Richard George Landini, 1975-1992
RICHARD GEORGE LANDINI
Visions of the Future
On May 15, 1975, Richard G. Landini took office as the eighth president of Indiana State University. He came to ISU following teaching and administrative positions at the University of Florida, Arizona State University and the University of Montana. He was 45 years old.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Landini attended Rice High School in the center of Harlem. Later, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in literature at the University of Miami and his PhD in American literature form the University of Florida. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Miami (1981), Quincy College (1985), Baiku Jo Gakuin University in Japan (1987), and Indiana State (1996).
During his tenure, the third longest in ISU's history, the master of public administration degree program was approved and about 20 new undergraduate and as many graduate degree programs were added, including a master's in nursing and a doctor of psychology. Donaghy Day, a campus-wide clean-up day, was introduced; the men's athletic teams joined the Missouri Valley conference; the 1979 men's basketball team, lead by All-American Larry Bird, was runner-up in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship Tournament; and the gymnastic team, led by Kurt Thomas, won the NCAA National championship. The departments of physical education for men and physical education for women were merged into one, and ISU became a founding member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference for women were merged into one, and ISU became a founding member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference for women's sports. The Schools of Business and Education moved into the vacant Statesman Towers, and fire destroyed the Women's Physical Education Building.
Other changes included approval of a $55 million campus Master Plan by the Board of Trustees and the General Assembly. This resulted in the construction and completion of the School of Technology Building, Oakley Plaza, a recreation and athletics arena, Root Hall, University Pavilion, Parsons Hall (new administration building) and the new Hulman Memorial Student Union and Dede Plaza (at the site of the former Gillum residence hall).
During Landini's years as president, the general education curriculum was enhanced; admissions standards were raised and redefined; and several national honor societies were chartered, including Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, and Mortar Board. In 1980, North Central Association approved a 10-year reaccreditations and the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business admitted ISU's School of Business to full membership.
In 1985, ISU's branch campus in Evansville became the University of Southern Indiana, the same year a new University logo featuring a sycamore leaf was introduced.
President Landini retired in 1992. He died October 26 2004 at the age of 74.