VANDERBURGH CO., IN (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees has selected the school's next president.
They met it special session Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and held a press conference.
The board chose Dr. Ronald Rochon who currently serves as provost.
He will be USI's fourth president, and will take over for President Linda Bennett who is retiring in June.
Bennett has been president since 2009. She says she plans to stay in Evansville with her husband.
"After an exhaustive search, I am excited to announce that Dr. Ron Rochon emerged as the best candidate for the position of president," said Harold Calloway, chair of the USI Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. "Dr. Rochon has proven to be a strong leader and true person of character, and we look forward to seeing him continue to sustainably grow USI in size, stability and in reputation."
"I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next USI president," said Rochon. "The responsibility to shepherd and continue the growth of this amazing institution is something that I am grateful for and take very seriously."
The Presidential Search Committee and Board of Trustees conducted a national search for the position, which drew more than 90 qualified candidates for review.
"My love for this institution comes directly from my love of teaching, and I'm proud that USI has some of the best educators at any university in the country," said Rochon. "The relationship between our faculty members and our students is crucial to our success, and I am excited to see what the next generation of Screaming Eagle role models will do when they come to campus and experience that relationship for themselves."
Prior to coming to USI, Rochon served as the inaugural dean of the School of Education and associate vice president for Teacher Education and professor at Buffalo State.
He was director and co-founder of the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, as well as interim associate dean and director of the school of education.
In 2010, Rochon also served as chair of the Board of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (Washington, DC). His professional teaching career has included work at Texas A & M University, Washington State University, and University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Rochon earned a bachelor's degree at Tuskegee University and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His doctoral work was in educational policy studies, with an emphasis in educational history and policy analysis.
Rochon will assume the duties of president on July 1.
He resides in Newburgh with his wife, Lynn, and two children.