Indiana University’s Presidential Appointment Carries Historic Significance
Mr. Adam W. Herbert received unanimous approval from the Indiana University Board of Trustees last month, making him the school’s first Black president. He takes over Aug. 1.
Herbert has 35 years of experience as a teacher, researcher and college administrator. Since 2001, he has been the founding executive director of the Florida Center for Public Policy and Leadership Development, a think tank at the University of North Florida.
He said he looked forward to the responsibility of serving as steward of one of Indiana’s “most valuable assets.”
“Over the years ahead, I will never forget that every IU president has an obligation to enhance your university and ultimately leave it even stronger and more distinguished than when we have found it,” he says.
Herbert takes charge of a university facing tight budget constraints and increasing pressure to help boost the state’s economy. But he said it was the university’s position as a top research school, emphasis on potential job-
building programs such as life sciences, and strategic location that swayed him to accept the job.
He also said he would continue aggressively pushing for increased state and federal funding, calling it an obligation to help elected officials understand the long-term consequences of university budget cuts.
Herbert was president of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville from 1989 to 1998. He then served as chancellor of Florida’s $5 billion state university system — the second largest university system in the nation with about 230,000 students and 44,000 employees.
Herbert acknowledged his status as IU’s first Black president, saying it carries historic significance for both the university and higher education in general. But he said he expects to be judged on his contributions, not his skin color.
Herbert is the only Black university president in the Big Ten Conference. He replaces former President Myles Brand, who left in December to head the National Collegiate Ath
letic Association. Along with his wife, Karen, Herbert said he plans to be actively involved in the community, as he was in Jacksonville, where he headed the Chamber of Commerce and spearheaded a move to bring an NFL team to town.
Herbert, 59, signed a five-year contract that will essentially carry him to the university’s mandatory retirement age of 65. He will receive a base salary of $335,000.
Born in Muskogee, Okla., Herbert earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California in 1966. He continued his education at USC, earning his master of public administration degree a year later. Herbert earned his doctor of philosophy degree in urban affairs and public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.
— Associated Press and news releases
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