Purdue University Northwest names Chris Holford new chief academic officer • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Chris Holford

Purdue University Northwest names Chris Holford new chief academic officer

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Chris Holford
Chris Holford

Purdue University Northwest named Kenneth (Chris) Holford its provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

In the role, Holford, currently the dean of the university’s college of engineering and sciences and a professor of biology, will be PNW’s chief academic officer. His appointment is effective May 11.

Holford was selected after a national search, which began last fall, PNW said. He has been with the college for nearly 20 years.

“I continue to be proud of my service to Purdue Northwest, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take on this broader leadership role,” Holford said. “While the university was already an important part of the communities across Northwest Indiana, it has really undergone an amazing transformation as a metropolitan institution with a much larger footprint.”

Thomas Keon, PNW chancellor. said Holford brings progressive, proven academic leadership experience, deep understanding of the faculty, students and staff of both PNW campuses.

“Dr. Holford’s commitment to helping students succeed, demonstrated commitment to faculty collaboration and transparency, and success in securing funding for important initiatives helped set him apart from other candidates for this key position,” Keon said. “Through his collaborative approach to partnership with the private and public sectors he already has played an integral part in moving PNW forward as a premier metropolitan university.”

Holford will oversee PNW’s six colleges and the academic programs each offers including, international recruitment, study abroad, retention efforts, institutional effectiveness, grant and research programs, ensure educational excellence and further distinctive learning opportunities for students.

Holford has served as the dean of PNW’s College of Engineering and Sciences since 2016.

Holford earned a Ph.D. in biology from Illinois State University, a master’s degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Augustana College.

Holford is a native of Washington, Ill., near Peoria. He and his wife, Christy and their two children, reside in Valparaiso.


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