Why Vote For Eric Pankowski? That is a great question.
My name is Eric Pankowski. I went to IU from 1995-1999 and graduated with a degree in Telecommunications. Kelley was way too hard and SPEA seemed like a total cop out. My favorite restaurant in the world is Little Zagreb’s. I worry that what you think you just read was, “I really like Little Zagreb’s.” No, it is my favorite in the world. And I’ve been to Jamaica—no big deal.
My parents went to IU. My Uncle went to IU. My older sister and younger brother went to IU. And, my three kids (13, 10 and 8) will go to IU. I met my ex-wife at IU. We didn’t get divorced because of Indiana. My girlfriend's favorite tv show is Stranger Things which takes place in Indiana. I have loved Indiana since I remember breathing. Bobby Knight was an idol and as a 4th grade kid living in St. Louis, Missouri, I attended Bobby Knight’s Basketball Camp. I cried from homesickness all five days. It was the best!
I am an executive producer and creator of television shows in Los Angeles, including Carpool Karaoke, but my passion is Indiana University. My close friend and fellow IU alumnus, Ward Roberts and I started a podcast called, “Hoosier Hysterics!” in the late winter of 2018. It is our love letter to Indiana University and specifically, IU Basketball.
Beyond hoops, I love IU and everything about it--I want to do anything and everything I can do to give back to the school that has given me so much.
That is why I am running. I want to make IU as great as we all know it can be and being elected to the Board of Trustees is a way for me to take that passion, that unconditional love for IU, and turn it into something useful. The time is now. And it’s also time to open a Buﬀa Louie’s location in Los Angeles so some of us displaced Hoosiers can have a taste of Bloomington. I am not sure if being a trustee can make that dream a reality, but if elected, I will find out. I will report back what I find.
Also, we will beat Purdue again, regularly. I promise.
This candidacy and this campaign is not about me. Wait—that is not true. It is about me. I am the one running. But it is not ONLY about me. It is also about my children. Not so much about their educational future, but about their stressful present. It is not healthy for three children under the age of 13 to have to watch their father slip into a borderline depression regularly throughout the basketball season. It is not healthy for three impressionable young minds to have to watch their father burn with a white hot anger that consumes him entirely when year after year he watches his beloved Hoosier teams fall short of its rivals. Fall short, because we simply do not have the resources or institutional support to compete at the highest levels. So, yes, this campaign is about me—but it’s also about these three children. A vote for me is a vote for the children. A vote not for me means you don’t care about Hoosier children. Also, my dog. He hides in a closet when IU is playing because he knows what a likely outcome will be. Thus, I amend my previous statement. This campaign is about me, Hoosier children and dogs. What kind of monster are you if you don’t support this campaign?
But beyond the hilarity of the above paragraph, this campaign is also about every single IU graduate. By doing our IU podcast over the last two years, I have had the great fortune to meet, talk to, text with and engage with Hoosiers across the globe about our shared love for Indiana University. That love is deep, and it is tangible. But all too often it is also tinged with frustration. The Board of Trustees is an important and impactful institution. And yet, very few IU alumni have any real idea what the Trustees do and even less of an idea on how they can have their voices heard by the powers-that-be. My promise, if lucky enough to serve as a Trustee, is to bring a level of transparency to the process. I will use my platforms to further inform the greatest alumni base in the world of what is happening at their beloved school. I will provide an easy and accessible avenue to have their voices heard and their thoughts shared. I will dedicate myself to this, and to the singular glory of old IU.
And once more, we will beat Purdue. Many times. Seriously.