indiana University 18 years ago was "A Chorus Line."
This year, the Emmy Award-winning choreographer reprises his role as its director and choreographer; the hit musical opens at the Ruth N. Halls Theatre Friday.
"I find it very exciting to revisit material," said Pinney, IU professor of theater and drama and head of acting/directing.
"A Chorus Line" debuted in 1975 on Broadway. It's one of the few musicals ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. It was written by Michael Bennett, with the score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban.
For Pinney, directing the show again means getting a second chance at its "complicated" material. So many elements have to gel -- script, lyrics, libretto, a melodic line and orchestration, not to mention dance -- to make it a success.
A 2001 Tony Award nominee and an Emmy Award winner for outstanding choreography for the PBS broadcast of "Blast," Pinney recently has been spending as much time working on the show outside of rehearsals as he has in rehearsal. Choreography is particularly time consuming, he said.
For this show, there's an "added bonus" for the audience: a mock audition, which begins as soon as the first audience member heads toward his or her seat when the theater opens at 7 p.m. Seventy-five actors will "audition," with parts getting cut and cut and cut, until the musical officially starts at 7:30 p.m.
The fact that a new cast is tackling the material ensures a fresh approach, and Pinney said the current musical-theater cast at IU is "superb." This production showcases the students' acting, singing and dancing talents, and all 26 cast members have previous experience with musicals.
"It is the triple threat production. … I think for a really outstanding production, you have to have triple threats, and in our current student population there are a lot of people who are verging on triple threats," Pinney said in a prepared statement. "All of the talent and potential is here, so the time is ripe to do it."
WHAT: IU Theatre and Drama's production, "A Chorus Line," directed and choreographed by George Pinney.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and April 17-22
WHERE: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
HOW MUCH: $17, or $14 for seniors and students with ID; $10 rush tickets are available 30 minutes before each show for IU students.
INFO: (812) 855-1103, 333-9955, www.theatre.indiana.edu