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February 25, 2014

Editorial: A display of confidence

Bradley’s contract extension underscores solid ISU results

TERRE HAUTE — Successful organizations and institutions have stable and effective leadership at the top. Those who don’t suffer the consequences. So it’s no surprise that Indiana State University’s board of trustees is offering a three-year contract extension to President Dan Bradley to run through mid 2019.

Bradley is in his sixth year as president. His tenure has been fraught with challenges, but the university has enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity. His leadership and management have been solid, and that has allowed ISU to weather what have been stormy seas in the realm of higher education.

The description “right person at the right time” has often been used in reference to Bradley’s presidency, as it was when trustees President Randy Minas discussed the proposed contract extension last week. While it’s impossible in a position such as university president to please all people at all times, ISU’s chief administrator has managed to set and meet ambitious goals and avoid major pitfalls that sometimes befall leaders working in complex, unpredictable situations.

Among the issues with which Bradley has dealt successfully has been cuts in state funding. Declining resources aren’t easy to manage under any circumstances, but doing so while also trying to reverse enrollment declines created a mine field of high expectations. Yet Bradley’s administration has produced remarkable results, growing ISU’s enrollment in recent years to its highest point in history.

Meanwhile, ISU’s master plan is on course to change the face of campus in ways many thought was not feasible. Major facilities have been renovated and repaired, the Federal Building was converted into the Scott College of Business, and a student housing project is set to begin on Wabash Avenue in the heart of downtown. These projects not only have significant impact on campus, but in the community as well.

At a current salary of $290,755, Bradley’s compensation compares favorably, relatively speaking, with other state universities. These are big jobs that demand high-level talent and experience. His results so far suggest he’s been worth every penny, and gives us confidence of continued strong performance in the future.


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