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Ellspermann Era Begins at Ivy Tech

After visiting 14 campuses in weeks since hiring, new president settles in

Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann ( photo: Eric Berman)


New Ivy Tech president Sue Ellspermann says the school faces a marketing challenge as much as an academic one.

Friday marks the former lieutenant governor's first official day on the job. In the month since Ivy Tech's trustees hired her, she says she's visited 14 of the 32 Ivy Tech campuses and held 48 meetings with faculty, with four more on her first official day. She says she'll turn her focus now to businesses, schools and other community partners as she explores ways to attract more students.

Ellspermann says 40% of Hoosiers still think Ivy Tech is a vocational school, instead of the community college it's been for nearly two decades. She says getting that message out is important to her goal of doubling the number of students receiving Ivy Tech degrees, to help meet the state's goal of 60% of Hoosiers have college degrees or certificates.

Ellspermann says Ivy Tech has the staff, space and programs to deliver on that promise, and will use information from a Department of Workforce Development study to target the programs that will be most in demand in the economy over the next decade. 

Ellspermann says she'll spend much of her first months on the job preparing the school's budget request for next year, including deciding which construction projects get top priority. After that, she says she'll turn to development of a strategic plan.

Ellspermann resigned as lieutenant governor in February to focus on her pursuit of the opening created by Thomas Snyder's retirement. She says her time in politics gave her the opportunity to understand employers' needs, and how they differ from county to county. She says she's now in charge of "the biggest machine in the state of Indiana for workforce development."

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