Gerald L. Bepko was first appointed at Indiana University 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 law, chancellor of IUPUI, vice president for long range planning of IU, and interim president of IU. He had an office in Inlow Hall on the IUPUI campus, home of the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, from which he served as Inaugural Director of the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence; he conducted research, taught, and attended to a variety of public service community projects.
A native of Chicago, Bepko earned 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). An honorary Doctor of Laws was awarded to him by the IIT Chicago Kent College of Law in 2003. He practiced law in Chicago in 1965 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 and earned an LLM there in 1972.
Bepko began his career in law at IU in 1972, became a full professor in 1975, associate dean for academic affairs in 1979, and dean in 1981. He served as a visiting professor at the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, and Indiana University - Bloomington. He was active in law reform, government service, and legal education. He was a life member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), the American Law Institute and 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.
While at his office at Inlow Hall Bepko wrote a monthly column for the Indianapolis Business Journal, and published a Chapter entitled: Taking the Long View in University Leadership and Urban School Renewal in a book published by the American Council on Education and wrote a tribute to Prof. Paul J. Galanti for the Indiana Law Review. He served as the moderator for the 2004-05 Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Educational Series in Indianapolis. He was engaged in a variety of University projects and served on a number of corporate boards including First Indiana, State Auto Mutual, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, One America Inc. and the Board of Trustees of Citizens Gas and Coke Utility. He was involved in a variety of not-for-profit activities and served as board chair of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, chair of the executive committee of the Riley Children's Foundation, and a member of the board and executive committee of the Lumina Foundation.