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October 21, 2002


Lilly Endowment, Inc.An Outreach of the Indiana State University School of Business  [WFIU radio segment]  to provide new directions in financial services for Indiana, the nation, and the world.
Funded by a Grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Over the past several years, the financial services industry has been faced with a number of challenges and opportunities. The development of innovative approaches for dealing with emerging issues and trends is necessary to ensure the long-term vitality of the industry. NetWorks is such an approach.


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The concept of NetWorks emerged from the work of a number of people, including faculty from the ISU School of Business who participated in a “quantum leap team,” as well as representatives of the financial services industry and the state’s political leadership. These individuals were charged by ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin III to examine ways in which the School of Business could build upon its strengths to better serve Indiana and move it—and ISU—to greater prominence. The result was the development of NetWorks—a shared vision designed to capitalize on the school’s history of providing leaders for the financial services industry within the state and nationally.

That vision became a reality thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, which manifested itself in the form of a $20 million, four-year grant to the ISU Foundation. As a result, NetWorks will build upon the traditional strengths of ISU and its School of Business to provide a platform for the development of “reality-based, innovative approaches” to dealing with emerging issues and trends in the financial services industry.

NetWorks in Action:

NetWorks is intended to serve as a catalyst for change within the School of Business and the financial services industry itself. In fulfilling this purpose, NetWorks will function as an incubator of intellectual capital. It also will seek to accomplish its goals through the formation of new partnerships among participating educators and practitioners.

Among the activities it will engage in are:

Attracting Innovative Thinkers and Scholars from Academia

  • providing research support for the development of scholarly innovation

  • providing opportunities for innovative curricular development

  • providing opportunities to support the development of industry programs and services for the financial services industry

Attracting the Best and the Brightest Students to ISU’s School of Business

  • providing scholarship opportunities for students

  • providing for experiential learning through internships and class projects

  • providing opportunities for students to participate in research with faculty

Introducing Executive Experience through Scholarly Exchange

  • providing opportunities for an executive-in-residence with academia

  • providing opportunities for a faculty internship with industry

Providing Opportunities for Open Exchange of Ideas

  • sponsoring annual conferences

  • establishing Web-based NetWorks

  • establishing round table conferences  

Providing Opportunities for Financial Services Awareness Programs

  • sponsoring continuing education programs for financial services for Indiana’s k-12 educators

  • developing materials for personal financial education to Indiana’s k-12 educators

  • sponsoring an annual financial services conference in Indianapolis for collegiate and high school students

  • sponsoring seminars promoting the need for personal financial literacy

  • publishing a semi-annual financial services education journal

  • sponsoring an annual ethics symposia both nationally and internationally

Supporting Curricula Development within the ISU School of Business

  • providing mechanism to enhance the focus of undergraduate and graduate programs on the financial services industry

  • providing support for professional development of ISU School of Business faculty

  • providing support for professional development for other ISU faculty contributing to NetWorks programs

NetWorks and Centers of Excellence

One of Networks’ principal functions will be to spawn focused Centers of Excellence. These centers may emerge from the issues presently confronting the financial services industry such as risk management or ethical leadership. They may also develop as a natural outgrowth of NetWorks conducting its various activities.

Providing ISU students and faculty with teaching and learning opportunities through various collaborations with scholars and practitioners from around the world also is a primary focus of NetWorks. It is anticipated that these activities will give rise to additional Centers of Excellence in ISU’s School of Business. These centers will be designed to positively impact both education and professional practice.

The School of Business

Indiana State University’s School of Business is dedicated to providing its students with focused and participatory educational experiences that will help them succeed in their careers. In doing so the school reflects ISU’s philosophy of providing a personalized educational experience built upon smaller class sizes, a faculty committed to teaching excellence and involvement with students, and the opportunity to participate in active or experiential learning through internships or other similar activities.

The School of Business also seeks involvement in collaborative endeavors that will enhance educational opportunities for its students while having a positive impact on a given profession. Such an effort exists in the Gongaware Center for Insurance Management Development. As a result, the center’s programs include student scholarships, executive education, and industry research.

Led by an outstanding faculty with strong research credentials, the Indiana State University School of Business is fully accredited by the AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

For more information, contact:
Office of the Dean
School of Business
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana 47809
Phone:  (812) 237-2000
FAX:  (812) 237-7631