Penn State announces first woman, person of color for university president

Local News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Dr. Neeli Bendapudi has been named Penn State University‘s next president.

Dr. Bendapudi is the first woman and person of color to hold this position at Penn State.

Dr. Bendapudi is currently the president of the University of Louisville. Her presidency at Penn State will start on July 1, 2022. Current Penn State President Eric Barron will retire after serving as president since 2014.

“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,” Bendapudi said. “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.”

Dr. Bendapudi received her BA and MBA from Andhra University in India. She came to the United States in 1987 to pursue her Ph.D at the University of Kansas, according to the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. She served in a variety of administrative roles in her career, including 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.

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