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Indiana University

"Remembering John Ryan

"For more than half a century, John Ryan played a pivotal role in the growth and development of Indiana University, and was a major figure in higher education nationally and internationally."
- Michael A. McRobbie, President of Indiana University

"President John Ryan is a valued friend who led Indiana University in some difficult times. He was always available to provide wise counsel when I was president."
- Tom Ehrlich, 15th President of Indiana University

"John Ryan is one of IU's great all-time leaders not only because of his 16 years as president, but also the proud way he carried the IU banner in retirement as chancellor of the State University of New York. Throughout his career of academic leadership he combined a distinct scholarly mien with a deep knowledge of the arts of management and politics. These strengths helped him sustain the internationally recognized excellence of the Bloomington flagship; provide the institutional architecture for IU's regional campuses, recently the subject of a renewed vision; and champion the Bloomington/Indianapolis core campus and research corridor, which is so important to Indiana and its namesake university."
- Gerry Bepko, Interim President of Indiana University 2002-2003; Chancellor Emeritus, IUPUI; Trustee's Professor Emeritus

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A celebration of the life of John Ryan was held on Friday, October 28, 2011, at the Indiana Memorial Union. View a photo gallery of this event.

John Ryan, Former Indiana University President

John W. Ryan, the 14th president of Indiana University, who guided its development into an eight-campus institution, and the chancellor emeritus of the State University of New York (SUNY), died Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at the age of 81.

Ryan was IU's president from 1971 to 1987. Under his stewardship, the university experienced academic success and major growth in enrollment and financial support. During that time, 37 faculty members were named Guggenheim Fellows and three were named MacArthur Fellows.

He restructured the institution and transformed IU into a multi-campus university that serves every region of the state. IU Southeast in New Albany and IU East in Richmond opened during his tenure. Numerous programs and schools were created, including the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the School of Journalism, the School of Continuing Studies and the School of Optometry.

His 16 years as IU president exceeded the length of all but three of his predecessors, Herman B Wells, William Lowe Bryan and Andrew Wylie. Ryan held the titles of IU president emeritus and professor emeritus in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at the time of his death. He also was a member of the Board of Directors at the IU Foundation.

Term of Office: 1971-1987

Education: University of Utah (B.A. 1951), Indiana University (M.A. 1958, Ph.D. 1959)

Professional Background: Professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin (1958-1962), assistant to the president and secretary of the University of Massachusetts (1961-1963), vice president for academic affairs at Arizona State University (1963-1965), chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston (1965-1968), vice president for regional campuses at Indiana University (1968-1971)


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