President Benjamin supports governor's 'Brain Gain Plan'

December 14 2006

Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to utilize lottery proceeds to help Indiana's colleges and universities attract and retain the best faculty and students will have a significant impact on higher education and the state overall, said Lloyd W. Benjamin III, president of Indiana State University.

"This is a major move in higher education which will enhance our ability to attract and retain high-quality students and faculty. The governor clearly understands the connection between higher education and Indiana?s future economic development, and is taking a bold step which will build our state?s brain trust, our workforce and our economy," said Benjamin.

Benjamin, along with the presidents of Indiana's other public institutions, joined Gov. Daniels in today's announcement.

The "Brain Gain Plan" would dedicate 60 percent of Hoosier Lottery proceeds to create a permanent endowment to fund Hoosier Hope Scholarships for outstanding Indiana high school graduates enrolling in full-time degree programs at any private or public higher education institution in Indiana.

The remaining 40 percent of the proceeds would create a World-Class Scholars Fund to attract renowned researchers and scholars to Indiana?s public colleges and universities.

Scholarship support can play a major difference in a student?s decision on what college to attend, indicated Benjamin.

He cited Stephanie Balbach as one example. Balbach, a freshman insurance and risk management major at Indiana State, told the New York Times for a story published on Wednesday that she had considered attending a private college but decided on Indiana State after being awarded a President's Scholarship which covers tuition and room and board as well as a Networks Scholarship that guarantees her an international experience, something vitally important in today's business world. Balbach graduated last spring from F.J. Reitz High School in Evansville with a 4.0 grade point average.

Benjamin also lauded the effort to help Indiana's public universities attract world-class researchers and scholars. At Indiana State, Lilly Endowment funding has been used to create a Promising Scholar program to recognize up and coming faculty who are committed to meaningful research. One of the Promising Scholars is Richard Fitch, assistant professor of chemistry at ISU, who is conducting research in the area of medicinal chemistry aimed at discovering selective neuron-active drugs for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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Contact and writer: Teresa Exline, university spokesperson, Indiana State University, (812) 237-7783 or texline@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to utilize lottery proceeds to help Indiana's colleges and universities attract and retain the best faculty and students will have a significant impact on higher education and the state overall, said Lloyd w. Benjamin III, president of Indiana State University. Benjamin joined Gov. Daniels and the presidents of Indiana's other public universities for the announcement of the "Brain Gain Plan" to devote lottery proceeds to student scholarships and a fund to attract renowned researchers and scholars to Indiana's public universities.

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