December 9, 2021

Message from the Dean – Penn State’s New President

To: Liberal Arts Faculty and Staff
From: Clarence Lang

Dear Colleagues:

For those of you who may not have yet received the news, I am delighted to share that Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, president at the University of Louisville, has been named as Penn State’s 19th president. As I understand it, Dr. Bendapudi will officially begin her tenure on or before July 1, and that Dr. Barron will assist with her transition until his retirement on June 30.

I had the pleasure of working alongside Dr. Bendapudi at the University of Kansas (KU), where she served as dean of the School of Business and later as provost and executive vice chancellor. During her tenure at KU, she cultivated a strong reputation for her accessibility to student, faculty and staff alike, her commitment to equity and inclusion, and her previous accomplishments in private business enterprise. As dean, for example, she led a major private fundraising effort to support the construction of a new building to house the School of Business. In 2015-16, she and I served on KU’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council, which submitted a report to the Chancellor at a critical moment for that university, especially given KU’s regional proximity to the University of Missouri and Ferguson, Missouri (both of which had been the scenes of a great deal of upheaval that unfolded nationally). Additional information about President-Elect Bendapudi’s appointment and experience can be found in the recently published story at Penn State News.

I look forward to reconnecting with Dr. Bendapudi in her new role, welcoming her to Penn State, and most importantly, introducing her to our extraordinary college.