“‘It’s All About Relationships’: Interim Chancellor Stuart Green”

Havens Auditorium
IU Kokomo
June 28, 2010


It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate the leadership and career of Stuart Green. On behalf of the university, let me extend greetings to Senator Buck, Mayor Goodnight, Ms. Kitchell and Mr. Patel of Congressman Joe Donnelly’s office. It is also my great pleasure to greet so many members of Stu and Janine’s family who have come to this celebration.

Forging and Strengthening Relationships

In a 2009 radio interview with IU Professor Emeritus Moya Andrews, Stuart Green said, “It’s all about relationships on our campus.”1 Over the past thirty-eight years at IU Kokomo, it has always been about relationships for Stu Green. In that time, he has been forging and strengthening relationships that have helped make this campus what it is today.

Preparing to Become a Teacher

Stuart’s belief in people dates back to his childhood. When asked when he knew he would be a teacher, he immediately recalls his own fifth grade teacher Polly Schlimmer, who visited his home and advised his parents to nurture their son’s artistic talent. Stu adds with conviction, “You remember the names of those teachers that were important to you.”2 Soon after that visit, Stuart was taking the El into downtown Chicago to take classes at the Art Institute every Saturday. He was ten years old.

Stuart earned a full scholarship to the Art Institute, graduating with his Bachelor in Fine Arts. He went on to earn his MFA from the Rochester Institute for Technology where he continued his studies of painting, drawing, art history, but also concentrated on pedagogy. After receiving his advanced degree, he spent a short period of time working in occupational and recreation therapy and teaching at a community college.

Achievements at IU Kokomo

In 1972, Stuart accepted a position as assistant professor of fine arts at IU Kokomo. He began his administrative responsibilities in the early ’80s after a rather heated faculty senate meeting in which he gave a speech in opposition to a new campus mission statement, which was ultimately not approved. The next day, Chancellor Thompson, whom many of you remember, called Stuart into his office. You can imagine what Stuart thought was coming, but the chancellor asked Stu how he would like to be the chair of the Department of Humanities. Thompson’s argument: Stuart was just the type of bold, independent thinker who would speak his mind and bring energy and change to the position, and he did just that.

He became chairperson of the Department of Humanities in 1981, served as dean of Arts and Sciences from 1982 to 1998, and began his tenure as vice chancellor of academic affairs in 1998.

Those of you who know Stuart know that he is quite an accomplished singer. I recall that Trustee Shoulders threatened to require him to sing to secure approval for his appointment to Interim Chancellor in 2008. It was also Trustee Shoulders who commended Stu on his dynamic, successful, and productive leadership after Stu’s impressive campus report—which he didn’t sing, by the way—at the February trustees meeting.

As you can imagine, after such a lengthy career, it would take a great deal of time to present all of Stuart’s accomplishments at IU Kokomo, but I would like to highlight a few that will help convey what a tremendous impact he has had on this campus, this university, and this community.

Stu helped develop the campus’ current mission statement and strategic plan, helped strengthen IU Kokomo's relationship with Ivy Tech and with Purdue College of Technology Kokomo, and reorganized the Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

I should also mention Stu’s support for the campus’ participation in the American Democracy Project, his work in developing the North Central Indiana Regional Leadership Institute, and his involvement with the construction of the nursing clinical simulation center, which will further strengthen IU Kokomo’s nursing program.

One of his most impressive achievements has been his deep involvement in developing degree programs, not only in his area of expertise, but across the campus. During his tenure as vice and interim chancellor, fourteen new academic programs have been developed in the arts and sciences, business, public administration, education, health sciences, entrepreneurship studies, homeland security, and informatics.

For Stu, it always comes back to strengthening relationships and building bridges to the future.

In fact, I can think of no better tribute to Stu’s leadership than the fact that IU Kokomo’s 10,000th graduate walked across the stage at Stu’s last commencement. Many of you know that Stu’s wife Janine is one of those 10,000 graduates. Faculty, staff, and students alike know that she has been a most gracious first lady and that she loves this campus as much as Stu does. Janine, you have our deep gratitude for all that you have given to this campus and this community.

There may be no better way to capture Stu’s dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching and students than to share the story about his teaching the famous duet “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni. As part of the course, Stu and his colleagues arranged for students to attend a performance of the opera. In telling this story, Stu emphasizes the special instruction they gave to students about opera etiquette. The night of the performance the students were spread throughout the auditorium, and when the bass baritone began the duet, Stu’s students surprised everyone by singing along, and they sang through the entire piece. There is not a flicker of irritation when Stu tells this story, which he describes as hysterical. Ultimately, he says those students owned that piece and will forever and ever. This shows the power of education.

It also shows the great positive energy that Stu brings to every moment. As he himself has said, “You have to be prepared for the next good thing to happen.”3 For Stu, retirement is the next good thing, and on behalf of Indiana University, Stu, we wish you and Janine great happiness as you commence this new journey.

Presenting the Distinguished Service Medal

Before I conclude, I would like to make a special presentation.

Stu, would you please join me at the podium.

In recognition of all that you have done for Indiana University and for the IU Kokomo campus, it is my great pleasure to present to you the very first Indiana University Distinguished Service Medal.

The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the Indiana University seal surrounded by an image of the trailing arbutus, Indiana University’s official flower. The medal is accompanied by a parchment that reads: Indiana University gratefully recognizes the outstanding contributions of Stuart Green by bestowing upon him the Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of sustained contributions and tireless commitment to the university. Given this twenty-eighth day of the year two thousand ten at Indiana University Kokomo.

Stuart, thank you and congratulations.

Source Notes

  1. Green, Stuart. Interviewed by Moya Andrews. “Indiana University Kokomo Interim Chancellor Stuart Green.” Indiana Public Media Website. <http://indianapublicmedia.org/profiles/indiana-university-kokomo-interim-chancellor-stuart-green/>.
  2. Op cit.
  3. Op cit.