Pennsylvania State University on Thursday hired Neeli Bendapudi, president of the University of Louisville, to be its next president. Bendapudi, who has helped stabilize Louisville since becoming its top official in 2018 in the wake of significant governance turmoil, will be Penn State’s first female and first nonwhite leader.
Bendapudi succeeds Eric Barron, who was Penn State’s first permanent president after the major turmoil that rocked the university after a child sex abuse scandal in its football program took down senior administrators, including its then president, Graham Spanier. Barron is credited with stabilizing Penn State in the same way Bendapudi did Louisville.
Before taking the reins at Louisville, Bendapudi was provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, dean of the School of Business at Kansas, and founding director of the Initiative for Managing Services at Ohio State University. She is an expert on marketing and consumer behavior.