A report on “The Future of Jobs” issued earlier this year by the World Economic Forum states that we are at the beginning of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” As the report says, “Developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology, to name just a few, are all building on and amplifying one another. This will lay the foundation for a revolution more comprehensive and all-encompassing than anything we have ever seen.”1
The report goes on to point out that these revolutionary changes are having a major impact on nearly all businesses and industries. As a result, most occupations are undergoing fundamental transformations. Some jobs are threatened by redundancy. Other jobs are growing rapidly, including many that did not even exist a few years ago. And many existing jobs are undergoing changes in the skill sets required to do them.
Institutions of higher education can respond to this challenge, as we have done at Indiana University, by ensuring that they offer degrees and programs that provide a relevant education of lasting value—one that prepares them for productive and satisfying life‐long careers in this new environment—and by providing career services that help develop future-ready graduates, and that connect students and alumni with rewarding employment opportunities locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
IU’s commitment to providing first-rate career services is embodied in The Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, a sweeping set of initiatives that guide the university’s work across all campuses in the years leading up to our Bicentennial in 2020. The plan calls for IU to build career awareness and information into every student’s experience from the beginning of their IU studies, with improved academic and career advising programs, accessible information systems, and career connection programs.
Career services in the Kelley School of Business
The renowned and highly-ranked Kelley School of Business has excelled in this regard for many years.
The school, as most of you may know, was recently ranked fifth in the country by Financial Times in terms of job placement success, and the school has been highly ranked for many years by corporate recruiters, recently ranking number one among all public universities and fourth overall.
But the school had an urgent need for new career services facilities. Over the last decade, the number of students served by Kelley’s Undergraduate Career Services Office has almost doubled. Thanks to the generosity of Jim Hodge, the Lilly Endowment, and many other alumni, friends, and corporate partners, the school now has this magnificent new undergraduate building. But the expansion of Hodge Hall has also allowed the Kelley School to admit even greater numbers of students—and the career services facility can no longer keep up with demand.
The addition for which we break ground today will nearly double the amount of space where recruiters will be able to meet privately with students. It will include more than 70 interview rooms as well as nearly 30 staff offices. The design for the first floor will allow for flexible use, including a multipurpose area where visiting companies can set up displays and make presentations.
The Prebys Career Services Addition will help to ensure that the Kelley School’s career services remain among the best in the country.
There are many people to whom we owe our thanks for helping us reach this moment. First among them, of course, is the man for whom this addition will be named: the late businessman, philanthropist, and IU alumnus, Conrad T. Prebys.
Just over one year ago, I had the great pleasure of announcing that Mr. Prebys had generously donated $20 million to Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business. In addition to supporting the career services center that will bear his name, his extremely generous gift supports student scholarships and faculty chair endowment programs in the school. The IU Bloomington campus is also benefitting from his support through a magnificent new outdoor amphitheater for musical and theatrical productions.
Mr. Prebys was raised in South Bend and was the first in his family to attend college. While at IU, he was active in the Delta Upsilon fraternity, the Playbill theater group, and the ROTC Program. After graduating with distinction from the Kelley School of Business in 1955 with a bachelor's degree in business, he returned to South Bend and worked there for a number of years. In the mid-1960s, he moved to San Diego, where he eventually co-founded Progress Construction and Management, which became a very successful developer of affordable, middle-class homes in Southern California. He later shifted his focus from construction to property ownership and owned more than 80 properties in the greater San Diego area.
His extraordinarily generous gift is testament to his belief in the value of a quality business education that gives students the skills they need to succeed and instills in them the values and principles that will guide them in their careers and in their lives.
On behalf of Indiana University, I would like to once again extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Prebys’s loved ones, and our most sincere gratitude for his enormous generosity.
And finally, I want to commend Dean Idie Kesner and her predecessor Dan Smith, the faculty and staff of the Kelley School and the career services center—as well as Vice President for Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison, and the many design and construction professionals who are working on this project—all of whom have made—and are continuing to make—major contributions to the addition we celebrate today.
Today, as we celebrate the Prebys Career Services Addition, we celebrate a facility that will help to ensure that IU’s Kelley School of Business will continue to advance its presence among the world's elite business schools, and one that will also help ensure that Kelley students are prepared for success in the workplace of today and the workforce of the future.
- Klaus Schwab, Richard Samans, Preface to “The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills, and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” (World Economic Forum, 2016), v.