On This Day in IUPUI History: August 15, 1986

August 15, 1986

Indiana University vice president and IUPUI chancellor-to-be Gerald L. Bepko held a press conference shortly after being appointed to both positions by the IU Board of Trustees. Previously dean of the IU School of Law-Indianapolis (now IU McKinney School of Law) since 1982, Bepko answered questions put to him by newspaper and television reporters. The event marked Bepko's first day back in Indianapolis since his appointment as vice president on August 5, having been away at law conferences and on a family vacation. Bepko officially assumed his new role on September 1.

The Indianapolis Star noted that Bepko said upgrading undergraduate programs "will require additional funding;" he added that "the leadership of the university is committed to that." One element of that upgrade was replacing part-time instructors with full-time faculty. Another was migrating programs from the 38th Street campus, where faculty felt ignored and alienated, to West Michigan Street. "I also want to begin the process of rebuilding and finding a new home for the campus library," he said. Star reporter Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp (a former IUPUI Sagamore student journalist) added that the new chancellor vowed to enlist the support of city leaders to strengthen academic programs and build minority enrollments.

An attorney and former Federal Bureau of Investigation "G-man," Bepko served IUPUI as chancellor until he retired in 2003 (after a stint as interim president of Indiana University as well). It was a period of dynamic growth on the IUPUI campus. During his tenure, he accomplished the goals mentioned in the presser: IUPUI improved undergraduate programs, expanded graduate education, hired more full-time faculty, built University Library, recruited minority students, worked closely with city and state constituents, and more. 

Jerry Bepko at press conference, 1986 UA24-002341n

To learn more about IUPUI's dynamic growth in the Bepko years, please visit IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.

During IUPUI's 50th Anniversary year (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019), On This Day in IUPUI History will chronicle events both big and small that reflect IUPUI's unique experience. Check this space every day to learn about IUPUI's first fifty years: https://ulib.iupui.edu/special/blog.  

Updated Aug 15, 2018 by Editor Name Missing