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Veteran IU leader Nasser Paydar selected as new IUPUI chancellor



INDIANAPOLIS — The Academic Affairs committee of the Indiana University Board of Trustees today accepted a recommendation from IU President Michael A. McRobbie that Nasser H. Paydar, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, be selected as the next chancellor of IUPUI. The full board is expected to confirm his selection at its business meeting Friday afternoon.

Paydar, whose appointment will begin Aug. 16, succeeds Charles R. Bantz, who retires as chancellor after 12 years in the position.

“Nasser is an ideal candidate to build on the considerable momentum the IUPUI campus has generated over the past 12 years under Chancellor Bantz,” McRobbie said. “Nasser is an outstanding academic and an energetic, able leader who has a deep understanding of IU’s goals and mission. As executive vice chancellor for the past three years, Nasser has shown a tremendous ability to bring disparate groups together to create a strategic vision for the IUPUI campus that will allow for a seamless transition.”

Paydar, who will become IUPUI’s fifth chancellor, has been an IU faculty member for nearly 30 years and has held various administrative and executive leadership positions since he joined IUPUI in 1985 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He has been executive vice chancellor since 2012; he served as vice chancellor and dean of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus from 2004 to 2007 and as chancellor at IU East in Richmond from 2007 to 2012.

IUPUI is at a special time in its history and development, Paydar said, citing the growth of the campus, accolades it’s received for innovative academic and community engagement programs, and its profile as a leading urban campus.

“As chancellor, I look forward to building on the momentum we have established at IUPUI and developing and implementing IUPUI’s long-term vision, built on the success of our students, to fulfill the campus’s commitment to Indiana and beyond,” he said.

Since coming to IUPUI, Paydar has risen through the ranks as a faculty member in the School of Engineering and Technology, serving as department chair, associate dean and executive associate dean. A professor of mechanical engineering, Paydar has received a number of awards for outstanding teaching and has served as a principal investigator on numerous research projects that have received awards from federal and state agencies as well as private companies and foundations.

While chancellor at IU East, Paydar led strategic planning and a campus transformation that resulted in an 87 percent enrollment increase, an improved first-year retention rate and a significant increase in graduation rates. Through his leadership, the campus envisioned and implemented online education offerings that placed the campus at the forefront of such activity at IU. He also worked with community stakeholders and the campus to enhance university facilities, refresh campus image and fundraising, and improve faculty and staff morale and campus pride.

As IUPUI executive vice chancellor, Paydar led the campus in a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process that engaged more than 250 individuals and resulted in 10 strategic goals for the campus. In the past year he has also led the campus through its transition to implementing the strategic plan, including enhancements to undergraduate education and other developments that will help IUPUI fulfill its new vision, help the campus achieve greater success and distinction, and contribute to economic development in the state.

Paydar received his undergraduate degree, master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in 1979, 1981 and 1985, respectively.

Bantz, who will be taking a one-year leave before returning to IUPUI as a member of the faculty, guided IUPUI through a period of growth and unprecedented student success during his tenure as chancellor. Under his leadership, the campus significantly increased the number of degrees awarded, launched a number of new 21st-century academic programs and oversaw construction of new campus facilities, including the Campus Center and buildings for research, teaching and student housing.

“Everyone at IUPUI, across Indiana University and in the city of Indianapolis owes Charles a considerable debt of gratitude for his commitment to this institution and the city,” McRobbie said. “Charles has led transformational change at the campus during his tenure, and we will miss his energetic and experienced voice. We look forward to his return to the faculty after a well-deserved sabbatical.”