President Hoops announces retirement plans
President H. Ray Hoops will retire effective June 30, 2009 after a 40-year career in higher education, the most recent 14 years leading the University of Southern Indiana. He announced his retirement plans to faculty and administrative staff at the spring faculty meeting held on campus in January. “Among the many duties the head of an organization owes the people whose lives are impacted by actions taken is to not allow the effort level to diminish for any reason. Sooner or later, age will impact all of us. I have reached the advanced age of 68, which is somehow older than I ever expected to allow myself to get. I will not try to explain the inherent contradictions in that statement. I do not feel any older than I did at 30, I have not lost my fervor for the University of Southern Indiana, and I have not lost my zest for the position I now hold. I consider it part of meeting my responsibility to all of you not to extend my office into my seventies. That is an arbitrary number and all of us age differently, but in keeping with my perception of the duty I owe the University and to give the Board of Trustees ample time to select a successor, I am announcing my retirement effective June 30, 2009. “The Board of Trustees is committed to a broadly representative search. John Dunn, chair of the Board of Trustees, has asked me to say there will be significant opportunity for faculty, staff, student, and alumni input in the process, and that opinions will be earnestly sought. “Across this nation and locally, there will be a number of fine people interested in the future this university represents and in the opportunity to work with exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, legislators, and community partners. I believe the spring is coiled again and the future accomplishments of the University of Southern Indiana will dwarf even those of the past of which we are justifiably proud. Frankly, I envy those of you who will be continuing. It is my intent, over the next 18 months, to represent you as vigorously as ever and I believe we will accomplish a great deal in that time. Thank all of you very much.” Board of Trustees reaction John Dunn, chair of the USI Board of Trustees, said, “Under the Hoops administration, the University of Southern Indiana has grown in all aspects—expanded physical plant, increased enrollment, added academic programs including an engineering degree—establishing USI as one of the most valued higher education options in Indiana.” Hoops administration accomplishments Success has marked the Hoops administration from 1995 into the next century with capital projects including the Science and Education Center, Liberal Arts Center, Fitness Center, Rice Library, residence halls, and the soon-to-be constructed Business and Engineering Center. Academic offerings continue to grow to meet the needs of the 10,000 students who attend USI. Since the graduation of the Class of 2007, alumni have increased to more than 25,000. During his tenure, Dr. Hoops ordered two studies of USI’s impact on local workforce and economic development. The reports examined the University’s leadership and responsiveness in regional economic development and recommended academic and training programs that meet the future workforce and economic development needs of Southwestern Indiana. They remain useful reports for future planning and development. Involved in the Evansville community Dr. Hoops is involved in the Evansville community. He serves on the Deaconess Hospital Board of Directors, the Evansville Education Roundtable, and the Southwest Indiana Economic Development Task Force. He formerly was a member and chair of the WNIN Board of Directors, and a director of the Metropolitan Evansville Chamber of Commerce. In 2005, he was honored as the recipient of the Evansville Rotary Civic Award. He has served the American Association of State College and Universities (AASCU) as a member of its Committee on Professional Development and its Council of State Representatives and is a former director and chair of the Indiana Conference of Higher Education. Dr. Hoops is the second president of USI. He followed Dr. David L Rice who retired in 1994. University of Southern Indiana was established in 1965 to serve Indiana citizens.