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William Stephan

Jane Jankowski

Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2002

Trustees select Bepko as interim president

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Gerald L. Bepko, who has been chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis since 1986, was selected unanimously by the IU Board of Trustees today (Nov. 1) to serve as the university's interim president.

Bepko will take over on Jan. 1. He will succeed IU President Myles Brand, who is leaving the university to become president of the NCAA. The Trustees hope to select a permanent successor to Brand by July 1. Bepko will serve until the new president takes office.

Also during today's meeting at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus, the Trustees approved the appointment of a 17-member committee to conduct the presidential search.

"Jerry has served IU with unswerving commitment and unshakeable integrity," said Frederick F. Eichhorn Jr., board president. "He is not only an outstanding academic and an experienced administrator. He is familiar with the strategic initiatives that are of crucial importance to IU."

Bepko said he was very flattered and honored to be asked to assume the interim presidency, and talked of the great affection he and his wife Jean have for IU.

He praised the accomplishments of President Brand and said he plans during his tenure to continue the momentum of current initiatives.

"We have a lot of things that we need to work on during this interim period," Bepko said, pointing in particular to initiatives to focus on research and civic engagement, to build on IU's leadership in life sciences and information technology, and to continue the long-standing commitment to student learning and access.

"I am pleased that Jerry is willing to take on this new responsibility," Brand said. "He has been an outstanding leader at IUPUI. In his role as IU's vice president for long-range planning, he has developed a real understanding of the issues facing the entire university. He is an excellent choice."

IUPUI is IU's second-largest campus, with more than 29,000 students enrolled in more than 180 programs of undergraduate and graduate study. During Bepko's tenure at IUPUI, enrollment has increased by nearly 25 percent and external support for faculty research activities has grown from $38 million in 1986 to more than $200 million in the current year. He has also led a successful fund-raising effort, the Campaign for IUPUI, that is nearing its $700 million goal well before its scheduled conclusion in June 2004.

Earlier this year, Bepko announced he would be stepping down as IUPUI chancellor at the end of the 2002-03 academic year. A search is currently under way to find his successor. The search committee has set a goal of making its final recommendation on its choice for the position of IUPUI chancellor by mid-December.