President talks emphasis on Indianapolis relationship
Because the major metropolitan area is a 30-minute drive from Franklin, President Thomas Minar is using Indianapolis to the college’s advantage.
“Part of my objective when thinking about the future of the college is recognizing most of the greatest educational institutions of the United States are in major metropolitan areas,” Minar said. “It’s important for us to own Indianapolis and own our presence here.”
Aside from a change in scenery, Indianapolis has much to offer the college. The state’s capital city is home to some of the nation’s top corporations and organizations, including Anthem and Eli Lilly.
“We are a place that has, for 183 years, had Indianapolis in our backyard, and my objective is to turn the place around 180 degrees and have Indianapolis be our front yard,” Minar said. “That maximizes the opportunities for our students and our alumni and our faculty in terms of internship research, externship, summer, job placement and social and cultural opportunities.”
Having Indianapolis at the college’s disposal also has the potential to improve other aspects of college life, he said.
“For faculty, it means a quality of life, but it also means scholarly opportunities because they are all looking for research and learning opportunities like students are as well,” Minar said.
These include opportunities that will support academia and student advocacy.
Minar said he also plans to benefit the city of Franklin as a whole.
“The area needs to have a unified approach in the way we represent ourselves to the rest of the world,” Minar said. “Likewise, if Franklin is trying to attract a business here from say, Japan, which we do a lot of, we don’t go and talk about Franklin, Indiana. We go and talk about, ‘Come be in this great place in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.’”
Minar is not the first Franklin College president to place an emphasis on Indianapolis’ role as a resource for the campus community.
“I think everyone takes this on in their own way. My way is about aggressive economic development and how important that is to the college, but also what the college offers.”