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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kirk White to take on expanded economic development role

June 2, 2009

BLOOMINGTON -- Kirk White, director of community relations at Indiana University, is taking a one-year military leave of absence to serve a second tour of duty in Afghanistan but has much to look forward to upon his return.

White photo

Photo by Chris Meyer

Kirk White

Print-Quality Photo

As of Monday, June 1, White has been promoted to the newly created position of assistant vice president for university relations and engagement and will have an expanded portfolio of responsibilities that include business relations and economic development in the Bloomington area as well as his continuing duties in the public affairs arena.

"We will certainly miss Kirk while he is serving his country overseas," said Mike Sample, vice president for public affairs and government relations. "Kirk has done such a good job that we saw no reason to wait until he returns to let him know how much we appreciate his contribution to Indiana University."

Sample said that with the projected opening of the IU incubator building at 10th Street and the Bypass this fall, there will be a growing need for greater interaction between the university and the regional business community in years to come.

IU Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan, who has statewide responsibility for IU's economic development initiatives, said this need will peak next year, just about the time that White is scheduled to return from his deployment.

"Because of his military background and extensive civic involvement, Kirk has a unique set of skills that will help Indiana University expand its role as a catalyst for business growth and economic development in Bloomington and southwestern Indiana," Stephan said.

White, a lieutenant colonel in the Indiana National Guard, has been called to active duty for a second tour of duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and will be on a leave of absence from IU until the summer of 2010. White is on the staff of the 38th Infantry Division, Indiana Army National Guard, and has been assigned to serve as garrison commander for a major U.S. base in Afghanistan.

He served a previous one-year tour in Afghanistan in 2004-05 as a trainer with the Afghan National Army.

At IU, White recently has been instrumental in establishing research and teaching partnerships with both Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center and the Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations (CAMCCO).

He also works closely with Bloomington business, government, education and life sciences organizations to find ways to grow the local economy and job base. His new role will allow IU to place greater emphasis on these opportunities.

Building on his military training and experience, White will also continue serving as a key member of the university's emergency preparedness team, which was recently appointed by President Michael A. McRobbie, and will coordinate planning and implementation of crisis communications efforts.

White has worked in the community relations role since 2000. In 2006, then IU Provost Michael McRobbie assigned White the additional duty of associate director of IU's Center on American and Global Security, coordinating homeland security and national defense partnerships with state and federal government agencies.

White joined the professional staff of IU in 1984 after completing the Bachelor of Science degree from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He has served IU in several external, alumni and government relations directorships.

A former elected official, Kirk served eight years as a member of the Bloomington City Council (1988-95), and one term as Monroe County Commissioner (1997-2000).

He and his wife Janice have two daughters and live in Bloomington.