Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis honored among Women of Influence by Indianapolis Business Journal

October 27, 2022

Dr. Deborah J. Curtis, President of Indiana State University, was honored Thursday morning by the Indianapolis Business Journal as part of its 2022 Women of Influence class.

Curtis was recognized for outstanding achievements and impact during a breakfast at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. She was among 21 people chosen from nearly 200 individuals nominated by readers.

“I am sincerely grateful to be honored with this special recognition,” Curtis said. “It is particularly poignant for me that Indiana State University is highlighted by this event. ISU has provided the foundation for so many productive careers for women over its more than 150 years. This is certainly the case for me as an alum of this wonderful university.”

Curtis began her tenure as ISU’s twelfth president on January 3, 2018. She is the first female and only the second graduate of Indiana State to serve as president.

Curtis is passionate about post-secondary educational attainment and this passion was highlighted by those who know her in their letters of support for her nomination.

“Her commitment to 21st Century student success and first-generation college student success is noteworthy and should be highlighted in our community,” wrote Kathy Cabello, chair of the ISU Board of Trustees.”

Cabello added, “She has made it a priority to improve and increase fundraising and development,” noting that under Curtis’s leadership Indiana State launched the “most successful and aggressive comprehensive campaign in the history of the institution.” She was referring to the Be So BOLD campaign, which publicly launched in September.

“Her campaign leadership will provide needed support to our Sycamore students to ensure their academic success and subsequently improve their economic mobility,” Cabello wrote. 

Sagamore Institute President and former Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers wrote, “Dr. Curtis is a champion for higher education at the Indiana Statehouse. During her tenure, Indiana State has excelled in the state’s performance funding formula based on student persistence and success. She has led innovative partnerships with other higher education institutions on initiatives such as the ‘Pathway to Blue’ program with Ivy Tech Community College.”

In addition to her achievements for Indiana State University as its president, Curtis uplifts ISU through her service in the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Board; The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership; Indiana Chamber Board; Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation Board; Community-Engaged Alliance (formerly Indiana Campus Compact) Board; NCAA Division I Presidential Forum; and Indiana Chamber 2025+ Task Force.

A publication featuring profiles of all Women of Influence awardees will be published in a special supplement in IBJ’s Oct. 28 issue.

Photo of Dr. Deborah J. Curtis

Photo of Dr. Curtis accepting award

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131