IUSB Elkhart

Bob Deputy, past Chairman, ECCF Board of Directors and member, IUSB-Elkhart steering committee

Competing in the Global Environment

When discussing the importance ECCF places on higher education in Elkhart County, and impressive structure comes immediately to Elkhartans’ minds: Indiana University South Bend-Elkhart. Located in the heart of the city’s downtown, this remarkable new facility provides the opportunity for post-secondary education for hundreds of students in a convenient, close-to-home location. Students can complete the first two years for a General Education degree, a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies and courses leading to a Master’s degree in Business.

No one knows the amazing story of how this project went from concept to completion in two short years better than Robert Deputy, a member of the IUSB-Elkhart steering committee and an IU grade. “Our initial thought was ‘we’ll raise the money for I.U, and they’ll build the building.’ However, we had to have the cash in hand first… at three times the amount we’d estimated,” Deputy says. “So we said, ‘we’ll build the building and give it to you.’ IU was stunned; this had never been done before!”

As a past ECCF Board chairman, Deputy understood how ECCF could serve as the ideal vehicle and fiscal agent for a major investment like this. “ECCF became a huge part of the plan. They set up a separate entity for the venture, investing the one until it was needed and handling all the administrative details,” he explains. “At the project’s completion, we turned the keys over to IU and any leftover contributions were rolled into an IUSB-E scholarship fund. It was truly a symbiotic relationship.”

The Horizon Plan recommended:

Creating the highly skilled workforce necessary to keep and attract technology-rich businesses by building a commitment to lifelong learning, providing programs and services necessary to move individuals up the skills ladder and partnering with and/or locating institutions of higher education in the County. This commitment continues today.

Catherine Wells-Bentz