Indiana University


Tobias Center Vision

The enduring mission of the Tobias Center is inspiring leadership excellence on a national scale.  Special access to the Center’s work will be furnished to Indiana citizens for the distinct purpose of enhancing leadership within the state.


Oral History

The support of high quality academic research is a central mission of the Tobias Center.  The Oral History program is one of the Center’s major research initiatives.

Important leaders of our time from business, government, not-for-profit, and other sectors serve as narrators for this project.  Interviews for the program are conducted by the highest standards prescribed by the American Oral History Association. 

The project is particularly interested in examining key turning points in leaders’ careers that are often times of crisis, and in learning what key decisions they had to make and why they made them.  As a significant number of such narratives are collected, they will become resourced for research on leadership issues and can be examined for commonalities and differences. 

Phil Scarpino, past chair of the History department and expert in oral history, is director of this project.  A partial list of the Tobias Center’s Oral History narrators is as follows:

Otis Bowen, former Governor of the State of Indiana (1973-1981)

Myles Brand, 16th President of Indiana University (2003-2009)

Thomas Ehrlich, 15th President of Indiana University (1987-1994), and Senior Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Fred Fiedler, Professor Emeritus of Management and Organization at the University of Washington in Seattle

Congressman Lee Hamilton, retired Indiana Congressman (1965-1999), President & Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Foundation

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame (1952-1987)

Francis Hesselbein, President and CEO of Leader to Leader Institute

Martin Jischke, 10th President of Purdue University (2000 - 2007)

Manfred Kets de Vries, founder of INSEAD's Global Leadership Center

Jean Lipman-Blumen, Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Claremont Graduate University, co-founding director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Leadership

P.E. MacAllister, chairman of MacAllister Machinery Company

James MacGregor Burns, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government Emeritus at Williams College and Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park

Russell Mawby, chairman emeritus of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

William Mays, founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Mays Chemical Company, Inc.

Patricia Miller, Co-founder of Vera Bradley

John Mutz, former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Indiana (1981-1989)

Sallie Rowland, Co-founder, retired president and CEO of Rowland Design

John Ryan, 14th President of Indiana University (1971 - 1987)

Edgar Schein, Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management

These archives will be available in audio or transcribed text format through the Tobias Center website and the Indiana University Library.