INDIANAPOLIS — Laurence D. Richards, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of management and informatics at IU East, has been appointed interim vice chancellor and dean at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus effective July 1, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Charles R. Bantz announced.
Richards, who has agreed to serve a one-year term at IUPUC, will succeed Marwan A. Wafa, who is stepping down June 30 to become chancellor of Pennsylvania State University’s Worthington Scranton campus. A national search for a permanent successor will begin this fall.
“Larry is a well-respected and seasoned academic leader, with whom both Executive Vice Chancellor Paydar and I have worked previously, so I am very pleased he has agreed to lend his talents and expertise to IUPUC,” Bantz said.
IUPUC’s mission is to be the first choice for those who seek a small campus experience in South Central Indiana, emphasizing intellectual and personal development, community engagement and preparation to enter the workforce. IUPUC primarily serves students who live in Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Ripley, Shelby and other counties in Southern Indiana and delivers higher education through selected degree programs and the advancement of knowledge aligned with regional needs.
The vice chancellor and dean is the senior-most executive appointment at IUPUC and reports to IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Nasser Paydar.
“Larry’s extensive experience — both as an executive administrator and a faculty member — will ensure outstanding leadership during this time of transition,” Paydar said.
Richards joined IU East in 2004 as executive vice chancellor and professor and then served a one-year term as interim chancellor in 2012-13. Prior to his role at IU East, Richards was the founding dean of the School of Management and Aviation Science at Bridgewater State University, where he also served as interim vice president for academic affairs for two years. He was also the founding chair of the Department of Engineering Management, graduate program director and professor of engineering management at Old Dominion University.
Richards holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maine, an M.S. in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida, an MBA in management from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in operations research from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“I am honored to be asked to serve in this interim role while a search for a permanent vice chancellor and dean is conducted,” Richards said. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff at IUPUC and with the greater Columbus community in making the transition in leadership as smooth as possible.”