IU East Chancellor Kathryn Girten has been named acting chancellor at IU Southeast, effective Aug. 1. She will succeed Ray Wallace, who will step down as chancellor after seven years in the role due to a worsening health condition.
Girten will balance her new role at IU Southeast with her responsibilities at the IU East campus with the help of her newly appointed deputy chancellor Michelle Malott, currently the executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at IU East.
“I am honored to have been asked to serve as acting chancellor at IU Southeast,” said Girten. “My husband Gary and I are looking forward to meeting the faculty, staff, students and community members and getting to know your beautiful region. I am eager to listen and learn from all of you and help move IU Southeast forward.”
Girten joined Indiana University as the sixth chancellor of IU East in July 2013. She is the first woman chancellor to serve the campus.
Under Chancellor Girten’s leadership, the IU East campus has seen record enrollment, significant improvement in student retention and graduation rates, record numbers of graduates and increased student diversity. Student loan default rates have dropped dramatically, as has the amount of student debt upon graduation. New degree programs have been launched in both face-to-face and online formats. Online program development has continued to be a priority, including offering collaborative programs with other IU regional campuses.
Capital projects Girten has overseen include the construction of the Student Events and Activities Center, the fifth building on the campus and the first since 1999, as well as a renovation of the campus quad and installation of outdoor sculptures, renovation of Whitewater Hall lobby, construction of an Arts Annex and a multimodal path on campus. Athletics has grown to include men’s and women’s soccer as well as men’s and women’s track and field, bringing the total number of athletic teams to 15.
“I am extremely appreciative that Kathryn Girten is stepping up as acting chancellor at IU Southeast,” said Susan Sciame-Giesecke, IU’s interim executive vice president for university academic affairs. “She has overseen strategic initiatives that have advanced the quality, diversity and impact of East’s campus. Her keen understanding of the needs and interests of a regional campus and its community will help seamlessly move Southeast’s agenda forward during the transition.”
Prior to coming to Indiana, Girten was provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Monterey Bay, from 2007 to 2013. In that role, she was responsible for leading the academic programs of the campus.
Girten received an A.B. from Middlebury College (with a double major in art history and anthropology) and an A.M. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. She spent much of her career (1989 – 2007) at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, as a faculty member and then as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her academic area of expertise is the analysis of animal bones from archaeological sites, and she conducted field and laboratory research in South Africa for more than twenty years. She is proud to have received the Northern Arizona University Teaching Scholar Award and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
Community involvement is important to Girten, and she serves on the board of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Art Museum, Reid Health, the Wayne County Foundation, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the First Bank Richmond Community Foundation and First Bank Richmond.
Chancellor Girten was born and raised in New York. She and her late husband, Eugene Cruz-Uribe, raised two daughters who are grown and married. In March of 2020, Girten married Gary Girten, a retired bank examiner and a Marine Corps veteran from Dayton, Ohio. The couple lives in Richmond, and they enjoy many outdoor activities such as playing disc golf and running together.