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INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — With the continuing concerns of trade war tariffs and the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. companies are re-evaluating their reliance on Chinese made products and raw materials.

Manufacturers, including many with operations in Indiana, are gearing up to diversify some of their supply chains out of China.

“Automotive parts, without a doubt,” says Craig Seidelson, assistant professor of operations and supply chain management at the University of Indianapolis. “One of the leading manufacturing industries in Indiana, not only in terms of revenue but in terms of profit. This is one where you’ll see the Indiana-based companies try to find the China Plus One approach.”

The China Plus One strategy suggests that instead of investing only in China, companies should diversify into other countries as a more economical and safer long-term option.

“It’s a scenario where you still have your China supply chain, but you have alternative supply chains. in case something happens to that supply chain, what you said about the pandemic, but also it could be political.”

Seidelson spent 16 years in China, using his background as an engineer, to construct multiple factories. Four years ago, he returned to the U.S. and now teaches supply management at UIndy.

Another Indiana industry paying close attention is pharmaceutical. China is the largest source of U.S. pharmaceutical imports accounting for $1.5 billion in 2019, according to Seidelson.

Seidelson says COVID-19 has highlighted an issue with U.S. dependence on Chinese-made pharmaceuticals when the country enacted export restrictions on personal protective equipment. He says it’s not only about Chinese supply, it’s also about demand.

“China makes up 20% of the world’s population but only 1.5% of the global drug market.”

Seidelson says Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), like many other drugmakers, is aware of the “huge opportunities selling drugs to Chinese consumers.”

Seidelson is a leading national authority on China trade and business and recently published a book on the topic, “Operations Management in China.”

“The reality is U.S. supply chain managers need Chinese-made products because prices are among the world’s lowest.”

Seidelson says it is not just about inexpensive labor. He says there are numerous Asian Pacific nations where manufacturers can get inexpensive labor.

He says China has subsidized infrastructure, subsidized lending, and access to massive amounts of raw materials at unmatched prices.

“I think the challenge of that will be making sure that the alternative source has the same cost structure as the China source,” says Seidelson.

The UIndy professor says another challenge for U.S. manufacturers could be a recently-enacted Hong Kong national security law imposed by China. The law gives the Chinese state new powers over the city to prevent pro-democracy protests seen in Hong Kong.

Seidelson says the majority of U.S. investment in China is through Hong Kong. But the security law means Hong Kong could lose its special status in terms of investment and trade. He says it may force how they do business in China.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Busines, UIndy professor Craig Seidelson says there are challenges in finding another source for raw material, other than China.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Greyhounds are not done yet.

A win last Saturday over Notre Dame College pushed the University of Indianapolis to 11-0, marking its first perfect regular season since 1953.

“We talked about the history of this university as well as the football program,” said Head Coach Bob Bartolomeo. “We are ready to make some history.”

One of the Greyhounds biggest surprises this season was Lawrence North product Al McKeller. Despite missing the season finale with an ankle injury, the freshman running back tallied 990 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.

McKeller’s plan is to be back at full strength for the Greyhounds postseason run.

“The key is to just keep working hard,” McKeller said. “Everyone has the same mindset about wanting the national championship, so I am sure everyone will keep working.”

Redshirt junior quarterback Jake Purichia is no stranger to big numbers under center. The Cardinal Ritter alum threw for the second most yards in Indiana high school state history and just finished off a stellar season comprised of 28 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions.

“It is awesome, knowing you grew up here, played here and now you are playing college ball in the same city and doing well, Purichia said. “It is special. I had relatives that went here, a couple that played football. It is special, we are having fun with it.”

Purichia and the UIndy offense averaged 39 points a game in the regular season.

The Greyhounds open the playoffs Saturday hosting Harding. Kickoff at Key Stadium is set for 1 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The University of Indianapolis men’s golf team is not only focusing on their game, but also building a relationship with a new member of their team. The golfers recently partnered with Team IMPACT, an organization that pairs collegiate teams with children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

UIndy has been a strong partner to Team IMPACT. Both the soccer and baseball teams have drafted a Team IMPACT child, but very few golf teams have ever taken part.

When the UIndy golf team decided to take a swing at it, they never realized it would impact their team so much. For 16-year-old Andrew Rusk of Brownsburg, being a part of a collegiate sports team is almost as unlikely as a hole-in-one.

“My doctors have told me I have the lungs of an 87 year old,” Andrew Rusk said sitting in a golf cart at Dyes Walk Country Club.

Today he’s out on the course with his UIndy golf teammates, trying out his golf swing for the first time on a full course.

“A lot better than the first time I hit a golf ball, that’s for sure,” golfer Reid Lorey said.

Andrew looks like any other teen, but he has mitochondrial myopathy, a muscle disease that often leaves him hooked up to medical devices at home and taking medication several times a day. Doctors have even told Andrew more than once that he only has weeks to live.

“We’ve learned so much through this and more importantly we’ve learned not to take anything for granted, not take our health for granted. We play golf and I play golf and we have fun and we travel all over the United States doing something that Andrew can’t do, but he’s taught us how to live life and be fun and outgoing and love every minute and that’s been something that I can’t teach to our kids that Andrew has,” Coach Brent Nicoson said.

Nicoson pushes Andrew like any other kid on the team. Afterall, he did have him sign a letter of intent in December and offer him an official spot, but Nicoson says Andrew has far exceeded his expectations and so has his team as they’ve welcomed Andrew and his family.

“It’s not a fake thing. We don’t have to make ourselves do that. We love helping people and he seems to really enjoy having our kids around, but the guys do it all on their own,” Nicoson said.

“It’s really helped him develop socially, but also it’s been great because he has these guys that will text him and encourage him and sometimes those words come right at the perfect moment right when you need them,” Karen Rusk, Andrew’s mother, said.

And for a kid who didn’t think sports were a possibility, he’s having a ball on the golf course with his very own team.

“I’m just so glad to see what it’s like to do golf and experience things that I haven’t been able to before,” Andrew said.

“He’s surprising all of us and I need to watch out next year, my spot could be on the line,” golfer Christopher Heck said.

Coach Nicoson said Andrew will have a spot on the UIndy golf team for as long as he likes. If you have a child who may benefit from Team IMPACT or a college team who might like to be paired with a child, click here.

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A $5 million gift given to honor the late Robert B. Annis will help in launching the school of engineering at the University of Indianapolis.

The school will be named the R.B. Annis School of Engineering and will help in advancing the school’s strategy to address Indiana’s increasing demand for engineers.

Leaders from the school said the school will now offer specialized areas of study in computer science, industrial and systems engineering, software engineering and mechanical engineering.

The school is set to launch in the fall of 2017.

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A forensic team of faculty and students from the University of Indianapolis are heading to Texas for a unique opportunity.

They are traveling to Brooks County, Texas, to help identify buried migrants that have been buried in unmarked plots.

Dr. Krista Latham, a UIndy associate professor of biology and anthropology, has led a group to the area since 2013. The team is expected to remove bodies of hundreds of people who died while migrating from Latin America to the United States in the last decade.

In the past, Latham and students have assisted a team in Texas identify the bodies and notify family members of the deaths. The group hopes to reveal the names of more than 100 human remains on this trip.

It’s a brand new experience for five of the six students participating this year.

“This is not only a scientific mission but there also is a moral obligation to this work,” Latham said. “This has turned in to a human rights mission.”

The trip lasts 10 days. The remains had previously been exhumed during an earlier phase of the project.

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, has taken a position at the University of Indianapolis.

According to the release, he will be a Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Activities.

He will “bring a new dimension to the Mayoral Archives,” and make them available as a resource to local politicians.

He will also continue his work in the Institute for Civic Leadership by introducing leadership strategies.

“Former Mayor Ballard’s role continues a University of Indianapolis tradition of working closely with city leaders,” said University of Indianapolis President Robert L. Manuel. “He’s been a vital partner in UIndy’s efforts to enhance the quality of life in our own neighborhood and throughout Indianapolis. I’m looking forward to seeing firsthand his contributions to UIndy’s intellectual life and student learning opportunities, and I believe our partnership can make a national impact.”

Ballard will continue to focus on the same themes as he did in office including: clean-energy solutions to public needs, new approaches to urban transportation and the value of global perspective and international collaboration.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the University of Indianapolis on the many issues of concern we share,” he said. “This new relationship, drawing on the resources of the university, will provide a platform for national conversations on the future of urban life in our country.” Ballard’s initial appointment begins Wednesday.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The University of Indianapolis says two people were arrested and a student was injured in a fight early Sunday morning.

UIndy Police Department Chief David Selby says two people were arrested after a fight broke out around 1:30 a.m. following a party at an off-campus residence.

A student attempting to break up the fight was injured, Selby says. The student was taken to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital in unknown condition.

“When one of our university family is affected, we are all impacted,” Selby wrote in a statement. “We send our thoughts and prayers to the student and family.”

The incident remains under investigation.

CHICAGO (WISH) – A University of Indianapolis alumni is recovering after being shot in the suburbs of Chicago.

Tim Jones is an officer at the Illinois Park Forest Police Department.

According to the Department’s Facebook page, Jones was shot after he responded to a theft and break-in in a suburb of Chicago.

The suspect was attempting to flee the scene when he started shooting at police. Police were forced to shoot back, killing the suspect.

Jones was shot in the head and underwent emergency surgery on Saturday. He is still in critical but stable condition.

The University of Indianapolis offered their support on Twitter.

“That’s the thing about this job,” the Facebook post said, “When tragedy strikes, it’s not just a job, it’s family.”

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Swastikas were found over the last couple days at both the University of Indianapolis and Purdue Indianapolis.

The University of Indianapolis president is denouncing offensive vandalism found on a campus statue.

President Robert Manuel sent an email to students Tuesday morning explaining that someone scratched a swastika on the bust of Au Ho-nien in the Schwitzer Student Center. Ho-nien’s paintings as well as the bust are on display as part of an exhibit in the building’s lower level.

“Such an act is against every core value on which our University stands; yet it reminds us we are not immune to intolerance and hate,” Manuel said in the email. “UIndy has not and will never tolerate such behavior.”

UIndy representatives said the bust has been taken off campus to be restored. They’re not sure if it was a student who committed the vandalism since the public has access to the building. They also don’t know exactly when the swastika was carved into the bust.

The messages at Purdue were located outside an office for the American Studies Program. They were written on a whiteboard in Heavilon Hall. The incident was reported Monday morning.

Purdue officials believe it happened sometime over the weekend.

“We are a very welcoming campus and we take this very seriously what happened,” Rachael Junard, University of Indianapolis student government president, said.

“It just made me upset and angry, and scared,” UIndy sophomore Shannon Gaskin said.

When asked what she hopes comes of this incident, Gaskin replied, “I hope that that person or whoever did it understands the consequences of their actions and I hope that maybe it’ll stop somebody else from thinking of doing something like this in the future.”

“This is a culture that we should be proud of,” said Junard as she stood in Ho-nien’s art exhibit. “And for someone to deface it like that, it’s definitely not OK.”

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Former Indiana Senator and Indianapolis Mayor, Richard Lugar, will attend the Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis.

Click here more information on the event.