Filling Fong's outsized shoes at Butler

November 8, 2010
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One of the more interesting executive searches to hit Indianapolis in awhile is Butler University’s quest to replace its celebrated president, Bobby Fong, who over the past decade shook up the struggling institution in as gentle a manner imaginable and then this spring basked in the limelight as the Bulldog basketball team capped a Cinderella run to the NCAA championship game with a loss to powerhouse Duke University.

Fong announced in late October he would leave at the end of the academic year to undertake another project, this time leading Ursinus College in the Philadelphia area.

The job hasn’t been advertised yet, so specifics aren’t in public view. But ask Butler board Chairman John Hargrove what the trustees are looking for in a new president and he avoids talk of metrics and targets. Instead, he says the candidate will help the university continue to excel at The Butler Way.

The Butler Way isn’t easy to pigeonhole in the context of higher education because it isn’t overtly academic. Here’s the official definition: “The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement while promoting the good of the team above self.”

So the trustees will be looking for someone who can help Butler continue making gains in academics, enrollment and in its endowment while staying comfortable in its skin.

“Why would we want to change it to be like someone else? We want people to be like us,” Hargrove says.

Butler benchmarks itself against such universities as Villanova, Creighton and Bradley—private, residential and comprehensive institutions awarding 100-199 master’s degrees a year.

The university intends to land a replacement by the time Fong leaves. If you were a candidate, what would you pitch to the trustees? Any thoughts about Butler or Fong?
 

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  • Butler Way
    It probably won't happen this way because the guy I am thinking of came up in athletics and may not have the proper skill set, but the author of the Butler Way is Barry Collier. Butler could see that he gets an honorary docterate this spring, then give him the job.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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