USI board picks Rochon as new university president

Apr 20, 2018

USI President-elect Ronald Rochon speaks to a crowd at the university's Griffin Center, after the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to make him USI's 4th president.
Credit John Gibson

The University of Southern Indiana hired its new president from within.

A presidential search committee considered more than 90 applicants from across the nation before the USI Board of Trustees voted unanimously for USI Provost Ronald Rochon.

Retiring university president Dr. Linda Bennett told a special board meeting that she was pleased with the choice…

"This moment is even more gratifying to me because of the selection of someone I have worked with for the past 8 years"

Bennett hired Rochon as provost.

Now that he’s been chosen to lead USI, Rochon told reporters he plans to be “student-centered”…

"We are here to serve students, the lights are on because of  students attending this institution.  And the board, I really believe, were very excited about my perspective, my understanding, and my commitment to student success."

As USI’s first African-American president, Rochon said diversity is everyone’s responsibility…

"I am not  the diversity president. We are, collectively."

Concerns had been raised about the public university’s private presidential selection process, but Rochon said it created a strong pool of candidates…

"Folks are very reluctant to submit their names for analysis and then have to possibly go back to their own trustees or own home campus and be looked upon as not necessarily being happy or committed to that institution.")

Rochon will be USI's 4th president.