|As Charles Bantz prepares to join IUPUI as its next chancellor, he will do one thing a lot: listen.
In a recent meeting with news reporters in Indianapolis, Bantz noted that his academic specialty is the study of organizations and their cultures. “I think one of the things I am attuned to is listening to the messages people have about their communities and organizations.”
And listening, he said, is what he will do as he meets with faculty, staff, students and members of the Indianapolis community in the coming months.
IU Interim President Gerald Bepko announced Jan. 13 that he will recommend Bantz be named as the new chancellor of IUPUI, effective June 1. Bepko’s recommendation was to be considered by the IU Board of Trustees at its regular monthly business meeting today (Jan. 31) in Bloomington.
A native of South Dakota and educated at the University of Minnesota (B.S., M.A.) and Ohio State University (Ph.D), Bantz is provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and professor of communication at Wayne State University.
He is an organizational communication expert, having published on organizational behavior, culture and change. He has applied his scholarship to practice in his positions as chair, vice provost, director, provost and journal editor.
“I will meet with lots of people,” he said. “I’ve learned you have to listen to the community you’re moving into. I believe you have to be very respectful of people’s community and learn about it.”
Replacing a “truly gifted individual” such as Bepko, who has served as chancellor for 17 years, will be difficult, Bantz said. “I assume there will be a lot of uncertainty about that. One of the things that will be important for me to do is give people a chance to see me and talk to me. For me to hear them is really key.”
Asked about the critical issues facing urban education, Bantz said “the real challenges are to keep moving research, scholarship and creative activity forward rapidly. That is our obligation as a research university. We also have a key obligation in continuing to serve the community, both in terms of quality and offering programs that are needed to respond to changes in the region and country.”