Dr. Kathryn Girten joined Indiana University as the sixth Chancellor of IU East in July 2013. She is the first woman chancellor to serve the campus. Chancellor Girten led the development of the IU East Strategic Plan (2016-2019), which dovetails with the IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan and lays out the priorities for the near future. The focus is on increasing student success and continuing to foster meaningful community connections.
Under Chancellor Girten’s leadership, the campus has seen record enrollment, improvement in student retention and graduation rates, record numbers of graduates, and increased student diversity. Student loan default rates have dropped dramatically. New degree programs have been launched, including a B.A. in Spanish. Online program development has continued to be a priority, including offering collaborative programs with other IU regional campuses.
Capital projects Girten has overseen include a renovation of the campus quad, installation of outdoor sculptures in the quad area, and the construction of the Student Events and Activities Center, the fifth building on the campus and the first since 1999. Athletics has grown to include men’s and women’s soccer as well as men’s and women’s track and field, bringing the total number of athletic teams to 15.
Prior to coming to Indiana, Dr. Girten was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Monterey Bay (2007 – 2013). In that role, she was responsible for leading the academic programs of the university. During her tenure Dr. Girten oversaw the implementation of eight new academic programs, as well as a significant revision of the university’s general education program, the successful re-affirmation of the university’s accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and a significant improvement in student retention.
Dr. Girten received an A.B. from Middlebury College (with a double major in art history and anthropology), and an A.M. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. She spent much of her career (1989 – 2007) at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, as a faculty member and then as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her academic area of expertise is the analysis of animal bones from archaeological sites, and she conducted field and laboratory research in South Africa for more than twenty years. She is proud to have received the Northern Arizona University Teaching Scholar Award and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.
Community involvement is important to Dr. Girten, and she has served on several boards in both Monterey and Flagstaff, and now in Indiana. She currently serves on the board of the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Art Museum, Reid Health, the Wayne County Foundation, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the First Bank Richmond Community Foundation and First Bank Richmond, as well as the steering committee of Forward Wayne County.
The Chancellor and her late husband, Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe, were married 36 years. In March 2020, the Chancellor married Gary Girten, a retired bank examiner and a Marine Corps veteran from Dayton, Ohio. The couple reside in Richmond and enjoy spending time with their family. Chancellor Girten was born and raised in New York and relaxes by painting with pastels, quilting, playing the piano, reading, traveling and running in 5K races with her husband.