Indiana University announced Friday that Dr. Pamela Whitten, currently the president of Kennesaw State University in Georgia, will replace Dr. Michael McRobbie as university president beginning July 1.
She is the first woman to ever be named president of IU. Prior to being named president at Kennesaw State in 2018, she was the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost for the University of Georgia. She also worked in the medical departments of Kansas and Michigan State She has Ph.D. in communication studies from Kansas, a master’s degree in communication from Kentucky and a bachelor’s degree in management from Tulane.
Worth noting as a matter of importance to IU athletics, she is also a sports fan and has been a passionate supporter of the sports programs at each of her stops in academia. Exactly what this means for Indiana athletics is impossible to say at this point, but generally athletic departments tend to find it easier to get resources from presidents who care about athletics versus those who are indifferent or opposed.
According to this piece by Matt Cohen of the Indiana Daily Student — who you all may remember was a sports writer before he was an enterprise reporter at the IDS — Whitten frequently travelled to road football games during her time at Kennesaw State and was on the NCAA Division I Committee on Academics. Quinn Buckner, the former All-American and national champion Indiana point guard, Olympic champion and NBA champion who is now on Indiana’s Board of Trustees, made a point of mentioning this Friday at her introduction.
From Cohen’s story:
“We kinda like that,” Buckner said with a grin. “I’m excited to see her cheering on the Hoosiers. We’ll be cheering her on as well.”
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