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Brand did more at IU than just fire Bob Knight

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Myles Brand was best known as the man who fired Bob Knight and as president of the NCAA, but he left a legacy at Indiana University much broader than the world of athletics.

Brand, who died Wednesday, quadrupled the size of the university’s endowment to $1 billion while serving as IU’s 16th president from 1994 to 2002 and tripled the number of endowed chairs and professorships. He was 67.

Dr. D. Craig Brater, dean of the IU School of Medicine, said one of Brand’s most enduring legacies is the Indiana Genomics Initiative, which was funded by $155 million in grants from the Lilly Endowment.

“His discussions with the Lilly Endowment in 2000 were key to the Endowment’s decision to support biomedical research for the first time,” Brater said.

During Brand’s tenure, IU also established the nation’s first School of Informatics and doubled research grants and contracts.

“As president, he set IU on a path towards becoming a national and international leader in information technology, the life sciences and research,” said current IU President Michael McRobbie, hired by Brand in 1997 to become IU’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

Brand developed the Central Indiana Life Sciences Initiative and consolidated University and Methodist hospitals in Indianapolis to create Clarian Health Partners in 1997.

Brand also created IU’s first vice presidential position to address diversity, and IU trustees approved a university-wide initiative to increase outreach, retention and graduation of students from underrepresented populations.

“He understood that excellence and diversity are part of the same fabric, and that you cannot have one without the other,” said Charlie Nelms, IU’s first vice president for diversity and now the chancellor at North Carolina Central University. “He walked the talk.”

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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