Honoring Ed Marshall’s Legacy of Outstanding Leadership

Indiana Memorial Union
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
September 12, 2013


Good afternoon and welcome.

Thank you for joining us today as we gather to celebrate the long career and outstanding service of Ed Marshall and to wish him the best in the next chapter of his life.

We are joined today by a number of senior leaders of the university, including a number of current and former vice presidents.

In particular, I am delighted to welcome Trustee Phil Eskew. Please join me in welcoming Trustee Eskew.

Ed Marshall

As you know, Ed Marshall retired at the end of July after more than four decades of service, during which he made truly enormous contributions to Indiana University.

During that time, he distinguished himself as one of the nation’s leading professors and scholars in the field of optometry.

And, for the past six years as Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Ed has been one of IU’s leading voices on vitally important issues related to diversity and equality.

Ed is also, of course, an IU alumnus—several times over. He holds four degrees from IU, including a Doctor of Optometry degree, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Optometry, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology. And, for good measure, he also holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, so Ed is also a truly distinguished academic.

As an undergraduate at IU, Ed was a member of the historic Kappa Alphi Psi fraternity—which was the only national fraternity ever to be founded at IU and was one of the nation’s first fraternities for African Americans. In 2011, Ed coordinated the very successful celebration of the fraternity’s centennial, which was held here on the Bloomington campus.

Service to Optometry

In a few moments, Dean Joe Bonanno, from the School of Optometry, will say a few words about Ed’s distinguished service in the school and his contributions to his profession.

But I do want to mention one of Ed’s contributions to the school because it is indicative not only of his strong commitment to advancing public health, but also of his dedication to helping to meet the needs of underserved populations.

In 1972, just a year after he graduated from the school, Ed helped found the Community Eye Care Center, the school’s first off-campus clinic—and he served as the clinic's first director.

His efforts in this regard are an indication of his lifelong dedication to service and outreach, and, as I said, his commitment to promoting public health, which I will say more about in a moment.

A Champion of Equity and Diversity

At about the time I became president of IU in 2007, Ed’s predecessor, Charlie Nelms, left IU to become Chancellor at North Carolina Central University.

Given Ed’s deep commitment to diversity and equity in higher education, he was Charlie’s logical successor. Throughout his entire career, Ed has always reinforced inclusion and respect, and he has been a champion of equity for all students at Indiana University.

And, of course, he has been very successful in the role of vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs.

We have seen, for example, an increase in the enrollment of minority undergraduate students at IU from just over 14 percent of domestic enrollment when Ed began in 2007 to nearly 20 percent at the end of 2012.

Ed’s work has been an instrumental part of that success.

He coordinated the development and implementation of diversity plans for each of IU’s campuses. And he worked closely with me on the President's University Diversity Initiative, which I announced in 2008. Ed led a committee that evaluated the proposals submitted under the initiative and recommended 12 proposals that received a total of about $1 million of support for campus projects that promoted the continued development of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity at IU and equity of access for students from underrepresented communities.

During Ed’s tenure, the budget for the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program doubled and support for study abroad opportunities for students in DEMA’s scholarship programs increased. Ed has also worked tirelessly to rectify the lack of diversity in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields that are increasingly important to our national security, health, and competitiveness.

And Ed has always sought to address and resolve critical issues collaboratively and collegially. He has worked closely and effectively with the Bloomington provost; the regional campus chancellors; the vice president for research; the Office of Enrollment Management; deans, chairs, and faculty members in academic units across the university; affirmative action officers; and many, many others on this campus as well as colleagues from many of our partner institutions.

Service in the Interest of Public Health

Ed was also a founding member of the IU School of Medicine's Department of Public Health, and he served for many years as an adjunct professor in the department.

Ed has also given remarkable service to some of the leading public health associations.

In 2002, for example, he became the first optometrist to be elected to serve as president of the Indiana Public Health Association.

He is also a founding member of the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world.

In 2003, he became the first optometrist in the 132-year history of the American Public Health Association to be elected chair of the executive board.

We launched two new schools of public health last year—the Fairbanks School of Public Health on the IUPUI campus, and the School of Public Health—Bloomington. Ed was instrumental in the successful launch of these two new schools through his service as chair of the IU Public Health Coordinating Council, a position he has held since 2009. The Coordinating Council oversaw the very detailed planning for the development of the two schools, and its work is ongoing. I am very pleased that Ed has agreed to continue to serve as its chair even in retirement.

Introducing Dean Bonanno

His honors and awards, and there are many that I could mention, do not begin to capture the extensive contributions he has made to Indiana University and to higher education in general.

I think we all owe Ed a debt of gratitude for his dedicated and committed leadership, the effects of which will be felt for many years to come.

Now, it is my pleasure to welcome to the podium the dean of the IU School of Optometry, Joe Bonanno. Please join me in welcoming him.

Presentation of the President's Medal for Excellence

Thank you, Joe.

Ed, would you please join me at the podium?

In recognition of all that you have done for Indiana University, your extensive and wide-ranging service, and the sense of integrity that has been a hallmark of your service, it is my great pleasure to present you with the highest honor an Indiana University president can bestow: the President’s Medal for Excellence.

Criteria for recipients of this honor include distinction in public service, service to Indiana University, achievement in a profession, or extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education, and industry.

Ed, you have exceeded these criteria during the course of your outstanding career at Indiana University, and for that let me extend our deepest and most grateful thanks.

So, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the trustees of Indiana University, and in gratitude for your extraordinary service, dedication, and leadership over many years, I am privileged and honored to present to you the President’s Medal for Excellence.