Whitten to leave KSU for presidency of Indiana University

Pamela Whitten in black jacket with arms crossedPamela Whitten (official photo from KSU website)

Kennesaw State University announced in a news release that university President Pamela Whitten is stepping down at KSU, and accepting the position of president at Indiana University, effective July 1.

Whitten became president of KSU in June, 2018, after she served as the University of Georgia’s senior vice president for academics and provost.

“The opportunity to serve as president of Kennesaw State University over the past three years has been one of the highlights of my career,” Whitten said for KSU’s news release. “I am honored to have served alongside a dedicated group of faculty and staff who each day deliver on the promise of putting our students first. KSU is a tremendous institution providing world class instruction, and I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved during my tenure.”

University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley was quoted in the news release as follows:

President Pam Whitten’s outstanding leadership helped KSU over the past few years achieve record-breaking enrollment, historic funding for student scholarships and an R2 research designation that places it among a select group of colleges and universities in the nation.

Her unwavering commitment to improve students’ experience and academic success made a direct impact on the quality of education at KSU, including hiring more faculty and advisors to support students’ achievement of a college degree. Pam never hesitated in helping her colleagues across the system and is a valued friend, and I will miss her good counsel. We are grateful for her service to our students and the University System of Georgia and wish her well.

According to the news release, Whitten’s accomplishments include, “two straight years of record growth with the number of undergraduate and graduate students increasing from 35,500 in fall 2018 to over 41,000 in fall 2020. This growth also included an increase in racial diversity, with self-identified minority students making up 48.7% of the student body in 2020, up from 43.1% in 2017.”

The Indiana Board of Trustees issued the following statement about Whitten’s appointment to head their university:

Announcing Indiana University’s 19th President

It is my privilege and honor, as chairman of the Board of Trustees, to introduce Pamela Whitten as the nineteenth president of Indiana University.

A visionary scholar, Pamela has distinguished herself as an internationally recognized faculty expert in telemedicine. She is a passionate and accessible leader, beginning from her time at Michigan State University to now, as president of Kennesaw State University — part of the University System of Georgia and the second largest university in the state.

With a strong track record of leadership accomplishments in additional positions at the University of Georgia and the University of Kansas Medical Center, Pamela holds a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in management from Tulane University.

Pamela was appointed by the Board of Trustees following an extensive search, with faculty, staff and students across the university providing early input regarding the characteristics and experiences most desired in IU’s next leader.   

As IU’s first female president, she follows an accomplished group of distinguished IU presidents. Her work advancing one of the nation’s leading research universities will be championed by a wealth of faculty and staff talent at a time of record-level research funding and philanthropic support. We remain grateful to President Michael A. McRobbie for his contributions to these and other successes and look forward to celebrating his accomplishments; details will be shared in the coming weeks at president.iu.edu.

Prior to assuming the presidential role on July 1, Pamela will meet with various student, faculty and staff groups as part of a detailed transition plan overseen by trustee MaryEllen Bishop.

Appreciating that the IU community is eager to get to know our president-elect, we invite you to watch a short video message from Pamela. In addition, you will learn more about our new leader at special website, where information will be added in the coming months as we eagerly anticipate her arrival. 

Michael J. Mirro

Chair
IU Board of Trustees

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