The University of Louisville Board of Trustees today named Lori Stewart Gonzalez, PhD, interim president. She succeeds former President Neeli Bendapudi, who has accepted a position as president at Penn State University.
A native of Rockcastle County, Kentucky, Gonzalez has served as UofL executive vice president and university provost since April 2021.
“I am humbled to step into this leadership role at a time when our university has tremendous momentum,” Gonzalez said. “Our students are flourishing; our faculty are changing lives; our staff members are performing at an extraordinary level; and our passionate and loyal supporters, alumni and fans have never been more committed to elevating the University of Louisville.”
Gonzalez previously served from 2015 until the spring of 2021 as the vice chancellor for academic, faculty and student affairs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Prior to that role, she held academic and administrative positions at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, the University of Kentucky and Appalachian State University, where she served as provost and executive vice chancellor for three years.
In addition, she served as special advisor to the senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina General Administration, the North Carolina public higher education authority.
In her first act as interim president, Gonzalez appointed deputy athletic director Josh Heird as interim director of athletics, effective immediately. Heird has been deputy AD since 2019.