Pygmalion’s custom-color fundraiser to benefit Ivy Arts for Kids

February 27, 2014

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington’s Ivy Arts for Kids scholarship fund is the beneficiary of Pygmalion’s Art Supplies’ 2014 custom-color fundraiser.

“We’re so appreciative Pygmalion’s thought of Ivy Tech for this year’s fundraiser,” said Susie Graham, Executive Director of Development, Ivy Tech-Bloomington. “Our capacity to serve low-income children in our youth arts classes is limited. This gift opens the door to a wonderful new experience for them.”

Each year Pygmalion’s (Pyg’s) commissions a custom color, via requests for proposals from area artists. The winner is selected and Pyg’s orders 280 tubes in that limited edition color. Sales of the winning oil paint benefit an area nonprofit selected by Pyg’s.

The 2014 winning color, eggplant, was created by Tom Colbort, a 2013 Indiana University fine arts graduate. The paint, with a custom-designed tube label, went on sale mid-February. Each paint tube costs $8.95 and 100 percent of sales goes to the Ivy Arts for Kids scholarship fund.

Pyg’s is hosting an art show Friday, April 11 and will accept any submissions, including mixed media, that use this year’s custom color.

“This is our fifth year to do the fundraiser,” said John Wilson, Pygmalion’s owner. “It has always been a fun promotion for the local art community.” Wilson also says that previous winners have included Alice Pink, Kiki’s Cool Yellow, Skink Tail Blue, and Green Bean Green.

Pygmalion’s will cut a check to Ivy Tech Foundation in late December 2014 based upon sales throughout the year. If Pyg’s sells out of the paint before this date, Ivy Tech will benefit earlier.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus offers engaging, age-appropriate art classes for children ages 4-15 through its Ivy Arts for Kids program at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. For more information about Ivy Arts for Kids, log on and click on Youth Programs. Contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at 330-6247 about scholarship availability.


Ivy Tech steps up as temporary host of Area 10’s hot meals program

The Herald-Times
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:52 am |
Updated: 1:34 am, Thu Feb 13, 2014.

By Jon Blau 331-4266 |

The Area 10 Agency on Aging has found a temporary space to cook its hot meals for clients with the help of Ivy Tech Community College.

In the weeks following a burst pipe in mid-January in the basement of Fairview United Methodist Church, the headquarters for the agency’s meals operation, there was no place to heat up meals for delivery to seniors and clients with disabilities. All meals were being served frozen. Ivy Tech officials caught wind of the news and worked to find room for the agency’s equipment in the college’s rented space on Liberty Drive.

Mary Boutain, Area 10 Agency’s nutrition director, said the agency moved its oven last week into the building owned by Cowden Enterprises, which houses Ivy Tech’s Culinary Arts program. Since then, hot meal service has resumed.

About 80 meals are delivered per day, Boutain said. Area 10 Agency has also relocated its home-delivered food pantry space, which serves about 200 people per month, from Fairview United Methodist Church to McDoel Baptist Church.

Boutain said the Area 10 Agency hopes to have a permanent space identified in the next few weeks or months.

“We are just really grateful,” Boutain said. “We talked to a lot of partners, and we received multiple offers, but this is the move that made the most sense.”

Ivy Tech Community College Announces Combination of Bloomington and Southwest Regions

FEBRUARY 10, 2014

For more information, contact: Kelly Hauflaire, 317-917-5732,

Ivy Tech Community College Announces Combination of Bloomington and Southwest Regions

Ivy Tech Community College’s State Board of Trustees has announced an additional regional structural change.  The State Board of Trustees asked College leadership to take steps to combine the Bloomington and Southwest (Evansville and Tell City) regions into one region to be overseen by a single chancellor.

Former Bloomington Chancellor John R. Whikehart retired from the College earlier this year and Southwest Chancellor Daniel L. Schenk recently announced his retirement effective at the end of this month.  Details regarding the naming of a single chancellor for the newly combined region will be announced at a later date.

“Ivy Tech will continue its focus on being responsive to the needs and workforce development efforts in Evansville and the surrounding areas along with Bloomington and its surrounding communities,” Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said.  “These changes will allow us to best assess existing skill gaps between available jobs and Indiana’s workforce in these markets and partner with business and industry to fill those gaps.”

In January the Board had announced the combination of the East Central region which includes the degree-granting locations of Anderson, Marion, Muncie and New Castle with the Richmond region which includes the Richmond and Connersville locations.  In addition the Board moved forward on the combination of the Columbus region with the Southeast region which includes locations in Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison.

Ivy Tech will now operate with 10 regional chancellors, a number that was as high as 14 in the past.  Chancellors will continue to oversee the 31-degree granting locations and 75+ educational sites throughout the state within the various regional boundaries.  While the College will consolidate administrative functions across the new combined regions, the current 14 regional board of trustees will continue to operate just as they have in the past.  Those regional board members will provide vital community outreach and operational expertise in assisting the regional chancellors.

The College earlier announced that it plans to name what it will refer to as Campus Presidents for an estimated 20 educational sites throughout the state, many of the College’s degree granting locations.  This new title will replace the current title of Vice Chancellor/Dean that exists in many of these locations, thus resulting in no additional new staff.  The Campus Presidents will report to the chancellors within the sites they serve.  The focus of the local Campus President will be outreach to the local community.

The regional organizational structure moving forward will include:

Northwest (East Chicago, Gary, Valparaiso, Michigan City) and North Central (Elkhart, South Bend, Warsaw)

Northeast (Ft. Wayne)

Lafayette (including Crawfordsville)

Kokomo (including Logansport, Wabash)

East Central (Anderson, Marion, Muncie, New Castle) and Richmond (including Connersville)

Southwest (Evansville, Tell City)  and Bloomington

Wabash Valley (Terre Haute)

Central Indiana (Indianapolis, Greencastle)

Columbus (including Franklin) and Southeast (Batesville, Lawrenceburg, Madison)


Consolidated Ivy Tech creates real worry for Bloomington region

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014 12:00 am

The Herald-Times

It’s almost impossible to imagine how the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech Community College will improve under a new structure that combines it with the Southwest (Evansville and Tell City) region. We’re not familiar enough with the other campuses to say whether they might get positives from such an arrangement, but it’s tough to see it polishing the shine we’ve come to expect from the local campus.

Ivy Tech Community College’s State Board of Trustees voted last week to make the change. One chancellor will oversee the region, and presidents will be put in place on the individual campuses. Administration will be split between the Bloomington and Evansville campuses, and the chancellor, of course, will need to choose between two cities more than 100 miles apart for his or her home base.

Timing of the move follows shortly after the retirements of Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart and Southwest Chancellor Daniel Schenk.

Consolidations virtually always are based on finding efficiencies to save money. Having one business office for two campuses is cheaper than having a business office on each one, for instance. That’s just one example. There are many more.

But concentrating responsibilities in fewer locations can lead to lesser service, for the customer, more rigid administration and less creativity. We’d hate to see that going forward from Ivy Tech.

The story of Ivy Tech in Bloomington has been one of steady growth and success during the past decade. Exploding enrollment, huge increases in course offerings, a strong commitment to student engagement, an emphasis on entrepreneurship, improved cooperation with Indiana University and the ability to respond to local and area workforce needs have combined to make Ivy Tech a strong, committed part of the community.

How much of that success could be attributed to the autonomy and nimbleness of the campus? Our guess is a lot.

Statewide Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder, not surprisingly, touted the changes as the right direction for Ivy Tech.

“Ivy Tech will continue its focus on being responsive to the needs and workforce development efforts in Evansville and the surrounding areas along with Bloomington and its surrounding communities,” he said in a news release. “These changes will allow us to best assess existing skill gaps between available jobs and Indiana’s workforce in these markets and partner with business and industry to fill those gaps.”

As the Bloomington example has shown, workforce development is far from the only strength that can exist on the community college’s campuses. While it’s premature to become too worried, it’s not too early to strike a cautionary pose. This structural overhaul that consolidates administration in the name of efficiency must not be allowed to harm the advances that have turned Ivy Tech into such an asset in our community.

The Herald-Times


Ivy Tech joins administrations of Bloomington, Evansville sites

Tell City, Bedford locations to also be a part of community college’s new regional group

The Herald-Times
Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2014 12:50 am
By Jon Blau 331-4266 | |

Soon to be connected by I-69, the cities of Bloomington and Evansville will also be joined by their Ivy Tech Community College campuses.

Ivy Tech’s State Board of Trustees voted Thursday to combine the administrative offices of the Bloomington and Evansville regions, another merger in a series of restructuring moves aimed at reducing administrative costs statewide and allocating more dollars to full-time faculty and advising positions. Lee Marchant, Bloomington’s representative on the board, sponsored the resolution, and it passed unanimously.

The chancellors of the Bloomington and Evansville campuses retired last year, creating an opportunity for Ivy Tech to hire one chancellor to oversee both regions, including locations in Tell City and Bedford. The interim chancellors in Bloomington and Evansville will be asked to evaluate their administrative staffs, consisting of about eight to 10 people on each campus, for potential transfers to full-time faculty and advising positions, according to Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder.

But Ivy Tech has not set either campus up to be the headquarters for the region. Both campuses enroll about 10,000 students, and cuts to administrative lines will affect Bloomington and Evansville evenly, Marchant said. The only decision, which will be left up to the new chancellor, is where he or she wants to live.

Marchant called the merger a “natural fit” because Naval Support Activity Crane sits between the two cities and along I-69. The highway presents an opportunity for Ivy Tech to help drive economic development in the new Bloomington-Evansville region, but Marchant said it would have been hard to support the unification if the interstate wasn’t there to cut drive times between campuses separated by 111 miles.

“Without I-69, I don’t know if this would have been feasible or not,” Marchant said of the highway, which has been completed from Evansville to just south of Bloomington. Section 5, which is in progress, will run from Bloomington to Indianapolis, where Ivy Tech’s central offices are located.

Snyder envisions the new administrative structure as a means toward remaining active in the community despite increasing student populations. The regional chancellor will oversee the administrative load, while the position of vice chancellor will be recast under the title of “college president,” a figurehead responsible for outreach. Cutting administrative positions, Snyder said, will reduce the amount of duplicated work across the region, and the chancellor will be able to work with multiple campuses through virtual meetings and teleconferencing.

The Bloomington-Evansville consolidation came quickly and as a surprise to some of the college’s top donors, however, because the vote was taken only days after they received a mailing listing both Bloomington and Evansville as their own regions. Ivy Tech spokesman Jeff Fanter said the press release included with a letter asking for donations came from the first round of reorganization, when the Columbus campus merged with the southeast region of Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison, and no decision had been made before the mailing was sent. The discrepancy was a timing issue, he said.

Marchant, who was appointed a trustee in 2005 by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels, said the idea of centralizing offices for the community college has been on the table since he joined the board. The northwest region, the combination of the South Bend and Gary campuses, was the “beta” to test whether consolidation could work. Those campuses are 60 miles apart, and the trustees believe that region has operated efficiently.

Ivy Tech officials are hoping “synergy” can now stretch from Bloomington to Evansville, and they believe it’s necessary because the community college has gotten the “short end of the stick,” as Marchant put it, in terms of state funding. The college’s regional consolidation plan has brought the total number of chancellors down from a high of 14 to a current total of 10. The number of trustees remains at 14, as required by state law.

John Whikehart, the former chancellor of the Bloomington campus, left the college late in 2013 and became deputy mayor for the city of Bloomington in January. He is still involved with the college, however, and will help with the college’s capital campaign for the expansion of Ivy Tech Bloomington’s main academic building.

“We are going to find someone who can be the face of the community,” Marchant said of finding a new leader in Bloomington. “It will have to be someone who looks like and acts like John.”


Panel discusses life in Bloomington as an African American

The Herald-Times

Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 12:51 am, Thu Feb 6, 2014.

By Jon Blau 331-4266 |

Debra Vance looked to a panel of students, faculty and staff at Ivy Tech and recalled a time when the receipt in her hand didn’t outweigh the color of her skin.

As the MC of a panel discussion titled “Life in Bloomington as an African American,” the Ivy Tech official tried Wednesday to spark conversation among the five-person panel by bringing up a moment where she felt she had experienced discrimination. Several years ago, she went to the mall to buy a dress. She came out with more than one dress, and some shoes, but every dress had a security tag.

When Vance went back to the store a couple days later to have the tags removed, the cashier accused her of stealing.

“That kind of hurt my feelings a little bit,” Vance said. “I told them to bring up my account. I’m a good customer. I keep somebody in a paycheck.”

She joked that she doesn’t go shopping much nowadays, because she can’t wear things that are as “short and tight” as she once did. But there was a sense Bloomington and much of society had changed for the better when it comes to race relations. Her call for a comparison story didn’t draw many complaints from the panel.

Participants’ comments centered positively around Bloomington’s diversity and culture.

Obie James, who works in admissions at Ivy Tech, moved to Bloomington after spending time in Detroit and was shocked when he had people smiling at him as they passed on the street.

Then, another question came: Do you think there should be a Black History Month?

Vance noted that actor Morgan Freeman, for instance, isn’t a fan of Black History Month because it separates black history from American history, when they are one in the same. Brian Harrell, a student studying business at Ivy Tech, agreed.

Harrell came to Bloomington in 2005 after growing up in Gary, a foster child who spent time in juvenile detention but eventually joined the military, deployed twice and now works with the Monroe County Veterans Affairs Department. He asked why achievements for black people, such as the election of President Barack Obama, have to be celebrated if everyone is supposed to be equal.

Harrell brought up the story of Jason McElwain, the autistic teen who hit six 3-point shots for his high school basketball team. In that case, he understands the applause. McElwain had physical obstacles to overcome. But Harrell doesn’t understand why a person’s color still has to be highlighted if they are just as smart and just as capable.

“When I hear things like, ‘Have we arrived?’ I feel like, once again, we are saying our Caucasian counterparts are here, and this is the milestone we are at and we continue to hit milestones,” Harrell said. “I just feel like we need to say, ‘Hey, we are equal, and that’s it.’”

Harrell admitted he might think this way because he’s young, born in 1988. On the other hand, while race is a “social constructed thing,” James pointed out that it has real consequences, dating back to slavery and Jim Crow and beyond, which have to be acknowledged.

Why else would Obama be the first black president?

“If everything was equal, you’d think there’d be four, or maybe 10, but that hasn’t happened,” James said. “I have to say (Obama’s election is) relevant. I have to say that’s not just a fluke. I have to say there were qualified men before our president who couldn’t make that national circuit.”

Bennie Jones, an adjunct faculty member who teaches math at Ivy Tech, said there are some artifacts of white suppression of blacks in America. In the category of “Where can Bloomington improve,” Jones said she would like to see more people of color hired and promoted in local schools.

When substitute teaching in Bloomington, she doesn’t see many black faces at those schools.

“People in charge would do whatever they could do to make black people look like they were not intelligent, so African Americans would not have a chance to show their expertise in different fields,” Jones said of earlier decades. “Fast forward to now, (black people) are still not looked at for positions because that stigma is still there.

“Hopefully, here in Bloomington, we can dispel those notions and start looking at people of color and see that we do have qualifications and we are very capable.”


Bennie Jones, right, speaks at Ivy Tech’s discussion on “Life in Bloomington as an African American” Wednesday afternoon. At left is Obie James.

Ivy Tech’s small campuses must stay open

The Herald-Times 

Ivy Tech’s small campuses must stay open

Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 2:00 am

Ivy Tech in Bloomington and Columbus have large and well established campuses. Despite such prominence, they certainly are not immune from the current budget pinch that’s cramping the community college system statewide.

But at least they and other large campuses that are part of the most extensive community college system in the country are not in danger of closing their doors. That can’t be said for a number of the smallest campuses in the system.

Facing a 2-percent budget cut, the same as other public colleges and universities in the state, Ivy Tech is working to hold down or reduce costs on many fronts. One way would be to close some of the smaller, more remote class sites, a proposal now under study.

This would be putting into reverse what clearly is an effective means to expand higher education to include greater numbers of Hoosiers — more critical than ever in the 21st century — and to meet the need for retraining workers displaced by the incredibly fast changing employment environment.

Now, some of those sites might be saved through local intervention, with municipal or county governments working with business groups to offer rent reductions on buildings the college needs for classrooms. Those communities know how urgent it is to keep post-secondary training close to home. Skills that once lasted a working lifetime can be outdated as quickly as it takes to install a new software package. High school graduates can no longer settle for their diplomas. They need more in order to adapt to an ever evolving work environment.

Those farthest away from large Ivy Tech campuses need access to higher education as much as any student. A close-by mini campus provides that. A larger campus an hour away severely restricts it.

If, as the state has emphasized again and again, education and flexibility are today’s keys to success, such access must be kept available to all. Education at any level is the last place to look for cash during a squeeze. Reducing community college access for those in remote corners of the state, where opportunity already is limited, would be a mistake and step backward.

Career Discovery Fair this Thursday at Ivy Tech-Bloomington

February 4, 2014

Career Discovery Fair this Thursday at Ivy Tech-Bloomington

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, in coordination with the Bloomington Rotary Club, will host a Career Discovery Fair on Thursday, February 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Hoosier Times Student Commons, in the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building on main campus. The fair is designed to offer students a glimpse into the reality of career choices.

The fair will be a one-stop shop for students or prospective students to talk about career choices, obtain information about what degree is necessary for a specific career, have their resume critiqued, take part in a mock interview, and understand the importance of maintaining a professional social media presence.

Rotary will have local members conducting roundtable discussions about careers, informing students about expectations regarding work hours, work environment, job outlook, and more.

Roundtable discussions and academic program information tables will be stationed in the Hoosier Times Student Commons, while breakout sessions will be held in classrooms in the vicinity. Mock interviews will be run by Ivy Tech-Bloomington Human Resources, while resume reviews will be hosted by campus Career Services. Student Life will be presenting on understanding social media and how choices could be interpreted by employers.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus is located at 200 Daniels Way, off SR 48, on the west side of Bloomington. For more information about academic program options at Ivy Tech Community College, log on