IBJNews

LEADING QUESTIONS: Butler's Fong talks sports, Stevens

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Leading Questions

Welcome to the latest installment of  “Leading Questions: Wisdom from the Corner Office,” where  IBJ sits down with central Indiana’s top bosses to talk shop about their industry and the habits that lead to success.

Bobby Fong, 60, became president of Butler University in 2001 and hit the national spotlight this spring when the men's basketball team streaked through the NCAA championship to the final game in its hometown. Fong gave 37 media interviews over a four-day period during Final Four festivities, and he also could be found hobnobbing with celebrating students.

Although hardly media fodder, Fong's achievements as president have been no less vital to the school than the high-profile exploits of Butler's hoops squad. After the university ran on deficits for more than a decade, Fong instituted financial equilibrim in the budget process and started an eight-year streak of surplus budgets beginning in the 2002-2003 fiscal year. In 2009, the school completed a six-year fundraising campaign, raising $154 million for scholarships, programs and facilities—almost $30 million more than the public goal.

In the video below, Fong discusses his Final Four experience, capped by the decision to extend basketball coach Brad Stevens' contract and pay him at a major-college level. (The contract is believed to include about $600,000 in base pay, plus bonuses that could bring its annual value close to $1 million; Fong declined to reveal details.) He also tackles the issue of generating revenue for Butler, including the steps he's not willing to take to bolster the top line.



The first American-born child of Chinese immigrants, Fong began studying baseball as a child to learn more about American culture. Today, he's on the board of the Indianapolis Indians and sports oodles of baseball memorabilia in his office on Butler's campus. In the video below, Fong shows off some of his prized possessions and finds similarities between being a university president and a team manager.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Marvin Scott
    Why does Butler continue to emply the racist, homophobic, perennially losing Marvin Scott? Is their a race/gender/sexual orientation he has NOT offended in public? Why does the university continue to associate itsself with a man of such low moral character?
  • bobby fong
    Bobby Fong is an inspiring leader and a genuinely nice guy. Butler and Indianapolis are blessed by his presidency. But for full disclosure I admit to bias in his favor; because, for the sheer joy of it, Bobby organized my childhood baseball card collection, which I had not looked at in decades.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Yes sir keep cashing those 300K a year checks direct to IMS, while millions disappear from the teams like Rahal's. Guess there wasn't enough ka- ching going around to keep Sarah Fisher in business without their "merger". LOL._____.Meanwhile back in Realville the series with the "best racing in the world" drew what appeared to be about 5000 live spectators ( and probably 1500 of those Target "freebies", and was beaten in the ratings by a series that reportedly consists of "parades" and aired while most people are still sleeping. That will generate those big ka-chings for sure. :-). But, hey, as long as the Speedway gets the cash who gives a damn about the teams?

  2. Welcome to PETERSON LOAN AGENCY Company (A Personalized Service for All Your Financial Needs) We, Liberal Investment Company Providers offers loan at a very low interest rate of 2%, we offer Personal loans, Debt Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Educational Loan, Home Loan, and Loan for any reason and urgent needs!. with a maximum duration of 30 years. Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business? Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan ranges from $5,000-USD (Five Thousand US dollars) to $50, 000,000.00.(Fifty Million US dollars). We also lend in USA DOLLARS EURO and POUNDS ! Fill in this form and forward it to our email: PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM 1. Your Full names:_______ 2. Contact address:_______ 3. Country Of Residence:______ 4. Loan Amount Required:________ 5. Duration:_____ 6. Gender:_____ 7. Occupation:________ 8. Monthly Income:_______ 9. Date Of Birth:________ 10.Telephone Number:________ 11. Purpose of loan:_________ Yours In Service, MR PERRY, PETERSONLOANAGENCY@GMAIL.COM

  3. If I could actually get the prices...I would do this on my own. We need laws that force provides to publish the costs they will charge. Everyone else gives you the price in advance...except hospitals.

  4. I was under the impression that fencing is not allowed on a front yard and that on a corner, both sides are considered "front" yards, therefore can't be fenced without a variance. Also impedes the visibility for drivers at the intersection. Am I understanding this correctly? Might be why a fence was not included in the plans and a request for a variance will have to be made?.

  5. I was a big fan of Cowards and Carrots, which I got a chance to see at the show. It's currently on Kickstarter, but the designer also put out What's He Building in There last year, which got a fair amount of buzz.

ADVERTISEMENT