No way is UofL’s Bendapudi your typical liberal university president

New University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi was flanked by Board Chairman David Grissom (left) and former Interim President Greg Postel (right) during her inauguration..
An estimated 2,500 people were on hand for the inauguration of the university’s 18th President.

The University of Louisville appears to have made an exceptional hire in securing Neeli Bendapudi as the 18th President of the school. She doesn’t seem to be the typical liberal educator, having the ability to communicate well with all segments of the university and the community 

While Bendapudi talks a great deal about inclusion and diversity, it is obvious that her goals for UofL go far beyond issues in which the school has already received national recognition. It is becoming obvious that she doesn’t fit the liberal stereotype so dominant in the leadership of American universities.

For example, during her inauguration ceremony Thursday, one of the people she wanted to speak was General Robert Brown, commander of the U.S. Army Pacific, who had worked with her in developing educational programs for veterans and active military at the University of Kansas.

Brown described her involvement as phenomenal, going far beyond the promises of previous administrators. “She was invested in making the program life-changing for the participants,” he said. “It is a model program for military and educational cooperation.

“She’s the right leader at the right time for this institution, if I can be so bold to say that. But it’s so obvious,” Brown said.

Bendapudi, who formerly served Provost and Dean of the Kansas School of Business, also has considerable experience in and appreciation for the business community. She has served as a consultant to dozens of the world’s largest companies, including Procter & Gamble, Deloitte & Touche and Cessna. 

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