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Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2005

IU Trustee President Stephen Ferguson issues statement on faculty resolutions

Decisions to be announced at special meeting Jan. 14

Dec. 9, 2005

The following statement was made Friday (Dec. 9) by Indiana University Board of Trustees President Stephen L. Ferguson during the board's business meeting.

INDIANAPOLIS -- "We as trustees are determined to lead this university so that it becomes markedly better and even more widely recognized -- nationally and internationally -- as one of the best research universities in the world.

Steve Ferguson

Stephen L. Ferguson

The trustees have heard from scores of people who represent all segments of the IU family. Almost without fail, their comments have been thoughtful, considered and helpful. We want to thank everyone who contacted us, and especially those hardy faculty members who came to Indianapolis yesterday -- despite the snow -- to talk with us.

What has particularly impressed us is the way in which everyone put the well-being of the university first. That is as it should be.

We received two resolutions from the Bloomington faculty. One calls for us to review the performance of the president, and the other recommends that the determinants of the position of senior vice president for academic affairs/Bloomington chancellor be reframed.

We have devoted the last day and a half to gaining a full understanding of the message that those voting in Bloomington sent us. But we are not finished; we have more people to engage in discussion over the next few weeks. While we are not prepared today to make a final decision on either resolution, we have scheduled a special board meeting next month, and we will take action then.

We see this as an opportunity to move IU forward. That has always been our intention, and that's clearly the message we received from every group. We heard you, and we will act soon on the issues that have been raised, including IU's structure, its leadership, its national and international stature, and its research mission. We want to improve IU.

It would be premature for the board to act today while there are people still to be heard from. We look forward to continuing the dialogue that has begun.

But time is of the essence, and we will not indulge in business as usual at the trustee or university level. We will hold a special meeting on Jan. 14 at IU Bloomington to continue our discussions, and at that point, we will announce our decisions.

As we work together during these challenging times, let us also not fail to celebrate the many successes we have recently accomplished together. This is a great university, but we can be even better."