University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi named next president of Penn State University

UPDATED: University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi is leaving her current post to be the next president at Penn State University in University Park, PA.

Bendapudi was named the University of Louisville’s 18th president on April 3, 2018. During her tenure, she has been seen as a strong leader for the university.

In a message to the University of Louisville community released moments before the announcement was officially made by Penn State University, Bendapudi announced she has accepted the new position and stated her decision to embark on her new chapter was not an easy one.

“Leaders of great institutions are simply temporary stewards called to take great care of the mission and the people and to leave them better than they found them. Together, we have accomplished much, advancing the University of Louisville on several fronts. The academic profile of our incoming students has never been stronger; our research funding never higher; our Foundation never more stable; our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion never more robust; our facility transformations never more noticeable; our new brand and online presence never more impactful; our UofL Health system never better staffed, funded and appreciated; our work to improve our community, the Commonwealth and the world never more evident. And we have done it all during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic and through the painful tragedies of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,” Bendapudi wrote. “I have complete confidence this important work will continue and that the University of Louisville will rise to greater heights.”

On Thursday, Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts released a statement following the announcement:

“The Chamber thanks Dr. Bendapudi for her service to the Commonwealth and for forging strong ties between the University of Louisville and Kentucky’s business community. Personally, as a UofL grad, I have appreciated my friendship with Neeli and wish her nothing but success in her next endeavor.”

The Penn State Board of Trustees votes unanimously to hire Bendapudi as new president to start on or before July 1, 2022.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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