KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris was installed today as the sixth chancellor of the campus by IU President Michael McRobbie during a ceremony at Havens Auditorium. More than 500 guests attended the event, which also celebrated the growth and success of business, industry, and higher education in north central Indiana.
“I am committed to leading the campus forward and ensuring academic excellence and student success, regional transformation, and building relationships and making friends,” Harris said, who took the position of chancellor on July 1. “IU Kokomo is committed to making our region an even better place to live; a place where every individual has an equal opportunity to be educated, to raise a family, to earn a good living and to enjoy all the benefits of a welcoming and inclusive community.”
Harris and McRobbie shared the platform with alumna Kathleen Ligocki and faculty member Dianne Roden, as well as IU Trustees Phlip N. Eskew, Jr., and Thomas E. Reilly, Jr.
Roden, a professor of finance at IU Kokomo for 18 years, said Harris’ arrival has prompted her to think outside her comfort zone for new and innovative ways to teach and interact with the students and engage in the community.
“IU Kokomo faculty and staff live in this region and we share its values. We want to help. Now, under the leadership of Chancellor Harris, we have new incentive to step forward and make a real difference by strengthening and transforming this region,” Roden said. “I find that both challenging and exciting. My colleagues and I are eager to be involved.”
Kokomo native Kathleen Ligocki, who earned her bachelor’s degree from this campus in 1978, credited IU Kokomo for a successful and fulfilling career in the automobile industry.
“I have just accepted the position of CEO of Next Auto Works, where we will design and build a car here in America that people will be able to afford to buy. I couldn’t have done it without IU Kokomo as my foundation,” Ligocki said. “It is with great pride that we are here today for the formal installation of Michael Harris as the chancellor of this university that so many of us love so much.”
Harris shared additions and improvements to the campus that have taken place since his arrival, including the Digital Media Center; a new Mac lab, a renovated facility for the fine arts program, a world-class nursing clinical simulation center, and the first basketball and volleyball courts on campus. In addition, he said campus officials will continue to research the best avenue for a health and wellness center.
“Taken together, these new facilities and programs represent an enhanced capacity and a commitment to be intentional, relevant, responsive and current,” he said.
Harris recently served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kettering University in Flint, Mich. He worked for Kettering from 2007 to 2010, and was also a professor of public policy. He served as vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., from 2004-07 and as associate provost at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., from 2000-04.
“We are bound by a common goal: to sustain here in north central Indiana the American dream of a better tomorrow,” Harris said. “We are on the move while remaining grounded in Hoosier values and dedicated to a global perspective and academic excellence.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.
Media Contact: Marie Radel
Phone: (765) 455-9468