IU Alumna Deborah Ford to serve as chancellor of IU Southeast

2nd February 2023

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (Feb. 2, 2023) – An Indiana University alumna with deep experience in supporting student success and community engagement will serve as chancellor of IU Southeast pending approval of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Deborah Ford

Deborah Ford will assume the role July 1, overseeing all aspects of the academic and operational dimensions of the campus, in collaboration with university administration and the other Indiana University regional campuses.

Ford currently serves as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, a role she has held since 2009. In that position, Ford led the campus community in an integrated planning effort that aligned the university’s strategic framework to its academic and student affairs plan and its focus on strategic enrollment management. 

On behalf of UW-Parkside, she accepted the 2022 Excellence in Innovation Award for Student Success and College Completion by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. During her tenure, UW-Parkside remains the most diverse campus in the University of Wisconsin System, with significant improvements in student completion rates.

A strong believer in community engagement and building partnerships throughout the region, Ford was actively engaged in a variety of regional organizations, including the Kenosha Area Business Alliance and the Racine County Economic Development Corp. She was selected by Kenosha’s mayor to serve as the founding president of Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood to transform 107 acres into an Innovation District. 

“Chancellor Ford grew up in the Louisville metropolitan region near the IU Southeast campus, and she is excited to return home to make a positive difference on the campus and in the area,” said Susan Sciame-Giesecke, IU vice president for regional campuses and online education. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and 14 years of experience leading a campus very similar to IU Southeast. I am excited that we were able to attract such an outstanding and proven leader.  The campus is positioned well for the future.”

Before joining the University of Wisconsin System, Ford served as vice president for student affairs at the University of West Florida, and vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Spalding University in Kentucky. She holds her B.S. from the University of Louisville, a Master of Education from Indiana University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Louisville.

“The vision for IU Southeast is compelling, and I am honored to join the learning community as chancellor,” Ford said. “President Pamela Whitten’s vision for Indiana University is inspiring, and the regional campuses serve a vital role in advancing education to students in communities throughout the state that is both attainable and affordable. I look forward to working in tandem with Vice President Sciame-Giesecke to advance the IU 2030 Strategic Plan focused on student success at IU Southeast and building strong community partnerships in southern Indiana and greater Louisville.” 

Ford succeeds Kelly A. Ryan, who held the role of interim chancellor for the 2022-23 academic year. 

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