Indiana University has named a University of Missouri leader as chancellor for its Indianapolis campus.
Latha Ramchand, who now serves as executive vice chancellor and provost for University of Missouri, will start in the post on Feb. 12—just months before IUPUI splits and the IU portion transitions to IU Indianapolis in July. She will also be a faculty member and professor of finance in the Kelley School of Business, IU announced Monday.
“Latha Ramchand will provide the bold, visionary and entrepreneurial leadership necessary to advance our ambitious vision for IU’s Indianapolis campus,” Pamela Whitten, president of Indiana University, said in written remarks.
“Her expertise will accelerate our momentum at this critical time, firmly establish IU Indianapolis as one of the nation’s premier urban research universities, and expand the university’s impact in central Indiana and beyond.”
Ramchand was selected following a national search and will oversee more than 400 undergraduate, graduate, certificate and professional programs, growing research focal areas and an evolving urban campus that serves more than 20,000 students.
She succeeds Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, who has served as interim chancellor since June.
Ramchand said in written comments that IU Indianapolis has positioned itself to become one of the best public research universities in the United States.
“The energy and momentum around this campus is palpable, and impressive,” she said. “The opportunity to serve as the inaugural chancellor for an institution such as IU Indianapolis at this point in its history is truly special. I cannot wait to get started.”
Since 2018, Ramchand has overseen enrollment efforts and expanded academic offerings—including research—at University of Missouri. She also oversaw the expansion of the university’s Honors College and the implementation of a new strategic plan for the system, including a focus on strengthening resource allocation and supporting faculty and undergraduate research programs.
Her time at Missouri has encountered some headwinds, however, as a 2022 faculty review found that Ramchand fared well in building personal relationships and teaching ability but scored poorly in areas such as “soliciting faculty input, decision-making and fiscal matters,” according to the Columbia Missourian newspaper.
Those reviews—provided by about 18% of university faculty—also pointed to Ramchand’s role and effectiveness being heavily influenced by University of Missouri System president Mun Choi, who has been criticized for policymaking decisions.
Ramchand told IBJ that while the review didn’t consist solely of what she “wanted to hear,” it highlighted areas of her job that she also felt could benefit from better execution and follow-through. She said a new task force focusing on communication between faculty and administrators has been created at Missouri, along with other programs focused on further supporting and enhancing the voices of faculty members.
She said the review was beneficial to her and left an impact that she can carry with her to her new role at IU.
“I bring with me [to Indianapolis] the tremendous learning that happens when you have that kind of an experience,” she said. “Change is tough, but when we accept and embrace that and say, ‘This is going to make us a better institution,’ I think we all benefit from that. I have learned a lot, and I feel like what I have learned is really going to serve me well in this next role as we deal with these other kinds of changes” throughout the realignment process.
Ramchand was dean of the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston from 2011 to 2018, focusing on expanding enrollment and improving program rankings, including enhancement of the relationship between the school and the Houston business community.
She received her doctoral degree in finance from Northwestern University and both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from the University of Mumbai.
Quinn Buckner, chair of the IU Board of Trustees, said he is confident Ramchand “will position our Indianapolis campus to expand its extensive academic and research portfolios, enhance talent attraction and retention, and shape crucial investments in our campus while driving the economic and social vitality of communities in Indiana and beyond.”
IU has made several commitments to improve the Indianapolis campus in the coming years. In October, Whitten said IU plans to invest more than $250 million to create two new research institutes at IU Indianapolis: the Convergent Bioscience and Technology Institute and the Institute for Human Health and Wellbeing.
It also plans to invest more than $100 million on research in microelectronics, doubling enrollment in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.
IU Indianapolis also plans to spend $60 million in funds from the Indiana General Assembly to expand and renovate research and laboratory space as part of a new so-called Science and Technology Corridor, along with $10 million to grow its STEM faculty. The school also plans to invest nearly $90 million to develop a new athletic facility on campus.