ISU trustees extend president’s contract to 2025, endorse new strategic plan

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State University’s Board of Trustees on Friday endorsed a new strategic plan for 2021-25 and extended the contract of President Deborah J. Curtis to cover the same time period. 

“President Curtis has demonstrated effective leadership during her tenure as president, especially in managing on-campus operations for the 2020-21 academic year under difficult and uncertain conditions,” said Jeff Taylor, chair of the trustees. “Despite these challenges, Dr. Curtis has led the campus in development of the new strategic plan, Focusing on Our Future Together, which sets the way forward for ISU over the next four years. 

“We are looking forward to seeing the university continue its excellent work in carrying out its mission and advance to new levels under her leadership.” 

The action extends Curtis’ contract three years, through June 30, 2025, following a comprehensive performance review conducted by an outside consultant.  

Historically, Indiana State has conducted a presidential review in the president’s third year but the review of Curtis was delayed last year due to the pandemic. At that time, the board extended Curtis’ contract through June 30, 2022, to allow time for the performance review. 

Curtis and the board agreed her salary will remain at the current rate to be consistent with the treatment of faculty and staff salaries this year. Consistent with the president’s previous contract, the Board may approve salary increases, and she is eligible for any future across-the-board increases implemented for faculty and staff. 

The trustees also endorsed the Focusing on Our Future Together strategic plan. The plan includes goals to address the issues of advancing equity and inclusive excellence; expanding access to higher education and increasing degree attainment; deepening student learning and preparing graduates for engaged citizenship and meaningful careers; ensuring the institution’s sustainability through strategic enrollment management, prudent fiscal management, and increased fundraising; and enhancing the university’s reputation and pride.  

“This is an exciting time for Indiana State, and I am looking forward to working with our internal and external stakeholders to continue to advance this great university as we implement this plan,” Curtis said. “I appreciate the support of the board as Indiana State adapts as necessary in order to remain competitive and sustainable, but remains steadfast to our mission of transforming lives through a distinctive, high-quality education.” 

In other action, the board: 

  • Approved the Dr. Robert and Carolyn Steinbaugh Endowed Professor of Business funded by a $1 million gift from Carolyn Steinbaugh, wife of the late ISU business professor. (See separate news release)
  • Received a consultant’s report on ISU’s Athletics Department. (See separate news release) 
  • Approved the 2022-23 and 2023-24 Academic Calendars. 
  • Approved the creation of minors in the Sport Management program: Sports Facility & Event Management; Sport Marketing and Revenue Generation; Sport Administration and Commerce; Sport for Recreation; and Athletic Team Management. 
  • Approved an online certificate in Professional Communication for non-degree seeking and degree-seeking students. 
  • Approved an Economics Policy minor and Economics Policy certificate. 
  • Approved four online graduate certificates in Communication Leadership, Digital Media Communication, Health Communication, and Public Advocacy Communication. 

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