Kathy Johnson

Executive Vice Chancellor



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Kathy Johnson

Executive Vice Chancellor


Dr. Kathy Johnson began serving as interim executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of IUPUI in August, 2015, and was appointed to the position permanently in July, 2016. IUPUI is a core campus of Indiana University and the state’s urban research and academic health sciences campus. IUPUI enrolls more than 30,000 students, including over 8,000 graduate students, with full-time faculty and staff numbering nearly 9,000, including 2,700 full-time faculty, an annual budget of $1.3 billion, and external research funding of more than $325 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year. IUPUI offers more than 220 degree programs in 17 schools, including the schools of liberal arts and science, as well as professional schools of business, education, law, art & design, physical education and tourism management, nursing, engineering & technology, public & environmental affairs, dentistry, health and rehabilitation sciences, informatics and computing, social work, public health, philanthropy, and medicine. IUPUI’s schools offer more than 140 IU degree programs and more than 80 Purdue university degree programs. As executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, Dr. Johnson plays a key leadership role in developing and guiding the implementation of IUPUI's academic plans and programs. Additionally, she oversees the process for the recruitment, hiring and advancement of faculty, including promoting the continued success of the campus's efforts to increase the quality and diversity of its faculty.

Some of Johnson's administrative accomplishments include restructuring the Office of Academic Affairs to increase efficiencies, improve communications and align positions with strategic needs of the office; creating the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support, which combines the campus's strength in institutional research with expertise in analytics, survey research and program evaluation; launching the Division of Undergraduate Education as a means of providing more coordination of the academic experience for undergraduates beyond the first year of college; expanding recruitment of students into targeted degree programs; improving support for the recruitment and retention of students from diverse groups in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and leading planning to support the development of a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among students in partnership with faculty, staff, and organizations within business, industry and the community.

Professor Johnson joined IUPUI in 1993 as an assistant professor of psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI. From 2008 to 2011, she served as chair of the Department of Psychology. From 2011 to 2015, Dr. Johnson served as dean of University College and associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education. She led the creation of IUPUI’s Division of Undergraduate Education in 2014, which included the launch of a new Degree Completion Office, the Office of Student Data, Analysis, and Evaluation, the Center for Coordinated Undergraduate Initiatives, as well as University College.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of Emory University with a Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in Cognition and Development. She has extensive publications in scientific journals in areas related to expertise acquisition and concept development, and has served as PI or Co-PI on a number of grants awarded through the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health. Nationally, Dr. Johnson has served on steering committees for the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities, as president of the Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges & Undergraduate Studies, and as Indiana’s state liaison for the Association of American College and Universities’ Faculty Collaboratives Project.

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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

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Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

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Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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