Kathryn Girten joined Indiana University as the sixth Chancellor of IU East in July 2013, as the first woman chancellor to serve the campus.
Under Chancellor Girten’s leadership, the IU East campus has seen record enrollment, significant improvement in student retention and graduation rates, record numbers of graduates, and increased student diversity. Student loan default rates have dropped dramatically as has the amount of student debt upon graduation. New degree programs have been launched in both face-to-face and online formats. Online program development has continued to be a priority, including offering collaborative programs with other IU regional campuses.
Capital projects Girten has overseen include the construction of the Student Events and Activities Center, the fifth building on the campus and the first since 1999, as well as a renovation of the campus quad and installation of outdoor sculptures, renovation of Whitewater Hall lobby, construction of an Arts Annex, and a multimodal path on campus. 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, 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 campus.
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 Girten, and she 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.
Chancellor Girten was born and raised in New York. She and her late husband, Eugene Cruz-Uribe, raised two daughters who are grown and married. In March 2020, the Chancellor married Gary Girten, a retired bank examiner and a Marine Corps veteran from Dayton, Ohio. The couple live in Richmond and enjoy many outdoor activities such as playing disc golf and running together.