First Woman To Be President Of US' Penn State University

Indian-Origin Professor First Woman To Be President Of US’ Penn State University:

Neeli Bendapudi, born in Visakhapatnam and moved to the US in 1986 to pursue higher studies, currently serves as head of business and marketing and the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Professor of Indian origin Neeli Bendapudi has made history by becoming the first female and person of color to be named the president of the highly regarded Pennsylvania State University, announced on Thursday.

Ms. Bendapudi, from Visakhapatnam and emigrated to the US in 1986 to pursue higher studies, currently serves as director of the marketing department and president at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

She was unanimously chosen as the next Penn State president in Penn State’s Trustees. Penn State Board of Trustees on the 9th of December, Pennsylvania State University said in an announcement on its website.

As she starts her term as the 19th president of Penn St. in the spring of 2022, she will create history by becoming the first female and person of color to serve as the University’s president, the University said.

Ms. Bendapudi is now the president for the 18th time of the University of Louisville, is an acknowledged expert in higher education. In addition, she is a specialist in consumer and marketing.

A 30-year-long career in academia, she’s taught marketing and held various administrative positions throughout her careers, such as director of the executive vice-chancellor of the University of Kansas, dean of the School of Business at the University of Kansas, and the founder-director for the Initiative for Managing Services at Ohio State University.

With a particular focus on development and collaboration, Ms. Bendapudi is devoted to her life to student success, encouraging inclusion, and providing opportunities for faculty, students, and staff to flourish.

“Penn State is a top-of-the-line university, and I could not be more proud and than thrilled to be part of this vibrant community of exceptional faculty, students, and alumni from across the Commonwealth and beyond,” Ms. Bendapudi declared.

“Thank everyone in the Penn State community and Board of Trustees. This opportunity humbles me, and I will make it my mission to assist Penn State to reach new heights on all campus.”

Ms. Bendapudi will succeed as president Eric J Barron, retiring after serving Penn State for more than 30 years.

“We are delighted to introduce Dr. Bendapudi to Penn State. She is an energetic and creative leader who has dedicated her professional career to higher education. She is well-equipped to assist our University to improve the way we help students, develop new knowledge, and contribute to the community,” stated Matt Schuyler, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

“I am writing to express my gratitude to the whole Board of Trustees to the numerous Penn State community members who took part in the selection process.

 Your involvement was an essential guiding light throughout the selection process and contributed to the creation of this exciting chapter in Penn State’s story.”

As a skilled leader, she’ll provide a fresh view of the presidency yet remain grounded in students’ crucial connections with their teachers.

 The traits of a 21st-century academic leader – commitment to excellence, equity, and opportunities are second nature to Ms. Bendapudi; she said Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology and a member of the President’s Selection Recruitment Committee.

Ms. Bendapudi is a specialist in customer service and customer experience, has served as President 18th of the University of Louisville since 2018.

In this capacity, she is responsible for the 12 colleges of the University, the Division 1 athletics program, and the integrated academic health system that includes five hospitals and four medical centers. Over 200 physician practice sites.

More than 16,000 undergraduates and more than 6,300 graduate students The University of Louisville is a Research 1 doctoral university with 40% Pell-eligible students.

Ms. Bendapudi has held several notable posts in higher education. These include being provost and executive vice-chancellor of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, the state’s most prestigious University, from 2016 until 2018. She also served as dean of the KU’s School of Business between 2011 until 2016.

She was also the executive vice chief customer officer and president at Huntington National Bank, one of the top 30 US banks with USD 5 billion of assets and 12,000 employees. 

She also provided advice to some of the largest businesses and organizations, including AIG, Proctor & Gamble and Proctor & Gamble, and the US Army.

In her 27 years as an educator, Ms. Bendapudi has been a marketing instructor at the undergraduate level, doctoral, and graduate levels. She has been awarded numerous national and college teaching prizes and awards, including the Academy of Marketing Science Outstanding Marketing Teacher Award.

She has been a professor at the University of Louisville, University of Kansas, Texas A&M University, and Ohio State University.

Ms. Bendapudi received a bachelor’s in English and a master’s of business administration from Andhra University in India and her doctorate in marketing at The University of Kansas.

She is married to Dr. Venkat Bendapudi. Dr. Bendapudi has retired after being at Ohio State University, the University of Kansas, and Louisville.

Ms. Bendapudi will be the new leader of Penn State’s 24-campus network and its top-ranked online World Campus. The University has more than 275 baccalaureate degree programs and boasts the largest community of living alumni globally, with over 700,000 members.