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BREAKING: Maurer donates $35M to IU law

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Indianapolis attorney and businessman Michael Maurer is giving $35 million to the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, which has been renamed in his honor.

The gift, the largest in the law school's history to come from a single donor, will fund an undetermined number of scholarships. Because the donation comes during IU's $1 billion Matching the Promise fundraising campaign, the university will match investment income from the gift in perpetuity.

"I have always thought I had a duty to give back," said Maurer, who graduated from the law school in 1967. He said he received a small academic scholarship in his second year and went on to a 20-year career practicing "any kind of law that had to do with numbers." Maurer, 65, founded the Carmel law firm Maurer Rifkin & Hill PC but no longer practices.

Starting in the 1970s, Maurer and his business partner Robert Schloss built cable television systems in Indiana and Michigan. The partners later bought three local radio stations, which they sold in 2004 to Entercom Communications Corp. for $73.5 million.

Maurer and Schloss are partners in IBJ Corp., owner and publisher of Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record, and Indiana Lawyer. Maurer is chairman of The National Bank of Indianapolis, which he co-founded in 1993.

Law school served him well in business ventures, Maurer said. "Examining issues, evaluating positions - these are good things to learn if you're going into business."

Maurer has a long history of supporting the law school. He chaired its first capital campaign in the 1990s. About 10 years ago, he donated $1 million to support a professorship.

Maurer said he wanted to make a more meaningful gift during the capital campaign, which ends June 30, 2010, and IU offered him the chance to name the law school. Noting that he entered IU law with one of the lowest undergraduate grade-point averages in the class, Maurer said, "The irony of it kind of tickled me."

The new name, the Michael Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, is effective today.

Maurer is one of several central Indiana business leaders who have given huge sums to IU in recent years. In 1997, longtime Steak n Shake Chairman E.W. Kelley gave $23 million to the business school, which was renamed in his honor.

In November 2006, shopping mall developer Melvin Simon and his wife, Bren, gave $50 million to the IU Foundation for the Simon Cancer Center at IUPUI.

Maurer will make his donation over time, with an undisclosed portion coming from his estate after his death.

"This exceptional gift builds upon the law school's foundation of excellence," University President Michael McRobbie said in a statement. "It will enable Indiana law to continue to attract top students and to propel them into the legal profession with outstanding preparation for a broad array of professional options."

U.S. News and World Report's latest ranking of law schools places IU 36th in the nation.

Maurer's gift brings the law school's fundraising during the capital campaign to $83 million. Last December, Lilly Endowment donated $25 million for faculty recruitment. IU will match income from that gift, as well.

University spokesman Larry MacIntrye said criteria for the Michael and Janie Maurer Scholarship, named for Maurer and his wife, are still undecided.

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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