Vicky Carwein, 64
*Carwein says she enjoys traveling and has visited every continent.
*She plays both the piano and the organ.
*She holds bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees all in nursing.
*She was born and raised in Indiana.
*Her husband, Bill Andrews, works for Batelle Memorial Institute.
*She is the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three, all of whom live in North Carolina.
The Purdue University board of trustees believes it has identified the “best person in the nation” to take over as IPFW chancellor, said Thomas Spurgeon, vice chairman of the board, during the announcement Tuesday morning.
Vicky L. Carwein was introduced to a crowd of nearly 200 members of the campus community and media inside the International Ballroom in Walb Student Union as the university's ninth chancellor. Carwein is currently serving as the chancellor at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland, Wash.
She will replace current Chancellor Michael Wartell, who has served in the position for 18 years. He is retiring on July 1 because this year he turned 65, the mandatory retirement age for Purdue employees in administrative positions.
But the policy doesn't apply to every employee in the same way, Spurgeon said Tuesday. Carwein is 64 years old, just one year shy of the mandatory retirement age. As a new employee, the policy won't take affect until Carwein has worked for Purdue long enough to achieve an annuity, which is similar to a pension, of $44,000 which Spurgeon said could take seven to eight years depending on financial markets.
The board denied a request by IPFW to allow Wartell to remain as chancellor despite the policy. Of that decision, Spurgeon said Wartell has done a great job but “there comes a time when you seek new ideas and new ways of doing things.”
He said Purdue and the board haven't been unhappy with any part of Wartell's performance.
Carwein was born and raised in Indiana, specifically in Gwynnville in Shelby County. She said returning to her home state “is the capstone for my career.”
Originally, Carwein said she wasn't interested in the position, but warmed to the idea the more she thought about it.
“If it hadn't been IU or Purdue, I wouldn't have looked (at the position) at all,” she said.
Carwein is a graduate of Indiana University-Indianapolis (now IUPUI) and holds a bachelor's and doctorate in nursing. Her master's is in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco.
Carwein taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she stayed for 23 years, moving from instructor to dean of the College of Health Sciences. She served as chancellor of the University of Washington, Tacoma then president of Westfield State College in Massachusetts before returning to accepting the chancellor position in Richland.
Leading a university the size of IPFW will be a change for Carwein. While it's a growing campus, WSU, Tri-Cities has an enrollment of about 1,500 students versus IPFW with a total enrollment of more than 14,000.
But Carwein said she's not intimidated by the numbers because she's been a member of senior management teams, making decisions for WSU campuses across the state.
“I'm here to do a great job, drawing on my experiences and expertise…and a lot of years at many different institutions,” she said Tuesday.
The search committee chosen by Purdue, which included representatives from IPFW, chose Carwein as one of two finalists for the position. The committee then recommended both finalists to the board. Five board members interviewed both finalists and chose Carwein. The meeting was not public because it was personnel-related, Spurgoen said.
The board will officially ratify Carwein's appointment as chancellor during a meeting in mid-July. Her official start date is Sept. 1.
After Wartell leaves July 1, Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs Walt Branson will serve as acting chancellor until Carwein starts in September.