Penn State Hires Neeli Bendapudi as President

Neeli Bendapudi was named the one to succeed Eric Barron as the school’s top administrator. This makes Bendapudi the first woman and teh first person of color to serve as the 98,000-student institution’s next president.

Bendapudi, 58, is a marketing professor whose research involves consumer behavior. She became Louisville’s president three years ago.

Bendapudi said her goal “is for every single Penn Stater to feel invested, invested in our mission of teaching, research and service.” She said she hoped to stay involved with teaching by guest lecturing at Penn State classes.

Bendapudi was hired as University of Louisville’s president in 2018 to lead the school beyond a series of scandals and has received positive reviews for her job performance there.

Before leading Louisville, she had been provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas and dean of the Kansas business school. Bendapudi has a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Andhra University in India and a doctorate from the University of Kansas. She has also taught at Ohio State University and Texas A&M University. She has also worked as a banker and business consultant.

Bendapudi was born in Visakhapatnam, India, and came to the United States in 1986 for graduate school. Her spouse, Venkat Bendapudi, is a retired faculty member who taught at Ohio State, Kansas and Louisville.