UofL’s President Neeli Bendapudi is leaving.
The first woman and person of color to be UofL’s president is headed to Penn State after three years in Louisville. The college’s board of trustees officially voted Bendapudi in as their next president this afternoon.
Less than 24 hours before, UofL fans were only worried about losing Vince Tyra, UofL’s athletic director. (He’s since also announced his departure).
Here’s how we got to this point:
Penn State’s board of trustees announce they will meet on Thursday at 11 a.m. to “consider a presidential appointment.”
Neeli Bendapudi casts a virtual vote to let Tyra out of his noncompete clause. Tyra had been linked to an athletic director job opening at Florida State.
Late Wednesday Night
Rumors start to circulate on Twitter that Bendapudi is leaving UofL, too, but for Penn State.
It appears everyone heard the exact same rumor at the same exact time.
To be … transparent … I’m talking about the rumor that Neeli Bendapudi will be named the new president at Penn State tomorrow.
Suppose we’ll hear something soon enough. Never boring.
— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) December 9, 2021
Thursday Morning, 6:36 a.m.
News breaks that a plane owned by Penn State is flying into Louisville. It lands around 7:38 a.m.
Flight Tracker: President Edition
According to FlightAware, a Cessna owned by Penn State is currently in Louisville and set to depart for State College, Penn. later this morning. pic.twitter.com/FdRW5PZcuY
— Matt McGavic (@Matt_McGavic) December 9, 2021
Around 8:30 a.m.
A student-run, Penn State news site, Onward State, cites an unnamed source, saying Bendapudi will be the college’s next president. Louisville media outlets follow close behind in reporting the news.
BREAKING: University of Louisville President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi will serve as Penn State’s next president, pending board approval.
She will be both the first woman and person of color to hold the university’s highest office. https://t.co/FXAdbGitks
— Onward State (@OnwardState) December 9, 2021
WDRB sports journalist Eric Crawford writes on Twitter that Bendapudi formed a deal with Penn State last Friday, according to another unnamed source.
Source says Bendapudi’s deal with Penn State was done, when else, last Friday. Other sources say Vince Tyra, like other university officials, was unaware that it was happening.
— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) December 9, 2021
Around 11 a.m.
Penn State’s Board of Trustees begin to stream their meeting.
Courier Journal reporter Oliva Krauth discovers that Bendapudi’s official UofL account has been deleted. It’s since reappeared.
And Neeli Bendapudi’s U of L Twitter is gone. pic.twitter.com/BrbSKTRFD5
— Olivia Krauth (@oliviakrauth) December 9, 2021
Penn State’s board of trustees officially recommend that Bendapudi be voted in as the college’s next president.
Around 11:33 a.m.
UofL releases a statement from Bendapudi announcing her departure. She says, “The decision to embark on a new chapter in my professional journey was not an easy one. I will miss our students, our faculty, our staff, our retirees, our alumni and our supporters, and I will miss my senior leadership team. All of you are among the best in the nation and are the heart and soul of our institution.”
After board members share their thoughts on Bendapudi, they officially vote her in. Bendapudi then gives a speech.
In a news release, Penn State says that Bendapudi was selected after a “comprehensive national search.” Penn State board member David Kleppinger says at the meeting that 80 people were considered for the job.
In a statement, Penn State board chair Matt Schuyler said, “We are proud to welcome Dr. Bendapudi to Penn State. She is a dynamic and innovative leader who has dedicated nearly her entire professional life to higher education and is prepared to help our University advance in the ways we support students, create new knowledge and serve society.”
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