Thanks to the generosity of Lacy M. Johnson, a prominent attorney at Ice Miller LLP and alumnus of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, IU is establishing the Johnson Professorship for Diversity and Leadership, which will support senior leaders at the university who work on issues in diversity and leadership.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie has appointed James C. Wimbush -- IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, dean of the University Graduate School and professor of business administration at the IU Kelley School of Business -- to this position.
Johnson’s gift of $525,000 for the new professorship will help foster greater cultural understanding and appreciation among faculty and staff; underrepresented, first-generation and LGBTQ students; and students of color. It will also ensure the continued development of academic, leadership and training programs within IU's Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs focused on enhancing diversity and inclusion at the university.
“I am pleased that this professorship will assist Dr. Wimbush, and his successors, in continuing efforts to develop leaders from all backgrounds through IU,” Johnson said.
The gift is matched by For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign under its guidelines for establishing endowed faculty positions. The campaign is led by the IU Foundation; Johnson, a partner at the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller in Indianapolis, serves as a member of the foundation's board of directors.
"The enduring success of a great university, especially a great public institution such as IU, depends greatly on its commitment to embracing and enhancing diversity and ensuring an inclusive environment for all students, faculty and staff," McRobbie said.
"Under James' strong leadership, IU has experienced record minority enrollment reaching nearly 20,000 students last fall, worked to ensure cultural diversity is well represented in our curriculum and strengthened services that have fostered greater inclusion on our campuses across the state, such as those provided to LGBTQ students.
"James and his team work tirelessly to deliver services that ensure students of all backgrounds are able to find a sense of community on campus," McRobbie added. "We are also deeply grateful to Lacy Johnson, whose remarkable generosity and support will help ensure IU continues to work to promote equal access, participation and representation, and cultural appreciation across our university."