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October 2, 2002

ISU selected as site for
Department of Commerce field office

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Indiana State University will be home of one of 12 field offices in the state designed to aid communities with economic development, Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan and ISU President Lloyd W. Benjamin announced today.  [audio]   [Download Real Player for Windows / Macintosh]

"This economic development project modernizes the way the Department of Commerce supports Hoosier communities and businesses and Indiana State University is proud to be a part of it," Benjamin said during a news conference in front of the Myers Technology Building on the ISU campus.

"ISU has an important role in making the Wabash Valley a better place to live, especially in these challenging economic times. While the University fulfills its mission statewide and possesses a sphere of influence at the national and international levels, we are mindful that given our location, we must be particularly sensitive to the needs and interests of the citizens of West-Central Indiana."

Kernan agreed that ISU plays an important role in the state's economic future.

"Indiana has an outstanding network of higher education institutions -- and they play a crucial role in our state's economic development activities, and that's certainly the case with Indiana State," Kernan said. "Putting a regional office here makes sense -- the site is centrally located, it provides great access to telecommunications and infrastructure and the university has shown great interest in partnering with us. We are extremely thankful to ISU for its generosity and look forward to a long relationship with the university."

ISU will house the Region 6 office, which will serve Clay, Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.

"This is an exciting day for Indiana State University, the City of Terre Haute and the west-central region of Indiana," said Greg Goode, executive assistant to the president for external relations at ISU.

"While the State of Indiana, like most states across the country, is facing challenging economic times, it is clear that greater attention to economic development is needed. ISU has an important role with regard to economic development in this part of the state. We are grateful that the Department of Commerce has chosen to locate its field office in our city, and we look forward to working with Lt. Governor Joe Kernan, Regional Director Chris Pfaff, and the State of Indiana on this important endeavor."

Operated by the Indiana Department of Commerce, it will aid in business retention and attraction, international trade, tourism, small and minority business development, energy policy, professional development and rural development.

Pfaff, a native and resident of Terre Haute, will serve as the Region 6 director. The office is expected to open by the end of October. Thomas McKenna is the executive director of the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Commerce in July announced a major restructuring of the department to modernize the way it supports communities and businesses, providing a greater emphasis on economic development.


Contact & Writer:
Jennifer Kearns, assistant director of public affairs
(812) 237-8037 or

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or