Information from Butler University:
BUTLER UNIVERSITY NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Oct. 29
Butler University President Dr. Bobby Fong To Become 13th President of Ursinus College
INDIANAPOLIS – Dr. Bobby Fong, president of Butler University, announced today his acceptance of the presidency at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Penn. Fong will continue to serve as Butler’s president until the end of this academic year.
“I have been privileged to be associated with Butler through a decade of remarkable progress,” Fong noted. “Ursinus sought a president to lead it in a strategic planning process, a comprehensive fundraising campaign, and an effort to raise its profile in the local community and nationally. Butler gave me experience in these areas. The invitation from Ursinus also takes me back to my roots in liberal arts colleges and to family on the east coast.”
Founded in 1869, Ursinus is a national liberal arts college of 1,700 students known for its innovative first-year program and senior capstone requirement. It shelters a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is one of 50 institutions nationally invited to nominate seniors for Thomas J. Watson Fellowships. It was one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s classic Colleges That Change Lives. In common with Butler, it is on this year’s U.S. News & World Report lists of 86 institutions with “an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching” and 68 institutions nationally designated as “Top Up-and-Coming Schools” for having made the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty and student life.
Fong became the 20th president of Butler University on June 1, 2001. At the time he assumed the presidency he was one of only 20 Asian-American college presidents – representing 0.9 percent of higher education chief executives – in the country.
In his 10 years as Butler’s president, Fong has led Butler University to unprecedented heights, including successive balanced budgets, two successful strategic planning processes, an endowment that has doubled in size, and record years for both the number of entering freshmen and fundraising. Additionally, the University experienced a significant expansion of student facilities, including a health and recreation complex, apartment-style housing, a diversity center, and an addition for pharmacy and health sciences education.
Fong also provided leadership in a record-setting human capital campaign that raised $154 million.
Under his leadership, Butler received its largest grants from the Lilly Endowment Inc. – $22 million to launch the Butler Business Accelerator and $25 million for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Expansion Project (with a focus on public health).
The University also began a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to create the Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy and the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, a unique school with laboratory and magnet school features that will serve students grades K-5 beginning next fall.
In an email to the campus community issued earlier today, Dr. Fong wrote: “As I reflect upon my tenure at Butler University, I feel a profound sense of pride and gratitude in what Butler has become – a premier master’s comprehensive university that educates students to make a difference in the world. It has taken shape because of the dedication, commitment and hard work of so many people.”
When Fong came to Butler, total full-time enrollment was 3,442 students; in 2010, it was 4,042. Graduation rates grew from 62 percent to 73 percent in 2009, which placed Butler in the top 30 of the 572 master’s universities in the United States.
During this same time, Butler’s position in U.S. News & World Report ranking of Midwest master’s institutions rose from seventh to second place. Retention rates also rose and hit an all time high last academic year when the University achieved a 96 percent fall to spring freshman retention rate, and 95 percent overall undergraduate retention rate.
“Butler is a better university than it was 10 years ago thanks to the leadership of Bobby Fong,” said John Hargrove, chair of the Butler University Board of Trustees. “The improvements he brought to the University in the areas of academics, student life, finances and reputation, leave a strong foundation for Butler’s next president from which to build. The Board of Trustees will be forming a search committee in the expectation that the profile of the University established under Bobby’s stewardship will attract an exceptional pool of candidates. All of us wish Bobby well in his new endeavors and we sincerely thank him for his dedication as our president.”
About Butler University
Challenging and enabling students to meet their personal and professional goals has guided Butler University since 1855. Today, Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university that blends the liberal arts with first-rate pre-professional programs. It seeks to prepare each graduate not simply to make a living but to make a life of purpose, in which personal flourishing is intertwined with the welfare of others. Butler is known for its vibrant campus, superior academics and dedicated faculty. The University enrolls more than 4,400 undergraduate and graduate students in six academic colleges: Business, Communication, Education, Fine Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Located just six miles from downtown Indianapolis, Butler’s urban setting affords students internship opportunities that provide excellent graduate school and career preparation.
Experts Guide: To find the ideal expert for your story, visit our Experts Guide at http://www.butler.edu/experts/
Butler University: Courtney Tuell
(317) 908-2307 – cell
Ursinus College: Wendy Greenberg
(215) 696-7534 – cell
*Dr. Fong will be at Ursinus College on Friday, Oct. 29 and is not available for interviews with Indianapolis television media. He is however available for limited phone interviews Friday evening, Saturday and Monday. Requests for interviews should be directed to Courtney Tuell with Butler University.