B.S., 1962, Northern Illinois University
Commercial law; leadership and law
Gerald L. Bepko concluded his appointments as an executive of Indiana University (IU) by serving as its Interim President, effective on January 1, 2003, following the resignation of IU President Myles Brand to become the President of the NCAA. Effective August 1, 2003, when new IU President Adam Herbert took office, Bepko became Chancellor Emeritus of Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), IU Trustee’s Professor, and Professor of Law. He maintains an office in Inlow Hall, the new home of the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, through which he teaches, conducts research, and stays involved in a variety of consultative roles and community service.
During his appointment as IUPUI Chancellor, from 1986 to 2002, he also served as IU vice president for long-range planning-- the office that took a lead responsibility for the IU strategic directions planning process launched by President Myles Brand in 1994-95. As Chancellor, Bepko had responsibility for the capital city core campus of IU which is the home campus of IU’s Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Law in Indianapolis. IUPUI enrolls nearly 30,000 students in 20 schools and offers IU or Purdue degrees in more than 180 programs of undergraduate and graduate study.
Chancellor Bepko led a movement to unify the various programs of IUPUI academically and geographically by bringing all schools to the West Michigan Street campus and presiding over the construction of more than 20 buildings. He also led efforts to establish IUPUI as a major urban campus that is classified among the best in its peer group and to establish IUPUI as an important component of central Indiana’s research corridor along with Purdue University West Lafayette and IU Bloomington. He led a renewed emphasis on undergraduate education, culminating in the establishment of University College dedicated in 1998 at a ceremony at which the principal speaker was Secretary of Education Richard Riley. During his tenure as chancellor enrollment grew by nearly 25 percent and external support for faculty activities grew from $38 million in 1986 to more than $200 million in 2001-2002. In 1997 the IU hospitals were successfully consolidated with Methodist Hospitals of Indiana to form Clarian Health Partners, Inc., an important economic development strategy for Indiana, an anchor for Indiana’s health industry, and a solution to some of the challenges of academic medicine. In 1998 the University Consortium for Advanced Internet Development placed the network operations center for Internet II on the IUPUI campus. Chancellor Bepko led the first six years of the seven year fund raising Campaign for IUPUI, which generated more than one billion dollars before its conclusion in 2004.
Chancellor Bepko served for a decade as a member of the Permanent Editorial Board of the Uniform Commercial Code, and is currently a member of the American Law Institute, and a life member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He also is a member of the American Bar Association and a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He currently teaches a course title leadership and law.
He stays active in the community by serving on the advisory board for M&I Bank of Indiana; the board of trustees of Citizens Gas and Coke Utility; the board of AUL/OneAmerica; the board of the Lumina Foundation for Education; the board (chair of the executive committee) of the James Whitcomb Riley Children’s Foundation and as an at large member of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. He previously served for nearly a decade on the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission, four of which were as Chair.
On May 10, 2004, Indiana University announced the formation of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence based at IUPUI. Funded with a $5.25 million gift from the Tobias Family Foundation. Chancellor Emeritus Bepko served as the Inaugural Director of the Center until August 1, 2006, when Phil Cochran, the holder of the Thomas Binford Chair in Corporate Citizenship in IU Kelley School of Business, became the Director. Professor Bepko continues to serve in the center with the title Inaugural Director, which gave rise to the course on Leadership and law.
Chancellor Bepko joined the Indiana University faculty at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1972, became a full professor in 1975, associate dean for academic affairs in 1979, and dean of the law school in 1981. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, the Ohio State University, and Indiana University Bloomington. He began his law teaching career at Chicago Kent as an assistant professor from 1969 to 1971. In 2003 the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago Kent College of Law awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Juridical Science at a commencement ceremony where Barak Obama was the speaker and in 2007 Indiana University awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.