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IU to begin search for new Bloomington campus chancellor

The chancellor will report to President Whitten by serving on the president’s cabinet and will oversee the Office of the Provost.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — In a last minute and previously unannounced item of agenda, the Indiana University Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve re-establishing a chancellor for the Bloomington campus.

In an email Friday, IU President Pamela Whitten said “the challenges of higher education paired with the size and complexity of the Bloomington campus,” created a need for the position.

The chancellor will report directly to Whitten by serving on the president’s cabinet and will oversee the Office of the Provost.

“I have spent the past weeks carefully listening to you and learning your heartfelt concerns with the state of affairs on our campus,” Whitten said in a statement. “As I reflected on what you shared, revisited the history of this august institution and contemplated a path forward, it became clear that it will take significant change for this campus community to advance together in the appropriate spirit of collegiality and shared purpose.”

The chancellor will focus on increasing faculty participation in campus decision making, including diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, student life, and campus finances, according to Whitten’s email statement Friday.

All other IU regional campuses have their own respective chancellors, including IU Indianapolis.

“As the university’s flagship campus, Bloomington deserves this same level of resource and attention,” Whitten said.

The chancellor would essentially run the Bloomington campus, which is the job of current Provost and Executive Vice President Rahul Shrivastav.

A search committee, made up of Whitten and the Bloomington Faculty Council, will be formed to select the chancellor.

“I am confident that faculty insights will help us find a leader whose professional achievements and familiarity with our unique campus culture will inform a desire for a rich understanding of the prevailing issues and a commitment to collaborative resolutions,“ Whitten wrote.

There is no indication of when a chancellor would be appointed.

IU President Pamela Whitten also announced the creation of a new faculty fellow that will work in the President’s Office.

“I sincerely believe that these two vital additions will begin the process of unlocking the unlimited potential of our campus and securing its flagship status.”

During Thursday and Friday’s IU Board of Trustees meeting, IU President Pamela Whitten also shared that Cooley Law Firm is completing an independent assessment of the “events in Dunn Meadow.”

On April 25 and 27, Indiana State Police arrested 57 protesters demonstrating against the ongoing war in Gaza. Late May, the Monroe County Prosecutor said all but one felony charge will be dropped.

It has been a tumultuous few months for the Whitten administration.

In April, just over a week before the Gaza encampment, the IU Bloomington faculty passed votes of no confidence for IU President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Carrie Docherty during a special meeting.

The motion for no confidence in Whitten passed with 93% of the vote out of 888 total ballots cast. 827 voted no confidence, 32 abstained, and 29 voted otherwise.

The motion for no confidence in Shrivastav passed with 91% of the vote out of 879 total ballots cast. 804 voted no confidence, 28 abstained, and 47 voted otherwise.

The motion for no confidence in Docherty passed with 75% of the vote out of 895 total ballots cast. 672 voted no confidence, 116 abstained, and 107 voted otherwise.

It was the first time since 2005 that an IU President faced a vote of no confidence.

In May 2022, the faculty considered a vote of no confidence in Provost Shrivastav over his handling of the graduate workers strike, but the vote failed to make the agenda.