By Joseph Lyell —
After nearly two years with an interim president, U of L named University of Kansas’s provost Neeli Bendapudi as the next president. The announcement came April 3, the 240th anniversary of U of L’s founding. Bendapudi is expected to take office on May 15.
Bendapudi met with students and community members on both the Belknap and Health Sciences Campus April 4. She visited the SAC multipurpose room at 10 a.m, then the lobby of the Kosair Center for Translational Research at 1 p.m.
Bendapudi, with more than 30 years of academic and business experience, said U of L’s status as a metropolitan research university made the offer one she could not pass up.
In her first address as president, Bendapudi said her top priority is making the university a great place to learn, work and invest.
She said the cornerstone of higher education must be improving students’ experiences and providing faculty with adequate resources so that can happen.
“We need to make sure that our faculty and staff view the University of Louisville as a great place of work,” she said.
Bendapudi said concerning investments, it is the university’s job to tell legislature that investing in higher education is the best route to economic expansion for the city.
The decision to hire Bendapudi was highly recommended by search firm William R. Funk & Associates.
“She simply blew us away. She had so much enthusiasm and background and passion,” board chair David Grissom said.
Grissom said the search for president focused on finding a proven leader who would “re-energize” the university and advocate for its students, staff, faculty and alumni.
“We found that person in Dr. Bendapudi,” Grissom said in a statement from the university. “Her academic credentials are impressive, her leadership skills are outstanding, and her enthusiasm is both undeniable and contagious.”
Grissom said now former interim president Greg Postel, who was on holiday with his family when the decision was made, will most likely resume his responsibilities on the Health Science Campus.
Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal