Chris Holford will be the next chancellor of Purdue University Northwest. His appointment by the board of trustees will be effective Jan. 8.
Holford has been with Purdue University for 20 years in various roles. He most recently has been the provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs since May 2020. He also is a professor of biology, and the founding dean of the College of Engineering and Sciences in 2016.
“I am excited to have this opportunity to build upon our successes in applied research and to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation to ensure PNW remains a leader in regional economic development and workforce development,” said Holford in a press release. “Together we will continue to build upon our forward momentum and have a positive impact on our students and our communities.”
The board ratified his appointment Dec. 8 after a national search. PNW students, faculty, staff and alumni were all part of the selection process. Purdue trustee Malcolm DeKryger chaired the committee.
“In his roles as provost and dean, Chris has emphasized the importance of academic and research quality, while prioritizing the quality of the student experience, the importance of developing a highly trained workforce, and the enrichment of the regional community and economic growth,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “He is ideally qualified to lead during a time of significant advancement for Purdue Northwest and transformative opportunities for the northwest region of our state.”
Holford earned a doctorate in biology from Illinois State University, a master’s in zoology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Augustana College.
“Holford is ideally qualified to lead during a time of significant advancement for Purdue Northwest and transformative opportunities for the northwest region of our state,” Chiang said.
Holford replaces Thomas Keon, whose term was scheduled to end June 30, 2024. Keon will be on sabbatical starting Jan. 8, according to Tim Doty, senior director of media and public relations. Keon served as chancellor since 2016 when the Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central campuses combined into Purdue Northwest. Keon also was chancellor of Purdue Calumet from 2011-2015.