The Installation of Ray Wallace as Chancellor of IU Southeast

Richard K. Stem Hall
Ogle Center
IU Southeast
New Albany, Indiana
December 5, 2014

Introduction

In 1968, a statement submitted by then-IU president Elvis Stahr to the IU Board of Trustees, outlined the administrative process by which IU’s “Extension Centers,” as they were then known, would become IU’s regional campuses. Historian Thomas Clarke called the document “one of the most important organizational documents in the history of Indiana University.”1 Although the Southeastern Center of Indiana University, as it was then known, was already referred to as a regional campus of IU at the time, the document gave IU Southeast its current name, established the chancellorship, and it also, in Clark’s words, “specified the manner in which the whole educational concept of a modern public university could be given broad application in a state.”2

Today, as we celebrate the installation of Ray Wallace as chancellor of Indiana University Southeast, we also celebrate a campus that continues to fulfill its regional and statewide missions with the greatest of success, a campus that continues to assure access to an education of the highest quality, and a campus that continues to exemplify the manner in which the educational concept of a modern university can be given broad application across a state.

The Regional Campuses: An Integral Part of IU’s Mission

For more than four decades, the regional campuses of Indiana University have made vital contributions to their regions and the state of Indiana. They have become an indispensible part of the fabric of their communities and their regions. Today, the regional campuses enroll about one-third of all IU students. They provide an excellent education to nearly 40,000 students a year, the vast majority of whom are Hoosiers, and many of whom are non-traditional or first-generation students. They are increasingly a first choice for some of the best and brightest high school students in the state.

Beyond serving as an integral part of IU’s broad mission to educate students from Indiana, our regional campuses, all of which have seen their enrollments increase to record levels in recent years, also serve as invaluable economic and community development catalysts in their regions and are playing a key role in helping the state achieve its goal of substantially increasing the number of Indiana residents with college degrees.

A Brief History of IU Southeast

What is now known as the IU Southeast campus has a long and productive history in a region that has always believed in the power of education. 

Indiana University’s teaching presence in the region dates back to the 1890s, when a number of the university’s distinguished faculty travelled to cities around the state, including New Albany, to give lectures and teach courses. 

In 1941, a major expansion of IU’s Extension Division was undertaken in Jeffersonville, with the establishment of the Falls City Area Center. Floyd McMurray, who had previously served as State Superintendent for Public Instruction, served as the director of the Jeffersonville campus through its first 15 years. Mr. McMurray later said that he “had a small budget, a used typewriter, and instructions to begin classes on September 18, 1941.”3

From those modest beginnings, the center continued to grow. In 1945, the center was officially renamed the Southeast Center of Indiana University,4 and in 1968, as a regional campus, IU Southeast awarded its first degrees.5

Since the move to New Albany in 1973, the physical campus has continued to grow, with the addition of facilities like Hillside Hall, the Life Sciences Building, the Student Activities Center (which was, incidentally, the first such facility to open on any regional campus)6 and, of course, the Ogle Center in which we are now gathered. In 2003, IU Southeast returned to Jeffersonville, with the opening of the graduate center. In 2008, I was delighted to dedicate the long-awaited and much-needed residence halls here on the New Albany campus. 

The history of this campus also includes such leaders as Byron Laird, who succeeded Floyd McMurray as director of the Southeastern Center, and Edwin Crooks, who served as the first official chancellor of IU Southeast. 

It also includes the leadership of Chancellor Emerita Sandra Patterson-Randles, who oversaw a great period of growth for the Southeast campus during her distinguished career, and Barbara Bichelmeyer, Executive Associate Vice President for University Academic Affairs and Senior Director of IU’s Office of Online Education, who served as interim chancellor for a year following the retirement of Chancellor Patterson-Randles. I am delighted that Chancellor Emerita Patterson-Randles and Professor Bichelmeyer are both with us today. 

All of these leaders, along with countless faculty, staff, and students, transformed this campus into what it is today. They helped build an intellectual community that is a vital part of this civic community.

Introducing Ray Wallace

And today, we celebrate a new chapter in the history of this outstanding campus, as we officially install Ray Wallace as the seventh chancellor of Indiana University Southeast. 

Having begun his duties on July 1st of this year, Ray may need no introduction to many of you. 

He has spent much of his first five months on the job meeting people on campus and in the community, assessing the many strengths of IU Southeast, and planning for the future. 

But let me take a moment to highlight a few of his accomplishments prior to his tenure at Indiana University.

Ray was born in Northern Ireland, where, as a young man, he was an international athlete, representing Northern Ireland in track and field. His talents brought him to the United States on an athletic scholarship to Eastern Illinois University. There, he earned bachelors and master’s degrees in English, and then began a distinguished career as an administrator, with positions of increasing responsibility at such institutions as the University of Tennessee, Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and Northwestern State University in Louisiana.

Most recently, Ray served as provost and senior vice chancellor at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. 

There, he re-established a university-wide honors program; developed a Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; developed partnerships with international institutions for faculty and student exchanges; oversaw the development of 12 new undergraduate degrees and 14 new minors; and strengthened the university’s outreach efforts to high school and community college students.

Prior to his service at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Ray served as served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Clayton State University in Georgia. 

And from 2000 to 2003, he was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama. 

All of us at Indiana University are very pleased to welcome Ray and his wife, Susan, to the IU family. 

Like the countless individuals who have contributed to the growth of this campus, Chancellor Ray Wallace is building towards a future of continuing partnership between IU Southeast and the communities it serves. 

This is a partnership based on shared aspirations and dreams, and it is a partnership of which all of us can be proud.

Source Notes

  1. Thomas D. Clarke, Indiana University, Midwestern Pioneer, Volume IV, Historical Documents Since 1816, (Indiana University Press, 1977), 749-750.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Draft press release for IU Southeast 40th Anniversary Celebration, IU Archives.
  4. Sharon Smith, “A Brief History of the Southeastern Campus,” IU Archives.
  5. Indiana University Southeast Historical Timeline, Web, accessed Nov. 30, 2014, URL” http://www.ius.edu/about-southeast/70th-anniversary-celebration/timeline.html
  6. Remarks of IU President John Ryan, Dedication of the IU Southeast Activities Building, delivered Feb. 1, 1980, IU Archives.