‘This is an opportunity of a lifetime’: New UofL President Dr. Kim Schatzel begins tenure
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Dr. Kim Schatzel is officially a Cardinal.
She took over as UofL’s president this week, serving as the 19th president in school history.
”Feel as if this is an opportunity of a lifetime, to join and serve the University of Louisville,” Schatzel said.
Schatzel, 66, has served as president of Towson since 2016. She is also a professor of marketing.
She was appointed with a unanimous approval following a special meeting of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees in November.
UofL highlights her track record, helping raise their six-year graduation rate to 72% including for Black, Latinx and Pell-eligible students.
Schatzel said she believes accomplishment is one reason trustees chose her as a their next leader.
”I firmly believe that if you are taking a look at efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion, to ensure the fact that we have inclusive student success, there is no better outcome to be able to measure the success of the university than looking at your metric,” Schatzel said.
Schatzel previously served as provost of Eastern Michigan University and as dean of the College of Business at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
“My husband Trevor and I are thrilled to be joining the UofL community and look forward to embracing the university community, the city of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky as our new home,” Schatzel said. “And we look forward to joining the more than 169,000 UofL alumni from around the globe in cheering on our Cardinals.”
She succeeds Dr. Lori Gonzalez, who was named interim president in Dec. 2021 following the departure of former university president Dr. Neeli Bendapudi.
Bendapudi was named the president at Penn State University on Dec. 9, 2021.
Schatzel also currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Colonial Athletic Conference, a mid-major conference that Towson University competes in with 19 Division I athletics teams.
When Schatzel was elected, WAVE asked UofL students what they would like to see most under new leadership. Most frequently mentioned was Campus safety.
Schatzel said she is meeting with UofL police to talk about how she can support them and plans on focusing her attention to issues of sexual assault in dorms.
“I am not talking about criminal necessarily,” Schatzel said. “I am talking about the fact that we are dealing with Title IX issues with regard to harassing or stalking that we really need to be able to take a look at.”
Schatzel said she was a first-generation college student, and wants UofL first-generation students that she understands what it feels like to not have parents who can give you advice on what classes to take and to feel imposter syndrome.
”I want them to know the fact that I understand their path, and hope they see in me that they too can aspire to, they too can be the president of a premiere urban research university,” Schatzel said.
Schatzel made it clear she plans to make Louisville her last stop and is excited to help lead the University to a new level.
She said her first order of business would be hosting a presidential listening tour to learn about the Cardinal community and get to know students, faculty and staff.
”I am being pretty intentional about not drawing conclusions now. I really want to be open to hearing to people want to tell me. So I don’t want to bring any bias in it,” Schatzel said.
A schedule and registration for the listening sessions can be found here.
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