Gerald L. Bepko was first appointed at Indiana University (IU) in the School of Law—Indianapolis in 1972 and served for 33 years until his retirement on September 1, 2004. During that time, Bepko served as associate professor, professor, associate dean, dean of the IU School of Law-Indianapolis, chancellor of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and IU vice president for long range planning. He concluded his work in IU’s administration by serving as its interim president in 2002-03. He currently has an office in Inlow Hall on the IUPUI campus, home of the IU School of Law—Indianapolis, from which he served as the Inaugural Director of the IU Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence (2004-06). He now supports the new director of the Center while carrying the continuing title of Inaugural Director. He also conducts research, teaches, and attends to a variety of board memberships and public service community projects.
A native of Chicago, Bepko holds the LL.M. from Yale (1972), the J.D. with high honors from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Chicago Kent College of Law (1965), and the B.S. from Northern Illinois University (1962). Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees have been awarded to him by the IIT Chicago Kent College of Law in 2003 and IU in 2007. An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree was awarded by Purdue University in 2009. He practiced law in Chicago in 1965 with Ehrlich, Bundeson, Friedman and Ross and was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1965 to 1969. In the latter year, he became an Assistant Professor of Law and director of the Institute for Criminal Justice at the Chicago Kent College of Law. In 1970 he was appointed a Ford Urban Law Fellow at the Yale Law School.
After accepting the appointment as Associate Professor at IU Law Indianapolis, Bepko became a full professor in 1975, associate dean for academic affairs in 1979, and law dean in 1981. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, and Indiana University—Bloomington. He has been active in law reform, government service, and legal education through the Law School Admission Council and American Bar Association/Association of American Law Schools accreditation activity. He is a life member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). He is a member of the American Law Institute and recently retired from the Permanent Editorial Board of the Uniform Commercial Code.
In 1986 Bepko was appointed chancellor of IUPUI and vice president of Indiana University. As chancellor, he oversaw significant changes on the urban campus including enrollment increases, increased research support, physical consolidation of the campus to West Michigan Street, the construction of more than twenty new buildings, enhanced undergraduate education and student performance, increased connections between the campus and the community, and a successful Campaign for IUPUI which produced more than one billion dollars.
In his retirement, from his office at Inlow Hall, Bepko engages in various kinds of service to the community such as his membership on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. In 2004-05 he served as the moderator for the Chamber of Commerce Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Educational Series in Indianapolis. He is engaged in a variety of University projects and serves on a number of corporate boards including the M&I (successor to First Indiana) Indiana Regional Board, lead director of OneAmerica Inc., and the Board of Trustees of Citizens Energy Group. He is involved in a variety of not-for-profit activities including service as chair of the executive committee of the Riley Children’s Foundation and member of the board of the Lumina Foundation for Education. He has taught a course titled Leadership and Law for upper division law students and currently teaches a course on Secured Transactions.