IU Southeast’s new chancellor has an open ear


Thomas Kalonji

Dr. Kathryn Girten Married with two children, Dr. Kathryn Girten holds an A.M and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her commitment is deep because she focused on the Human.

Thomas Kalonji, Staff Reporter

While taking on another leadership role during a pandemic may be too much for some, it wasn’t for Dr. Kathryn Girten, acting chancellor of IUS and chancellor of IU East.

Girten assumed her role on Aug. 1, when previous chancellor Ray Wallace resigned for medical purposes. 

After that, she quickly started serving the university community to help the campus continue to move forward. 

Accepting the position of chancellor for IUS made her Indiana University’s first female chancellor managing two campuses. But Girten said she is not afraid of the workload to come with taking on IUS.

Girten said, “the key element” to IUS’ future success is its culture.

“And so anything we consider doing, we have to do it with the thought of how it best serves our students. Both now and in the future. And so, one of the things about being chancellor is that you’re always thinking about the future,” she said.

Girten not only embraces change but she said she always is ready for suggestions from both faculty and students.

She said she will meet with the Student Government Association, something she already does at IU East.

“I meet regularly with our student government and get a lot of good input. And sometimes, there are things that we can move forward on. Sometimes we can’t. It just depends. … I definitely want to listen to what students have to say,” said Girten.

Students have been at the heart of IUS chancellors’ concerns. Girten said she is committed to this longstanding tradition.

“You know, we are lifelong learners and we hope that’s what we instill in our students as well. You know, the world is changing every minute and there’s so much to learn,” Girten said.  

She hopes that she will pay particular attention to the constant search for input from the student body during her term of office.

Overall, Girten is excited to continue to meet the community at IUS and enjoy her time on campus, she said.

“I think this campus has tremendous assets, both physically, the campus itself, as well as the courses, the faculty, and staff, who are clearly very dedicated to the students,” she said.