News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 21, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Feb. 21, 2013


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ISU Foundation owes explanation

An endowed scholarship at Indiana State University is a restricted gift set aside for a specific purpose identified by the donor. An endowed scholarship continues indefinitely, because only earned interest is used to provide awards. The interest comes from investments made by the Finance Committee of the ISU Foundation Board of Directors.

This year, some (perhaps many or all) endowed scholarships will not provide funding to deserving students. Somehow, the endowments failed to accrue interest, or the interest generated from these restricted gifts was misdirected. It is difficult to believe that the endowments did not accrue interest last year, because the stock market was exceptionally bullish. A philosophy major with a Ouija board could have made money. If incompetent investing is not the answer, then the unsettling alternative is that funds were misdirected.

In recent years, the ISU Foundation has funded a number of projects that seem peripherally related, at best, to the academic mission of the university. The Foundation has assured the community that support for the projects has come from unrestricted funds. Exactly how does the Foundation define unrestricted funds? Do unrestricted funds include a large portion of the interest from restricted funds?

The Board of Directors of the ISU Foundation owes students and donors a detailed accounting of endowment earnings and expenditures. If mistakes were made, then they should be corrected immediately. Any misdirected funds should be restored to the proper accounts without delay.

— Jim Hughes

Terre Haute

Special thanks to Deming

I am writing today to just say what a great job Deming elementary is doing. Susan Mardis and her staff have been so good to my family and me over the past seven years, and they always seem to be improving and outreaching.

It recently came to my attention that my middle son’s teacher, Mrs. Southard, has spearheaded the effort to raise money for a second-grade girl in need of a heart transplant. In 11 days she raised over $10,000 toward the $30,000-plus surgery. Not only is she doing that but she has been such a patient, calm, understanding teacher concerning my own son and some difficulties he is having.

Between her, Mrs. Mardis, Dr. Walker and all the Deming staff they really show us that Deming and its students truly are stars.

I want to thank them for all the extra effort they show on a daily basis. Thanks, Deming.

— Tisha Schnellenberger

Terre Haute