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August 16, 2002

 School of Business faculty thank interim dean
for a job well done

Ellen Paxton

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. As a student a decade ago, Ellen Paxton learned first hand what Indiana State University’s School of Business has to offer.

Now, as the school’s official cheerleader and fund-raiser, she’ll be spreading the word to businesses, foundations and alumni.

Paxton, who graduated in 1993 with a major in physical education-sports studies and a business minor, is the Business School’s new director of development. She comes to Indiana State from Radford University in Virginia, where she was director of annual giving for the past two years. A native of Guatemala, she previously worked at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.

“I understand, through not only my work as a student but as an [alumna] and staying in touch with ISU that the School of Business is held in very high regard and there is a still a lot of potential to be reached there,” said Paxton.

And the school can no longer rely solely on the state to help it meet that potential.

Twenty years ago, the university received 90 percent of its budget from state funds, but the state’s share has since fallen to 67 percent, according to Dave Hopkins, senior associate vice-president for academic affairs.

“If we’re going to enhance quality, we’ve got to find other revenue streams to do the things we want to do,” said Hopkins, who served as interim dean of the School of Business during the 2001-2002 academic year.

“The university and the state have done a very good job of providing support for the School of Business, but mainly those funds are there to help sustain what we’ve been able to develop,” said Ron Green, the Business School’s new dean.

“We’re seeing a national trend in terms of state assisted institutions,” said Paxton. “They’re no longer state supported, they are state assisted and private support is becoming more important every day – not only to enhance the programs that are going on but to maintain them at a particular level.”

Outside funding “is not just icing on the cake any more. This is really about maintaining the quality of the core course work and what the school of business stands for,” she added. “Those are the kinds of messages that I plan to carry when I have conversations with businesses, corporations, foundations and alumni about how truly essential it is to contribute back to Indiana State.”

But Paxton will also make sure the community knows what the School of Business has to offer.

“We’re not simply looking for donors to provide benevolent gifts to the university,” said Green. “We have many things in the School of Business that provide a service to the community and she’ll be able to talk about those things and show in a positive light all of the good things that we’re doing. Certainly we have a number of faculty and administrators within the school who are active externally but this will be her full-time job.”

Paxton vows to work hard to get faculty into the community more “to talk about the great projects that they’re involved in, to consult with different businesses and share their expertise with people in the community and in the region. We want to work with the admissions office and career services in helping them place students in internships.”

Paxton wants those who invest in the School of Business to know “how we can pay them back in terms of sending them our students and our alumni that are going to be very qualified for positions in their businesses. I’m very excited about the opportunity to come back to my alma mater and be able to serve in that capacity. I’m very much looking forward to it.”


Ellen Paxton, director of development, School of Business,
(812) 237-8514 or

Dave Taylor, assistant director of Public Affairs
(812) 237-3743 or

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or