IU unveils $15M donor for biz-school expansion

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Bigger and better surroundings for undergrads at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business will be named Hodge Hall, in honor of an alumnus who is giving $15 million for the project.

IU publicly thanked James Hodge, an Indiana native who is president of Permal Asset Management Inc. in New York City for the gift, which he pledged anonymously in 2009.

Hodge, 59,who was born in Marion, said he decided to go public about the donation in hopes of spurring more giving toward the $60 million project.

“I’m getting older,” he said. “I better say something about it while I know what I’m talking about.”

Construction is due to start this spring on an expansion to the original undergraduate facility, built in 1966. IU has raised enough to start that phase of the project, which is estimated to cost $30 million.

The university is still seeking another $30 million for a second phase of renovations. The whole project is supposed to be wrapped up in five years.

IU said the project will create spaces that allow Kelley faculty to provide “technology-mediated experience that will literally bring the world to Bloomington.”

Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley school, said the building project will “transform the way in which we approach business education and, in the process, fundamentally improve the lives of students for years to come. And none of this would have been possible were it not for Jim’s incredible generosity.”

With 4,000 undergraduates enrolled, the Kelley school’s existing classrooms are 100-percent booked, and the school routinely turns away more than 500 qualified applicants because of space limitations, according to an IU press release. The project will add more than 20 new classrooms.

He credits the Kelley faculty with boosting his confidence and imparting important lessons that he still uses in business. In his first meeting with Leslie Waters, the professor explained that he couldn’t accept a small gift, a pen-and-pencil set, from a student who was about to graduate because it was prohibited under university policy.

“I think a number of people from my financial services world would have benefitted from this early lesson, with some of them paying heavy career prices for accepting small gifts like tickets to sporting events,” Hodge said.

Waters, his faculty adviser, also told him, in not so many words, to ‘man-up’ and take calculus, Hodge said.

“I generally think that whatever’s gone right for me in my career was started the day I walked into Waters’ office,” he said. “In Bloomington, the sun came out for me.”

Hodge earned a bachelor’s degree with highest distinction in 1974. He earned an MBA at Harvard University and went on to become president of Permal, one of the oldest and largest alternative asset-management firms in the world.

Hodge serves on the Dean’s Council and is on the board of directors of the IU Foundation. He previously funded an endowed chair at the school.  


  • Long term costs
    You are correct that building costs do not appear in tuition. What does appear is the enormous direct cost of utilities and maintenance over the life cycle of the facility and these costs, when accumulated with building after building after building are astoundingly large. There is another cost factor that is "hidden", the additional so-called indirect costs that are charged by the university to every project, contract, or grant administered by the university. Unless there is a sinking fund provided by the donors, philanthropists or the state of Indiana, which there almost never is, each new building adds enormous operating costs that need to be collected, at least in part, by tuition.
  • Very exciting
    Jack: building construction does not change the cost of tuition. Buildings are constructed thanks to supporters like Mr. Hodge...it does not come from tuition.
  • Universities Over Built
    This is not a benefit to IU or the State of Indiana. Most state universities across the USA are over built with mammoth facilities that are excruciatingly expensive to maintain. The high of post secondary education is being driven by two factors: faculty avarice and building over construction. It is time to think about contraction not expansion.

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim