June 22 2007
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My wife and I have greatly enjoyed our past seven years serving at Indiana State University. However, we both have unfulfilled personal and professional ambitions and dreams that cannot be pursued at the national and international levels, or in our personal lives, while serving as president,Ã¢â‚¬Â Benjamin told the ISU Board of Trustees.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Therefore, Wieke and I have decided to transition to a new stage in our professional lives. I have informed the trustees of my decision to transfer out of the presidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s position at the conclusion of my current contract,Ã¢â‚¬Â Benjamin said.
As Indiana StateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 10th president, Benjamin served the university during a period of Ã¢â‚¬Å“incredible achievements,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Board of Trustees President Mike Alley.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dr. Benjamin was integral in developing the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strategic plan, the Path to Pre-Eminence, and has been particularly effective at implementing that plan. Under his leadership, there has been tremendous change in the role Indiana State fills in IndianaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s post-secondary environment. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think you can understate his vision and effectiveness. We can be very proud of the leadership Dr. Benjamin has given us,Ã¢â‚¬Â Alley said.
Alley thanked Benjamin for providing sufficient notice of his intent so the university can conduct a national - or even international - search for a new president.
Also on Friday, ISU trustees approved a 2007-08 operating budget totaling $137.6 million, a 4 percent increase over 2006-07.
The budget is built upon a projected 4 percent increase in first-time freshmen and a 0.6 percent decline in overall undergraduate enrollment due to smaller class sizes created by previous enrollment patterns. Graduate school enrollment is projected to remain stable.
An average faculty and staff salary increase of 3 percent is incorporated into the 2007-08 budget, along with support for faculty promotions, salary floor adjustments and degree adjustments. Health insurance costs remain unchanged thanks to lower than expected medical claims during 2006. The budget includes a 2 percent increase in other fringe benefits and a 3 percent increase in student wage lines due to a pending increase in the minimum wage.
Trustees also approved a recommendation for criminal background checks on all new staff, effective July 1, and student employees working in financial areas or in areas with access to sensitive electronic information. Procedures for criminal background checks for faculty are being developed jointly with the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s academic administration and Faculty Senate representatives.
During a seminar on Thursday, trustees heard a report on a record $63 million in campus construction projects currently under way or planned to begin later this summer. Projects include renovation of University Hall to house the College of Education and construction of a new Student Recreation Center, scheduled to begin in July. Work is well under way on the Cherry Street Multi-Modal Transportation Facility, a joint project with the city of Terre Haute that will provide 635 parking spaces to serve the university and downtown community.
The university sold $48 million in bonds this week to finance the University Hall and Student Recreation Center projects. The bonds will carry an average interest rate of 4.6 percent, well below a projected rate of 5 percent.
Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III has announced his intention to step aside as president upon completion of his current contract. Benjamin's tenure has been a period of "incredible achievements," said Board of Trustees President Mike Alley.