TERRE HAUTE —
An Indiana State University graduate, Ron Carpenter has maintained his ties to ISU in many volunteer roles, serving on the board of trustees, alumni association and foundation board.
So when he begins his new duties Aug. 7 as president of the ISU Foundation, “I’ll be able to hit the ground running and not have to acclimate myself to the university and community,” said Carpenter, who has been the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis-based Children’s Bureau for the past 15 years.
The ISU Foundation board announced Friday that Carpenter would become the new president. He will oversee the foundation’s fundraising strategy and operations.
He replaces Gene Crume, who resigned in April. No reasons were given for Crume’s resignation.
Carpenter, 56, said he viewed the open position as a good opportunity and “something I have a passion for. It’s something I really want to do.”
This past year, he’s served on the ISU Foundation board’s audit committee, which looks at fiscal accountability and selects the firm that does the foundation audit.
He brings to the foundation 35 years of leadership and management experience with nonprofits.
During his tenure at the Children’s Bureau, he has been involved with fundraising, successfully completing four major capital campaigns for new buildings and endowment growth, while also increasing annual giving to the organization.
Brent Beeler, ISU Foundation board chairman, said Carpenter “is a respected veteran of the not-for-profit industry. Since Ron inquired about the position, we have been excited about the opportunity for him to become the new foundation president,” Beeler said.
Carpenter has been an active member of the ISU Alumni Association, previously serving as president of the alumni board. He has served as chairman of the ISU board of trustees and as a key member of the foundation board. Carpenter also led the search that hired Dan Bradley, the current ISU president.
Both of his parents and his son, Jacob, are alumni. Carpenter earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology at ISU and was co-captain of the football team.
Carpenter said he has remained connected to the university and the Terre Haute community in a variety of volunteer and business ways since he graduated in 1977. “ISU has been a big part of my family’s lives and remains a priority for us,” he said.
In taking on his new role, he said he has experience working with a large board — there are 43 members on the Children’s Bureau board.
He said his style is to be “a little more inclusive and transparent with a larger board” and not manage strictly through the executive committee structure. He wants to ensure the full board has the information it needs to make decisions.
He also wants to strengthen the relationship between the foundation and the university. “I think that has drifted a little from my standpoint — part of that was by intent,” he said.
Crume was the first individual to serve as president of the ISU Foundation “under a new structure that more clearly defines the fundraising organization as a separate entity from the university,” according to a 2007 news release.
During Crume’s tenure, the foundation successfully completed the March On! fundraising campaign, which raised $86.7 million to support students, faculty, programs and facilities. It was ISU’s first comprehensive campaign.
Carpenter says the foundation plans to conduct another major capital campaign, but that may be a year or two away. Some staff have left in the fund development area and will have to be replaced. Yet fundraising is critical to meet ISU’s needs and ambitious strategic plan, particularly at a time of state funding cuts, he said.
Carpenter will continue to reside in Indianapolis, where his wife is a partner in a law firm, but he plans to have an apartment in Terre Haute. “My goal is to be engaged in the [Terre Haute] community,” he said.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carpenter nails down job as head of ISU fundraisers
TERRE HAUTE —
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