By Jeff Murphy, November 9, 2017
WARRENSBURG, MO – After serving the University of Central Missouri as provost-chief
learning officer for five years, Deborah Curtis is being recommended for appointment
as the 12th president of her alma mater, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind.
A final decision will be made during a special meeting of the ISU Board of Trustees
next week, Board President David Campbell announced today.
Curtis joined UCM in 2012 after serving as the dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University. She is being recommended for the presidency following a national search that drew more than 70 candidates. Expected to begin her duties in January 2018, she becomes the first woman to ever become president at ISU.
“I am very pleased to announce my intention to recommend the appointment of Deborah Curtis as our next president. Dr. Curtis brings a breadth of experience from her roles at Central Missouri and Illinois State, and I am confident she will build upon the tremendous success that has been achieved in the past 10 years and advance Indiana State to even greater heights,” Campbell said.
“My husband and I are just delighted with this opportunity to become part of the Indiana State University community,” Curtis said.
She also added, “This is a special time in the evolution of Indiana State in the state, region and nation due to the tremendous accomplishments that have occurred under the leadership of President Dan Bradley and his wife, Cheri. I am excited to begin working on furthering that progress.”
As UCM’s provost-chief learning officer, Curtis’ responsibilities have included overseeing all academic program s and support services including the university’s four academic colleges, the library and extended studies, as well as enrollment management, information technology and student affairs.
“Dr. Curtis is a tremendous leader, who is well respected on our campus for her ability to address challenging issues, always in the best interest of UCM and its students, and she has been instrumental in the growth and success of UCM,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “We’re excited that ISU will now have the benefit of her commitment and leadership in a way that we know will ensure her alma mater’s continued success.”
Curtis will be the second ISU graduate to serve as president of Indiana State. She earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Indiana State after completing a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in music education from MacMurray College. She also taught at University School, ISU’s laboratory school, for one year to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave, a role which led to her decision to pursue her doctorate and a career in higher education.
“I discovered how much I enjoyed working with the college students who did their field experience at the lab school and decided to earn my Ph.D. Obtaining my doctorate from Indiana State was the launching pad for my entire career in higher education. I am a proud alum and I am thrilled to be returning to ISU to serve in this role,” Curtis said.
Campbell indicated the trustees will vote to confirm Curtis’ appointment during a 1 p.m. special meeting on Nov. 15 in the State Room of Tirey Hall. Following the meeting, the trustees will host a reception to formally welcome Curtis and her husband, Lynn, a retired school superintendent.