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University of Southern Indiana president to retire

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — After nine years as president and 15 years with the University of Southern Indiana in total, Linda Bennett has announced her plans to retire as USI president.

Bennett will retire on June 30.

“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve this great institution,” Bennett said. “The essential strengths of USI are not contained in buildings, though our beautiful campus is a tremendous asset. Those essential strengths are the people of the campus, the power of community and the high quality education our students take with them as they graduate. This December I will be 65, and with that milestone, I believe it is a good time to think about the next chapter of my life. The University of Southern Indiana is well-positioned for a transition, and this is the right time.”

The USI Board of Trustees will announce plans this fall for a national search for USI’s next president.

“It has been my good fortune to have worked with each of the three presidents of this University, all have exemplified outstanding qualities necessary to captain a ship such as ours,” said Harold Calloway, chair of USI’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Bennett, without exception, has proven to be a transformative leader who was the right person at the right time for our institution, and we will certainly miss her intellect, caring personality, wit, and love and respect for the institution. The Board of Trustees will work to select a leader that will continue the legacy of Dr. Bennett and all of her predecessors.”

Bennett became USI’s third president in July 2009.

She previously served as USI’s provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2003 until her inauguration.

In addition to serving as president, she is a professor of political science and has taught Introduction to American Politics for USI students.

In Bennett’s first year as president, she led the effort to establish USI’s first strategic plan.

The plan included an intentional effort to raise the university’s academic standards and admitting students most likely to succeed at a four-year university.

Bennett’s experience in higher education also included service at Northern Kentucky University and Wittenberg University.

She plans to remain in Evansville with her husband and stay actively involved in community service.

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