The University of Louisville has completed their almost year long search for a new university president with the hiring of Kim Schatzel. Ever since the sudden departure of former President Neeli Bendapudi for Penn State in December 2021, Louisville’s presidency has been vacant. The current Vice President and University Provost, Lori Stewart Gonzalez, has been acting as the Interim President in Bendapudi’s absence.
Kim Schatzel comes from a nearly seven year stint serving as the President of Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Raymond Burse, a member of the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees, led the search for the new university president and he said that Schatzel was one of “about a dozen” university presidents to apply for the job.
The reason he was so impressed with the former Towson University President’s resume was twofold: he was impressed with her emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, quoting that under her leadership at Towson black men graduated at a higher rate than the general student population, and her desire to stay with the university long-term.
The Board of Trustees were looking to hire someone who would be willing to stay with the university for at least seven years, and Schatzel was willing to do that quoting:
"“I want to make it real clear: You’re stuck with me,” she said. “This is a fabulous institution. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”"
Not only does she have experience in the educational and political fields, but she has another unique aspect to her resume that could directly influence the Louisville athletic program. While at Towson University, she served as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Colonial Athletic Conference, the mid-major conference that Towson University competes in with 19 Division I athletics teams. She also served as the CAA representative to the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum.
Her ability to chameleon herself into the educational field community and athletic community says a lot about what is in store for the future of the University of Louisville. Schatzel is clearly motivated and possesses a deep desire for educational, structural, and athletic reform.
The current and future student-athletes of the University of Louisville are in very capable hands and the trajectory of this historic university is headed in the right direction.
Her intentionalty has already taken root in the Louisville community as she made her presence known by attending the Louisville vs. Ohio State women’s basketball game on November 30th.
Her unique blend of academic and athletic experience creates an opportunity for her to have an impact with the Atlantic Coast Conference and help establish Louisville in a conference that it was not originally assoociated with.
Schatzel’s journey with the university is set to begin officially on February 1, 2023.