Indiana Daily Student

Familiar challenges face new Trustee chairman

Rising costs and society's changing demands for education are among the persistent challenges facing the IU Board of Trustees newest chairman.

Trustee Thomas Reilly was elected to a two-year term during Friday's meeting. Reilly has served as trustee since former Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed him in 2005.

The board is prepared to continue confronting the University's challenges, he said.

"To my mind, the university under the leadership of President Michael A. McRobbie and the board chairmen, Steve Ferguson and Bill Cast, has made significant progress," Reilly said in a press release. "Most importantly, the quality of its offerings, its faculty, its research and its students have been strengthened.”

Four other new elections accompanied Reilly's rise to chairman.

Trustee MaryEllen Bishop, who was recently reelected to the board for a second three-year term, was elected vice chair. The board also elected Robin Roy Gress as secretary, Jacqueline Simmons as assistant secretary, MaryFrances McCourt as treasurer and Stewart Cobine as assistant treasurer.

MaryFrances McCourt was also appointed vice president and chief financial officer of the university by President McRobbie. The board approved her appointment today.

As Board treasurer, McCourt will continue to manage the University's investment and debt portfolios. As vice president and CFO, she will oversee most of the University's business functions and budgetary issues.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in a press release McCourt's proved herself an outstanding member of IU's administration.

“MaryFrances has developed a sophisticated understanding of Indiana University's highly complex finances as a result of her eight years of experience here," McRobbie said. "I know she will continue to provide strong fiscal leadership and solid guidance for the administration and the Board of Trustees."

McCourt said in a press release that she was honored to be selected for the role of vice president and CFO.

“I look forward to helping IU navigate through the headwinds facing higher education while capitalizing on vast opportunities,” she said.

The meeting also saw reports of increases in inventions created by staff and faculty, and the growth of IU's online classes.

Indiana University faculty and researchers have almost doubled the number of invention disclosures in the past three years, Board spokesman Ryan Piurek said in a press release.

And Piurek said leaders of IU's online classes program, IU Online Initiative, also presented plans to expand the Web-only service to all University schools. The online initiative now has more than 80 programs.

McRobbie said by next year, every IU school will have an online graduate program.

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