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Last modified: Monday, March 22, 2010

Michael Harris selected as new chancellor of IU Kokomo

March 23, 2010

KOKOMO, Ind. -- Michael Harris, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kettering University in Flint, Mich., has been selected as the new chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, it was announced today (March 23) by IU President Michael A. McRobbie. His appointment is subject to approval by the IU Board of Trustees.

Michael Harris

Michael Harris

Harris has served in his current position since 2007 and is also a professor of public policy. He served as vice president for academic affairs at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., from 2004-07 and as associate provost at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., from 2000-04. He received a doctorate from IU in public policy.

"Michael is a thoughtful, enthusiastic and proven leader whose experiences in higher education and longstanding commitment to academic excellence will enable him to continue the outstanding growth of Indiana University's Kokomo campus, which this year has seen its highest enrollment in 10 years," McRobbie said. "I look forward to working with him to further strengthen the academic environment in Kokomo and continue to build upon the strong partnerships we have built in the region."

Harris said he is "honored and humbled" to assume his new position at IU Kokomo.

"This is an exciting time to join IU," he said. "I come to IU Kokomo when the campus is poised to continue to grow and excel in its undergraduate and graduate programs. And, the timing is right for additional collaboration so the campus can play a significant role as an economic development engine to improve the well being of the region.

"I'm looking forward to working with colleagues to shape IU Kokomo's future, lead it to even greater heights and assist President McRobbie in achieving his vision for IU," he continued. "At the same time, it is also hard for me to leave Kettering University. It is an excellent institution with special people, and I take immense pride in all that President Stan Liberty and I have accomplished working together. I enjoyed and appreciated my time at Kettering.

"Tali and I are delighted. We relish the opportunity. It is great to return to IU, my alma mater."

Harris was chosen from among four finalists for the position who were identified by a 12-member search committee headed by IU East Chancellor Nasser Paydar.

"Dr. Harris has a dynamic personality with great energy and determination," Paydar said. "His experience as the chief academic officer in two institutions has well prepared him for this challenging position."

Former IU Kokomo Chancellor Ruth Person left the position in 2008 to become chancellor at the University of Michigan-Flint after serving since 1999. Stuart Green has been serving as interim chancellor since August 2008. He had formerly served as vice chancellor for the IU Kokomo Office of Academic Affairs.

"Stuart's leadership has been extremely important to IU Kokomo, especially during this time of transition, and we deeply appreciate his service to the campus," McRobbie said.

The new IU Kokomo chancellor will be expected to work closely with a newly formed IU office that will develop and implement a distinct collective mission for IU's regional campuses. The office is headed by John Applegate, vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy.

"Michael has an excellent record of accomplishment, and I'm looking forward to working with him as we chart the future of IU's regional campuses," Applegate said.

As the chief ranking academic officer for Kettering University, Harris has been responsible for all aspects of the academic mission of the university, including oversight of academic budgets, the appointment of faculty and all academic and curricular matters. In addition, he has served as the vice president for student affairs.

Harris led Kettering, in collaboration with Swedish Bio-gas International and the City of Flint, to develop the state's first Center of Energy Excellence, receiving $1 million from the Department of Energy. He initiated Entrepreneurship Across the Curriculum as a tool to enhance an innovation mindset among graduates. Harris developed strategies to increase enrollment for graduate programs, international undergraduate admissions, study abroad programs and international delegation partnerships, in addition to overseeing three successful accreditation processes. He helped guide Kettering to four national rankings in the 2009 and 2010 editions of America's Best Colleges in the category of undergraduate engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's degree, including a No. 1 ranking in industrial and manufactured engineering and a No. 2 ranking in mechanical engineering.

While at Ferris State University, he was successful in strengthening the areas of academics, teaching, research, scholarship, retention, assessment and service. He increased online education, aided progress in assessment efforts and led Ferris through several successful accreditations. He was the principal investigator for several grants, including $1 million from the Dow Foundation to construct new facilities.

Harris specializes in public policy and political economy and has published three books, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in State and Local Government (edited with Rhonda Kinney), Term Limits (co-authored with Gideon Doron) and Public Policy and Electoral Reform: The Case of Israel. His fourth book, Leading the Learner-Centered Campus (co-authored with R. Cullen), is due later this spring.

He has published in a variety of journals, such as The International Journal of Public Administration, Government and Policy, Nonprofit Quarterly, Utopian Studies, Israel Affairs, Israel Studies, Academic Leader, Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education and Innovative Higher Education, as well as published chapters in several edited volumes. He serves as a political commentator to a variety of broadcast and print media in the United States and Israel (including NPR, Fox, Voice of Israel and the Washington Post).

Recognition of his teaching, research and service include the following honors: an Honorary Doctorate in Educational Administration from Ave Maria College, Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching from Eastern Michigan University, Teaching Excellence Award from EMU's Alumni Association, recognition for Excellence in Teaching from the American Political Science Association and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Faculty Award.

Harris earned a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Bar-Ilan University in Israel in 1982 and a master's degree in public management and budgeting from Tel Aviv University in Israel in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. from IU in 1993. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Institute for Educational Management and the Management Development Program. He is married to Tali, and they have three sons.

IU Kokomo, which serves an 11-county area in north central Indiana, is committed to enhancing the educational and professional attainment of the residents of the region by providing a wide range of bachelor's degrees and a limited number of master's and associate degrees. It is further dedicated to enhancing research, creative work and other scholarly activity, promoting diversity and strengthening the economic and cultural vitality of the region and the state through a variety of partnerships and programs.