UofL names Neeli Bendapudi as 18th President

04/03/2018 01:52 PM

LOUISVILLE- The University of Louisville has announced Neeli Bendapudi will be the 18th president of the university and the first woman to hold the position.

Bendapudi currently serves as the provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas. The University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved her appointment at a special meeting Tuesday. She is expected to begin May 15.

The decision stems from a months-long search that drew more than 50 candidates from across the nation. Bendapudi explained why UofL’s recent troubles didn’t deter her from accepting the position.

“I looked at the faculty and staff and the fact that they stayed through. That meant a lot to me. This was not a place that they thought, ‘We give up. There’s no hope,’ “ she said. “I thought I was looking at the diamond with some mud smeared on it.”

Bendapudi also addressed potential budget cuts the University of Louisville now faces in the biennium budget, which includes a 6.25% cut across the board. But Bendapudi says she is remaining optimistic.

“I do think that legislators themselves, states also face great pressures, so it’s our job to articulate why investment in higher education is one of the best things that any region can do for economic development,” Bendapudi said. “I have complete confidence that this governor, this legislature wants to see University of Louisville strong and thriving after the period of uncertainty we went through.”

According to Board of Trustees chairman J. David Grissom, Dr. Greg Postel, who has served as interim president for the university since early 2017, will remain with the university “in some capacity.”

The university has announced two campus celebrations on Wednesday, April 4 to introduce faculty, staff, students and the public to Bendapudi. The celebrations will be held at 10 a.m. at the SAC on the Belknap campus and 1 p.m. in CTR Building downtown on the HSC campus.

Watch Dr. Bendapudi’s full opening remarks:

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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