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Dr. H. Ray Hoops

Dr. H. Ray Hoops became president in July 1994 and served in that capacity for 15 years until retirement in 2009. As chief executive, he positioned the University of Southern Indiana to be an agent for economic development. From two studies he commissioned on workforce and economic development, the University implemented recommendations and added academic programs in a dozen areas including an undergraduate program in engineering. Four new graduate programs and 11 new academic majors were introduced during the Hoops presidency, and the University’s enrollment increased by 20 percent to 10,126 in fall 2008.

During his years as president, the University of Southern Indiana expanded to include the Liberal Arts Center, the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center, the Education Center and Torrington Wing of the Science Center, David L. Rice Library, and the start of construction of the Business and Engineering Center and a second expansion of the University Center, plus four residence halls.

Dr. Hoops started an initiative for employees, faculty and students to make important contributions through volunteerism. Volunteer USI records more than 32,000 volunteer hours annually. 

Dr. Hoops led the University through its first capital campaign, Campaign USI, in 1997. The successful campaign exceeded its goal, raising a total of $18 million in gifts and pledges and $6 million in deferred gifts. During Dr. Hoops’ presidency, the assets of the USI Foundation reached $70 million.

Term of Office 1994 – 2009 

Dr. Hoops received his undergraduate degree from Eastern Illinois University. His master's and doctoral degrees in audiology and speech sciences are from Purdue University. He also completed an M.B.A. at Moorhead State University.

Professional Background

Before arriving at USI, Dr. Hoops served as the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Mississippi, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs in the Oregon State System of Higher Education, president of South Dakota State University, vice president for Academic Affairs at North Dakota State University, dean of the Graduate College at the University of Northern Iowa, and associate director of the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration and Professor of Communicative Disorders at Wayne State University. 

While at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Hoops gained national recognition for his work as chair of Project ’95, a blueprint for education in the State of Mississippi for the 1990s. Highlights of his administrative achievements include improving cultural and racial diversity at the University of Mississippi, resulting in the University’s receiving the Peterson’s Guide Award; significantly upgrading the financial standing of South Dakota State University; implementing a program to encourage faculty development at North Dakota State University for which the University came to be recognized as a leader; guiding the transition of the University of Northern Iowa from a traditional undergraduate institution to one with doctoral offerings and developing institutional systems largely responsible for doubling outside grant support.