Indiana University has chosen Pamela Whitten to replace retiring President Michael A. McRobbie. She becomes IU’s first woman to lead the school.

Michael J. Mirro, chair of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, made the announcement April 16, recognizing the overnight mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.

“This morning we woke up to news of another heartbreaking mass shooting, this time at a FedEx facility in our own state,” Mirro wrote. “These events have become horribly familiar to us, and our thoughts are with our fellow Hoosiers as we grapple with another tragedy. The weight of this painful event will stay with all of us.

“As we’ve had to do too many times in recent memory, we will carry on with heavy hearts. I do want to share some historic IU news with you.”

Whitten will become IU’s 19th president.

“A visionary scholar, Pamela has distinguished herself as an internationally recognized faculty expert in telemedicine,” Mirro noted. “She is a passionate and accessible leader, beginning from her time at Michigan State University to now, as president of Kennesaw State University — part of the University System of Georgia and the second largest university in the state.”

Whitten has held additional positions at the University of Georgia and the University of Kansas Medical Center. She holds a doctorate in communication studies from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in communication from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Science in management from Tulane University.

“Her work advancing one of the nation’s leading research universities will be championed by a wealth of faculty and staff talent at a time of record-level research funding and philanthropic support,” Mirro wrote.

“We remain grateful to President Michael A. McRobbie for his contributions to these and other successes and look forward to celebrating his accomplishments; details will be shared in the coming weeks at”

Before assuming her presidential role July 1, Whitten will meet with various student, faculty and staff groups as part of a detailed transition plan overseen by Trustee MaryEllen Bishop.

In a video message, she said that she and her husband, Jason, can’t wait to move to Indiana. A website about her has been set up at

According to her Kennesaw State University biography, she became its fifth president June 12, 2018. She served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia from February 2014 to June 2018.

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