Indian-origin marketing professor Neeli Bendapudi, currently president at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, has been unanimously named Penn State University’s next president by the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Matt Schuyler, chair of the Board of Trustees said in a statement:
“We are proud to welcome Dr. Bendapudi to Penn State. She is a dynamic and innovative leader who has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and is prepared to help our University advance in the ways we support students, create new knowledge and serve society.”
She will begin her appointment as Penn State’s 19th president in spring 2022.
Prof. Bendapudi will make history as the first woman and person of colour to serve as the university’s president.
She was born in Visakhapatnam and came to the US in 1986 for higher studies. Today, she is a recognised as a leader in higher education specialising in marketing and consumer behaviour.
She has nearly 30-year career in academia and has also served in a variety of administrative roles over the years, including as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, dean of the School of Business at the University of Kansas, and founding director of the Initiative for Managing Services at Ohio State University.
Prof. Bendapudi has dedicated her career to student success, fostering inclusivity, and creating opportunities for students, faculty and staff to thrive.
She said in a statement:
“Penn State is a world-class university, and I couldn’t be prouder and more excited to join this vibrant community of outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni throughout the commonwealth and beyond.”
“Thank you to the Penn State community and Board of Trustees. I am grateful for this opportunity and will make it my mission to help Penn State reach new heights across each of our campuses.”
Prof. Bendapudi will succeed President Eric J. Barron, who will retire after serving Penn State for more than 30 years in various roles, including most recently as president since 2014.
WATCH VIDEO: Meet Penn State’s 19th President: Neeli Bendapudi