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Herald-Times articles

Dec. 7, 2006

Black faculty plans to hold IU to its diversity pledge
by Steve Hinnefeld

Black faculty and staff at Indiana University plan to hold IU officials accountable for their pledge to promote racial diversity.

They have formed a new group, the Indiana University Black Faculty and Staff Caucus, to monitor and push for progress.

"We don't have the answers yet. We will work with the administration, faculty, students and others to come up with the answers," said Philip Seabrook, a caucus member who directs IUPUI college readiness programs.

Members and supporters announced the creation of the group Wednesday at IU-Purdue University at Indianapolis. They called on trustees to ensure that diversity and equity are "core values" IU.

The 10-member caucus includes two representatives from the Bloomington campus, two from IUPUI and one from each regional campus. The Bloomington members are political science professor Yvette Alex-Assensoh and folklore and musicology professor Portia Maultsby.

The group praised university trustees for making diversity a priority and setting a goal of doubling the enrollment of students from under-represented minorities at IU Bloomington by 2013-14.

But it pointed to current figures to show a lack of progress. At Bloomington, blacks make up 4.4 percent of students, less than 25 years ago. The numbers are worse for faculty, especially at upper levels. And while this year's freshman class at IU Bloomington was the bigger ever, the number of black freshmen declined to 345 from 412 a year earlier.

Law professor Kevin Brown said the caucus grew out of reaction to a lack of racial sensitivity in faculty attacks last year on Adam Herbert, IU's first black president. In October, about 90 black faculty and staff met to share campus-specific concerns and plan a course of action.

"We came out of that meeting saying we must create this organization," Brown said.

Meanwhile, the Black Student Union at IUPUI was pressing for a black culture center, more black faculty and more funding for student groups. Seabrook said the student protests were "an affirmation we were on the right track."

At Bloomington, there have been concerns that tougher academic standards, slated to take effect in 2011, will make it harder for minority students to be admitted. Alvin Chambliss, a civil-rights lawyer and visiting education professor, said IU's push to raise SAT scores will penalize minorities and rural whites.

"Admissions is the issue," he said, arguing the faculty-staff group should take a stronger stand on the new requirements.

Caucus members said increasing minority enrollment requires doing a better job of recruiting, improving campus climate and helping K-12 schools that serve minorities.

"We think it's important that we do something before they come to the door with an admissions application," Alex-Assensoh said.

Charlie Nelms, the IU vice president for institutional development and student affairs, said the creation of the caucus lets trustees and administrators know that black faculty and staff expect the board to commit resources to meet its diversity goals.

"It's not something that's just going to happen because somebody wills it to happen," Nelms said.

Dalai Lama returning to Bloomington
by Associated Press

The Dalai Lama will visit Bloomington next fall to teach at the Tibetan Cultural Center.

Details of the visit will be announced Monday at the nonprofit center, founded in 1979 by the Dalai Lama's brother, Thubten Jigme Norbu, a retired Indiana University professor.

The 71-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader also will visit Indianapolis during his visit, which will last at least three days. He will teach on at least three occasions during the visit. The itinerary is being finalized.

The Dalai Lama has visited Bloomington four times, most recently in 2003. His next visit will come as the cultural center tries to recover from financial difficulties that have left it $1.5 million in debt.

Tenzin Gyatso was proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama at age 5 and became Tibet's leader at 15. He fled into exile in India following an abortive 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. His efforts to preserve Tibetan culture and promote Tibet's liberation earned him the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

Our opinion: IU must compete in compensation market

We could sense the eyebrows arching on the campus-side of Bloomington with the news reported Wednesday that Indiana University President Adam Herbert will be paid $30,000 a year for 10 years after he retires as IU's leader. For that, the university will get a consultant; one with no formal duties, no minimum work requirement and no supervisor.

Now that sounds like a sweet deal.

But as often is the case with big organizations, all is not as it seems. Including the consulting gig in his contract was a way IU could put together a compensation package attractive enough to lure Herbert from his job in Florida. After 24 years in that state's higher education system, Herbert had earned retirement income that would be lost if he took the job at Indiana. IU's package didn't offset all the retirement funds he had earned, Herbert told H-T reporter Steve Hinnefeld, but the offer was good enough for him to leave the Sunshine State for the Hoosier State.

Such is the way of big-money jobs such as corporate CEOs and university presidents. Fiscally conservative Hoosiers and underpaid IU staff members don't have to like it, but if IU wants to compete for the best and most qualified leader possible, it must offer compensation dictated by the marketplace.

The post-retirement consulting job is part of that package for Herbert, which allowed the university to keep its actual salary commitment to a market-reasonable level. Deferred compensation deals are part of the landscape, as are other retirement benefits. So are modest duties and more-than-modest paychecks for spouses.

One concern is that this agreement was completed four months after other details of Herbert's contract were finalized. For the sake of transparency, it should have at least been mentioned at a trustees meeting so it would show up in the minutes of that body.

But the overriding issue is not so much about whether Herbert should be paid for 10 years after retirement as it is about the reality of compensation for certain positions — certainly not just university presidents, but big-time coaches and athletes, entertainment stars, corporate leaders. For the $30,000-a-year worker, the level of those paychecks are going to raise eyebrows, and maybe some negative emotions.

Suspect in dorm voyeurism case slashes his wrist
by James Boyd

An Indiana University student slit his wrist just hours after confessing to police that he had taken photographs of women in a dorm shower.

Sung Byun, 18, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant for voyeurism.

IU Police Capt. Jerry Minger said detectives arrested Byun at Bloomington Hospital around 11:50 a.m.

He told investigators late Monday that he had been involved in at least two cases of peeping. Byun was identified by a student who thought Byun resembled a composite sketch put together by witnesses and police.

Both incidents were reported Saturday around 9 a.m.

Two separate residents of Harding Hall in Wright Quadrangle said they had been showering that morning when they noticed an Asian male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, taking pictures of them in the showers.

"After officers went to check out the complaints, they had the witnesses put together a composite," Minger said. That composite was distributed around the dorms in that area.

On Sunday night, a diner at the Wright food court noticed a man, later identified as Byun, who bore a resemblance to the composite, Minger said.

Byun was taken to IUPD headquarters.

"After interviewing him on station and on videotape, he admitted to being the person they were looking for," Minger said.

Byun admitted to taking digital photographs and videos of women showering in the dorm. "He said (the video quality) didn't turn out very good, so he deleted it," Minger said.

Officers got a search warrant to look in Byun's residence in the Tulip Tree Apartments, 2451 E. 10th St.

While executing that warrant, they found several pieces of video and photography equipment, Minger said. Detectives were going to analyze it to see if the equipment contained further evidence.

Byun was released overnight. But emergency personnel were called to his apartment at 6:59 a.m. Tuesday after Byun was found with a severe laceration to his wrist.

He told police who arrived on the scene that he was a suspect in a voyeurism case, Minger said.

According to the incident report, Byun cut his left wrist so deeply that medics could see the tendons in his arm.

He was taken to Bloomington Hospital, where the lacerations were treated.

IUPD detectives went to the hospital around 11:45 a.m. and took Byun into custody.

Minger said authorities are hoping anyone who may have been a victim of voyeurism to come forward. "In any case, if additional incidents occurred, we'd like to know about it."

IUPD can be reached at 855-4111.

Suicide, gruesome questions the latest in Izard's odd history
by Mike Leonard

Everyone with an interest in Indiana University is accustomed to reading, and flinching, at unflattering portrayals of a certain former basketball coach.

So it came as some surprise to see the current (Dec. 8) edition of the staid Chronicle of Higher Education come out with a large and eyebrow-raising article on, not Bob Knight, but former women's coach Jim Izard.

The winningest women's coach in IU history, Izard killed himself at age 57 earlier this year at his Florida home.

Not long after that, police learned that his wife and former player, Sarah Jo Warner Izard, had admitted to keeping two aborted "babies" in plastic containers in a shed outside the couple's home near Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga., the location of the coach's last position.

Prosecutors there are still mulling whether to file criminal charges against the widow.

If these bits of information sound like the beginning of a tabloid-style story, your instincts are good. Writer Brad Wolverton's piece in the Chronicle reads like a tabloid story. Only it's well-written and researched and not falsely injected with sensational details.

The story is fascinating enough that embellishment is hardly necessary. And it serves as a cautionary tale about institutional oversight or the lack thereof within athletic programs.

Wolverton, a 1992 IU graduate, found that warning flags arose wherever the handsome and personable Izard went. From the beginning to the end, players and coaches consistently suggested that Izard tended to develop intimate and inappropriate relationships with current and former players.

Former Martinsville coach Jan Conner said in the story, "The rap on Jim Izard was that he was too friendly — way too friendly — with his players."

Around Bloomington, it was common to hear the former coach referred to as "Izard the lizard" because of the stories and the sightings of the coach with said players.

An early star recruit, Marla Inman Eltrevoog, told the Chronicle she left IU after one season because of coach Izard's character.

Ann Mooney, a senior in Izard's first season at IU in 1988, admitted to the Chronicle that she broke off her engagement with another man and had a two-year relationship with Izard, beginning in 1989, right after she graduated from college.

Stories about Izard and inappropriate relationships dated back to his time as an eighth-grade coach in Fulton, Ga., and later, as a high school coach at nearby Mantachie High School. After rumors spread through the school that a popular girl was romantically involved with the coach, "a group of boys from the school visited the coach at his home, pinned him on the front lawn and beat him up, according to witnesses who spoke to the Chronicle," Wolverton's story reported.

Former IU athletic director Clarence Doninger told the Chronicle he met with Izard often during his years at IU to discuss his off-court behavior. For whatever reason — perhaps Izard's personal charisma — Doninger said he believed Izard's denials of improper conduct.

But the coach's 10-18 record in 2000 was enough evidence for Doninger to fire Izard and begin the downward spiral that led Izard's suicide this year.

Adding to the mystery of the enigmatic coach is the revelation in the Chronicle that never made its way to Bloomington in the dozen years Izard coached here. Izard's father, Phillips H. Izard, was charged with strangling his wife to death in 1969. "In 1974, with the crime still unsolved, he killed himself, reportedly with a gun blast to the head, like his son," the Chronicle reported.

Wolverton declined to characterize his story as a cautionary tale when contacted this week, and said simply, "It is what it is." He said that when he attended IU he really hadn't heard unflattering stories about Izard and only pursued the story after reading about the coach's suicide.

"It became a lot more complicated and involved the more I got into it," Wolverton said. "Some people had some very negative things to say about him, and some people had very positive things to say. I just tried to be fair."