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IU Foundation president returning to faculty; Alumni Association CEO named interim foundation head

For Immediate Release Oct 12, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After serving for eight years as Indiana University Foundation president and CEO and presiding over one of the most successful university fundraising campaigns ever at a public university, Dan Smith will be returning to the faculty of the IU Kelley School of Business.

Under Smith’s leadership, IU shattered the goal of For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. Concluding last month, the campaign raised nearly $3.9 billion to strengthen the university’s mission to ensure the success of IU students, IU faculty and the state. Of all university campaigns completed in the past 10 years, IU’s is the 12th largest overall and the third largest among public universities.

Smith will step down as IU Foundation president at the end of the 2020 calendar year. J T. Forbes, CEO of the IU Alumni Association, will succeed Smith as interim president and CEO of the foundation beginning in 2021 while also retaining his current position at the alumni association. He will serve in this role until the appointment of a new IU Foundation president.

“All of us at IU are enormously grateful to Dan for his distinguished service to the IU Foundation and for overseeing the successful completion of a campaign that truly has had a transformative impact on IU and our state,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “Under Dan’s tireless leadership, the Bicentennial Campaign has ensured that IU’s world-class education is affordable and accessible to the best students from Indiana and around the nation and world, and that our research enterprise remains focused on addressing the most critical challenges facing the communities we serve.

“In an extremely challenging economic climate, Dan has truly taken the IU Foundation to new heights, and he leaves it in a position of the utmost strength. We wish him nothing but the greatest success in his future teaching and research activities at the Kelley School, where he will continue to play an instrumental role in elevating the school’s global reputation.”

At the Kelley School, where he has taught for almost a quarter century, Smith is the Clare W. Barker Endowed Chair in Marketing. Before joining the foundation in 2012, he served for eight years as dean of the Kelley School, where he oversaw major gains in the size, diversity and academic standing of the school’s incoming classes.

“It’s been a great honor to serve as president and CEO of the IU Foundation,” Smith said. “I am proud of all that the IU Foundation team has accomplished in collaboration with the IU development community and academic leaders across the university. I am grateful to President McRobbie for providing me with such a fulfilling opportunity to serve the entire university.

“When you see first-hand the ways IU improves lives and communities, it is a joy to inspire others to provide the support necessary to enable the university’s mission. During the record-breaking For All: The Bicentennial Campaign, it’s been exciting to work with many alumni and friends of IU who stepped up to help shape what we are today, and what we are yet to become.

“I look forward to returning to teaching at the Kelley School and completing a number of writing projects that have been on hold for a while. With the close of the campaign, this is a good time for transition. The IU Foundation is on solid ground, and I am confident that it will thrive under J T. Forbes’ leadership as interim president. He has served on the IUF senior management team for 10 years, knows our alumni and university well, and played a central role in crafting our strategic plan that provides a road map for continued success.”

Forbes was appointed CEO of the IU Alumni Association in June 2010. Under his leadership, the association has improved the personal and professional lives of IU graduates in ways that reflect the spirit, pride and traditions of IU. Forbes has also enhanced the partnership between IU’s alumni representatives and the university’s development and engagement professionals.

A former trustee and former associate vice president at IU, Forbes also helped IU establish a comprehensive public affairs and government relations program and lead the legislative strategy for the university’s life sciences initiatives.

“Congratulations and thanks to Dan Smith for leading us through a campaign of historic proportions,” Forbes said. “So many will benefit from this generosity for generations to come. What a great legacy he leaves as an administrator and faculty member.

“I’m honored to serve as interim president and CEO of the IU Foundation. I’m excited to be a champion for IU’s advancement community across all campuses and schools. Thank you to President McRobbie and the IU Foundation Board of Directors for this opportunity.”

An experienced higher education leader, Forbes has served in communications, marketing, public affairs and government relations roles at IU and Michigan State University, and he has consulted in these areas for other major public research and land grant colleges. Outside higher education, he served as the first director of state government relations for Cummins Inc., the principal private-sector staff leader for the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, the first policy analyst for the Indiana Senate and a founding member of the Indiana Commission on Community Service.

As a student, he was president of the IU Bloomington student body, founded the All University Student Assembly, and served as a trustee of Indiana University and a founding member of the Philanthropic Studies Society at IUPUI. He is a life member of the IU Alumni Association.

About the Indiana University Foundation

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

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