The Installation of Terry Allison as Chancellor of IU South Bend

Student Activities Center
IU South Bend
South Bend, Indiana
October 9, 2013

Introduction: Contributing to the Vitality of Indiana and the Nation

In 1966, Indiana University’s 12th president, Elvis J. Stahr wrote that “in the long years of her service to the life of her parent state, Indiana University has contributed richly to the cultivation of the talents of her sons and daughters and to the strength and vitality of Indiana and the nation. Her aspirations,” he wrote, “have always been characterized by intolerance for ‘second-best.’”1

As we celebrate the installation of Terry Allison as chancellor of the South Bend campus of Indiana University, we celebrate a campus that contributes richly to the cultivation of the talents of Indiana’s sons and daughters—and a campus that confirms that Indiana University’s aspirations continue to be characterized by intolerance for second best.

A Brief History of IU South Bend

What is now known as the IU South Bend campus has a long and productive history in a city that has always believed in the power of education. IU scheduled its first classes in the South Bend area in 1916. Aimed at local teachers, those classes met in a variety of public school buildings. With the Great Depression on the horizon, IU expanded its programs in 1933 to allow students to stay in the area to complete their first two years of coursework. About 200 students enrolled in this two-year program.2

Now, of course, the IU South Bend campus is the largest regional campus of Indiana University, with more than 8,000 IU students taking over 76,000 credit hours. The strong traditions of academic excellence that have developed here are evidenced by the campus’s seven schools and more than 100 academic majors and programs, which include both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The history of this campus includes, of course, leaders who have been part of the great history of leadership and partnership across the university and across the state.

That history includes Lester M. Wolfson, who led the campus from 1964 until 1987. During his distinguished tenure, IU South Bend became the first IU campus to offer a master of liberal arts degree, and the campus developed an emphasis on the arts that continues to this day.

In fact, last night in Indianapolis, my wife Laurie and I hosted the annual Academic Excellence Dinner, which recognizes some of IU’s most distinguished faculty, including those who have been named fellows of the major national or international scholarly academies, or who have received prestigious awards. I had the pleasure of confirming the strong traditions in the fine arts that have long been a hallmark of IU South Bend by presenting the President’s Medal for Excellence to IU South Bend Professor Emeritus Tony Droege. Professor Droege is a prolific painter, and he became the first faculty member from a regional campus to receive this award, the highest honor an IU president can bestow.

The South Bend campus continued to grow through the 1990s, as evidenced by the construction of Wiekamp Hall—which was, at the time, the first purpose-built classroom facility added to the campus in more than 30 years—and the building in which we gather today, the Student Activities Center, which was dedicated in 2004.

More recently, I was very pleased to dedicate campus facilities that were part of the legacy of leadership of Chancellor Una Mae Reck, including the long-awaited River Crossing Campus Apartments, and, more recently the renovated Education and Arts Building.

And, just one year ago, I was very pleased to announce that the Judd Leighton Foundation had made an extraordinarily generous gift of $4 million—the largest single donor gift in the history of the South Bend campus—to the School of Business and Economics, and to formally name the school as the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics. This transformative gift strengthens an already exceptional learning experience for IU South Bend students.

The leaders I have mentioned, along with countless other campus and university leaders, and countless faculty, staff, and students, have transformed this campus into what it is today. They helped build an intellectual community that is a vital part of this civic community and this entire region.

Introducing Terry Allison

Today that strong leadership continues as we officially welcome and install Terry Allison as chancellor of the South Bend campus of Indiana University.

Having begun his duties on July 1st of this year, Terry may need no introduction to many of you. 

He has spent much of his first three months on the job meeting people on campus and in the community, assessing the many strengths of IU South Bend, and planning for the future.

But let me take a moment to highlight a few of his accomplishments prior to his tenure at Indiana University.

Most recently, Terry served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Governors State University in Illinois. His achievements there included the formation of strong community partnerships and the implementation of new educational programming in, among other areas, information technology, community health, entrepreneurship and urban education.

He also focused on improving academic quality, growing enrollment and ensuring cultural diversity at Governors State University through the creation of the university's first five-year academic master plan.

From 2006 to 2010, Terry served as dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a tenured English professor at California State University at Los Angeles. There, he managed enrollment, facilities, personnel and academic quality issues and worked to establish several new programs and initiatives, including a new MFA in television, film and theater, and a strategic language initiative.

Terry was also a faculty member and served in a variety of roles over a period of 15 years at California State University at San Marcos. There, his responsibilities steadily increased to include leadership responsibilities for finance, planning, administration and assessment.

Like the countless individuals who have contributed to the growth of this campus, Terry Allison is building towards a future of continuing partnership between northern Indiana and IU South Bend.

This is a partnership based on shared aspirations and dreams, and it is a partnership of which all of us can be proud.

Source Notes

  1. Elvis J. Stahr, “Extending the Margin of Greatness,” Draft of January 1966 sesquicentennial fundraising letter, IU Archives.
  2. Dedication of the South Bend-Mishawaka Center Program. University Center Theater. IU Center South Bend-Mishawaka. South Bend, Indiana. 25 Mar. 1962. Indiana University Archives.