IBJOpinion

Where are stories about Bobby Fong?

April 16, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

The stories (very well-deserved) [have been] written for readers everywhere about Brad Stevens, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack. Even Blue dominates media attention. However, the individual who seemed to get lost in all the hype leading up to the NCAA men’s national championship basketball game is Bobby Fong, president of Butler University.

Bobby Fong will become president of Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa., in several months. Since taking the reins in 2001, Bobby Fong has created a legacy for Butler, for Indianapolis, and now, for the nation, that will be remembered for a long time to come.

I have had the privilege of knowing Fong—the educator, the scholar, the community leader, the husband and father, the New York Yankees fanatic and the gentleman—for nine of those 10 years. He is focused on his personal mission, to enhance the lives of others through quality education in a holistic approach. Equally important, Bobby Fong is, at all times, thoughtful, caring and gracious. He asks tough questions when needed, and leads with effectiveness and confidence. And, with today’s emphasis placed on graduation rates, Ursinus found a president responsible for 95 percent of his students receiving their diplomas.

Bobby Fong uses an old Appalachian saying in his speeches, “When you see a turtle on a fence post, you know it didn’t get there by itself.” As readers continue to pore over the well-deserved articles about so many others at Butler on the front pages and sports sections of newspapers, or as the lead stories on air, far down the list to be featured or interviewed is the architect of Butler’s beautiful campus, the mastermind of its rich tradition, the major influence in its fundraising success, the main connection so many in our region and throughout the country have with Butler: Bobby Fong.

No more avid fan of Butler men’s basketball walks the face of this earth. Bobby will truly be missed! If this were major-league baseball, people would be asking, “How did we let him sign with a small-market team?” Is that what it takes, two trips to the Final Four, to realize what the real value of a great university leader actually is?

____________

Rick Markoff
 

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  • Right time
    Bobby Fong was great for Butler in his time, but it was time for him to move on.

    Butler has seen what it's basketball team (primarily) can do for the university, in general. The sort of public awareness and good will created is just something that could be replicated someday else.

    Inasmuch, Butler has decided, similar to Xavier, that they are going to heavily invest in athletics. BF's sensibilities are more inline with a D3 model. He just doesn't agree with the tact. The path is correct for Butler but just not under Bobby Fong.

    It's better for both, that they're going in separate directions.
  • education
    Online courses offer students the chance to participate in classes on their own schedule. You may connect from your home or office, reducing the amount of time you spend traveling. read "High Speed Universities" article on how online is changing the way we study

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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