UIndy provost shares her story

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University of Indianapolis’ Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Deborah Balogh’s story started in Illinois.

Balogh said that her family moved around a lot due to her father’s work in sales. Most of her life she has lived in the Midwest.

“I stayed in Ohio when my family got transferred to Florida for my dad’s job,” she said.

Balogh went to Bowling Green State University in Ohio and eventually married and attended graduate school there as well. Balogh attended Bowling Green to pursue journalism until psychology caught her interest.

Balogh said that in high school she was involved in working on the yearbook, newspaper and the school’s literary magazine.

“I liked to write, and so I thought that was the direction I was going to go. And that’s what actually took me to Bowling Green, because they had a really good journalism program. But my very first semester, I wanted to take psychology,” Balogh said. “They had this crazy rule that you could only take psychology if you declared it as a major.”

Deborah Balogh, Executive VP and Provost

Deborah Balogh, Executive VP and Provost

Balogh said that she decided to declare psychology as her major and then if she wanted to change it later, she would.

“Well, I got hooked, totally hooked,” she said.

Balogh graduated with her degree in psychology and then completed graduate school, getting her Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Balogh said she never knew that she would work as a teacher at a university. She said that she was very interested in research and clinical work. As a graduate student, she had an opportunity to teach, and she really began to enjoy it and got positive feedback.

“So my ideal career was going to be a blend of teaching and clinical work and research. And that’s how my career started,” Balogh said.

Three years into her work, Balogh had the opportunity to do administration work within her department. After that, she said, there always seemed to have been administrative opportunities at hand. She said that over time she took on more responsibility, and that is what ultimately led her to UIndy.

Balogh worked at Ball State University for 25 years before coming to UIndy in 2006. Balogh has two titles at UIndy, executive vice president of academic affairs and provost.

“Usually at universities, the provost [title] signifies the day-to-day management of academic affairs, whereas the vice president piece signifies the leadership and vision for academic affairs, and it’s not unusual for them to be combined into the same person,” she said.

Balogh said she works on faculty hiring, promotion and tenure. She also oversees the university’s curricular processes and development.

“Anything related to what the students experience on the academic side of the house I have responsibility for,” Balogh said. “I am not hands on in a lot of those activities, but the deans and the faculty who are hands on and are doing that work on a day-to-day basis, I provide an oversight function for them.”

She also works with the deans to help create and implement any plans for academic affairs. Her other job is academic support for students and faculty. She oversees information technology and the library as well.

She said that she is very fortunate to have a great team of deans and directors who work very well together.

“One of the things that I often say is [that] I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me,” Balogh said.

Balogh also said that she was really proud of a book that she worked on with other colleagues.

“What we focused on was the ethics of teaching .… it’s a case book, and the cases all represent those grey areas of where you might cross the line, or you might not,” Balogh said. “The goal of the book was to create a guide to help people think through what the sticky ethical areas are as they relate to teaching.”

Balogh has covered a lot of territory here at UIndy and continues to do so for the community. She said there are two ways she continues to stay active within the community.

“One is through arts organizations. I’m a member of the board of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra,” Balogh said. “And the other is in social service organizations …. Currently I am chair of the board of the Children’s Bureau.”

She said these positions help her as a university administrator understand the needs of the community. She said that having direct experience with community leaders really helps people think about what the role of a university is in a community.

“It’s part about education, but it’s also about serving the broader community,” Balogh said. “So that is a side of my job that is volunteer based, and that I really enjoy.”

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