Six months into the job, the new president of the University of Southern Indiana says one of his top priorities is "making sure people know who we are." Ronald Rochon says one way to do that is to tell the story of what a "vital component" the school is for economic development in southwest Indiana and beyond. For example, he cites the school’s research and development partnership with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division and the pilot MAGIC project, testing the potential of "tiny houses" to help seniors age in place.
During a Studio(i) interview, Rochon said he has spent the last several months meeting with other university presidents throughout Indiana. He said, shortly after he was named president, Governor Eric Holcomb invited the presidents to his home for lunch for a meeting about collaboration and workforce development. He says, while all the schools compete for students and talent, he believes there are ways they can work together to "uplift all Hoosiers" in rural, urban and suburban regions.
Regarding workforce development, Rochon says the school has been active in working with business leaders in southwest Indiana and beyond.
"We have gone out to employers to find out exactly what are they looking for, what are the needs," says Rochon. "What other things should we adjust with regard to our curriculum to make sure that our students are ready for employment?"
Rochon began as USI president in July, after serving as the Evansville school’s provost since 2010. He had previously held leadership and teaching positions at Buffalo State University, Texas A&M University, Washington State University and University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.