Where Fong should take Butler next

April 5, 2010
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No university could buy the kind of attention Butler is getting from its Final Four run. There has been a blizzard of it, and virtually all of it positive.

What should Butler do with all that new public relations capital?

Jerry Bepko, the former IUPUI chancellor who oversaw a sweeping upgrade of the campus, shot Butler President Bobby Fong a message recently congratulating him on his successes and telling him he had come to an especially propitious moment.

Fong couldn’t have asked for the attention at a better time, says Bepko, who raised hundreds of millions of dollars and saw enrollment climb before stepping into emeritus status in 2003. The world has arrived at Butler’s doorstep just as Fong has put its house in order.

Fong has been quietly building Butler’s academics and life experiences to the point where Bepko has taken notice of the honest, respectful and intellectually solid nature of its grads in the class he teaches at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

“It’s not a school built on fads or scintillism,” Bepko says. “It’s built on a bedrock of traditional values. It’s a gem. And Bobby Fong has added to that gem.”

Parents and students who take a look at Butler as a result of its basketball success not only will like the institution, Bepko says, but they’ll also like the enclave tucked safely away from high-crime areas yet minutes from a vibrant downtown. Recruiting could be stepped up and donors courted.

“This would be a good time for him and his board to decide how to take advantage of the strength they have built,” Bepko says.

If you were Fong and Butler trustees, what would you do?
 

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  • Fong & BU
    My wife is a 3-degree alumna of BU and former adjunct faculty. I participated in Pres. Fong's installation as the U of Chicago representative. We have been utterly delighted with the direction of BU since Pres. Fong was installed. It's not just basketball - BU recently was granted a Phi Beta Kappa charter. Only colleges/universities meeting the highest standards for liberal arts education are granted Phi Beta Kappa charters. namaste

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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