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Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence!

1969 - 2009

History

Dr. Joseph T. Taylor

Dr. Joseph T. Taylor

Dr. Joseph T. Taylor, the first dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI "was all of those and more," says Alvin Bynum, a retired IUPUI dean and Taylor's friend for more than four decades.

In May 2008, the campus building previously called "University College" and originally built to house IUPUI's first library, was named "Joseph T. Taylor Hall."

Taylor's "devotion to creating opportunities for higher education in this dynamic and diverse city made him one of the visionaries that helped shape what is now considered a model in urban higher education Ė IUPUI" said Chancellor Charles R. Bantz during the ceremony.

"With a vision of the future and the university's mission, tenacity, tact, and diplomacy, Dr. Taylor made the School of Liberal Arts and IUPUI what they are today." - Monroe Little

"As an African American, Dr. Taylor was a pioneer at every stage of his academic career. He infused that perseverance and ability to break new ground into the very core of what has made IUPUI successful today."

Taylor was an IU professor of sociology in Indianapolis from 1965-83; dean of the IU Indianapolis Regional Campus from 1967-70; and dean of Liberal Arts from 1967-78. At the time of his death in 2000, he was an advisor to then IUPUI Chancellor Gerald Bepko.

Taylor's many strengths, including his depth of education, ability to reach out and be "every man's common man," and his ability to "win friends and influence people," prompted IU President Herman B Wells to look to Taylor to help spearhead the development of the IUPUI campus, Bynum says.

"There was a great deal of built-in turfdom, as you could possibly imagine," Bynum says. "There had to be the satisfaction of people on both (Indiana University and Purdue University) main campuses to really pull this off and make it work."

Building IUPUI also required finesse in relationships with Butler University, Marian College and other universities with a presence in the city. "(Taylor) was able to walk that tightrope and not ruffle a lot of feathers that could get in the way," Bynum says.

During the naming ceremony, IUPUI Professor Monroe Little, who is working on a Taylor biography, recapped the challenges Taylor faced, and summarized Taylorís success.

"With a vision of the future and the university's mission, tenacity, tact, and diplomacy, Dr. Taylor made the School of Liberal Arts and IUPUI what they are today," Little said. "His contribution to higher education and Indiana University is one that few, if any, will ever equal."