November 22, 2019

Komarraju nominated as SIU Carbondale provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs

Meera-Komarraju-sm.jpgCARBONDALE, Ill. -- Meera Komarraju, who has served SIU Carbondale as its interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs since April 2018, will see the interim label removed from her title, pending approval of the university’s Board of Trustees. 

The appointment follows a multi-day interview process that included two campus presentations and interviews with the search committee and other groups. The search committee, chaired by Faculty Senate President Segun Ojewuyi, a professor and interim chair in the Department of Theater, recommended Komarraju’s hiring to the chancellor. 

SIU Chancellor John M. Dunn said Komarraju’s appointment, which will be effective Dec. 5, if approved, is an important step to providing stability in leadership for the campus.  

“The Board of Trustees, President Dorsey and I are fully committed to addressing the concerns of there being too many interim titles among top administrators at the university,” said Dunn.  “Hiring a permanent provost will provide stability in leadership and aid the process of hiring top-notch deans and other administrators in the academic affairs unit.” 

Dunn said Komarraju will be an asset to the next university chancellor.  

“She is a strong leader who brings considerable experience as an academician, scholar, researcher and administrator,” he added.  “Her rich history on this campus will be especially helpful to a new chancellor who will need the perspective and institutional insight Komarraju will bring to the table.” 

The university’s provost oversees the academic colleges, the graduate school and law school, enrollment management, library affairs, off-campus programs, the honors program, core curriculum, information technology, the centers for international education and teaching excellence, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, among other units. 

“In addition to her personal strengths as an administrator, Dr. Komarraju has proven to be able to move the revitalization efforts forward for our academic programs,” Dunn said.  “Completing the reorganization of our academic administration is a high priority, and she is capable of successfully and collaboratively fulfilling that process.” 

Prior to being tapped as interim provost, Komarraju served nearly three years as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the largest academic unit on campus. She came to SIU as a lecturer in 1986 and has served as director of the Department of Psychology’s undergraduate program, chair of the department, and associate dean for student and curricular affairs in the College of Liberal Arts before her 2015 appointment as dean. 

She is a professor of psychology and holds a doctoral degree in applied social psychology from the University of Cincinnati and doctoral and master’s degrees in industrial-organizational psychology from Osmania University in India. She also holds a master’s degree in sociology from Osmania University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, philosophy and English literature from Nizam College in India. 

Komarraju is widely published in her field and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 2). She is a past recipient of the university’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. 

“I am deeply grateful to be recommended to the Board of Trustees,” Komarraju said.  “If approved, I would be greatly honored to continue to serve SIU and advance it in partnership with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. 

“When I took on the role as interim provost, I knew we had a strong academic foundation on which to build a brighter future,” she added.  “Over the last 18 months, I have been fortunate to learn so much more about our outstanding programs, our talented faculty members and our resourceful staff members. I am excited about the future of SIU, more than ever before.” 

Komarraju noted that she is passionate about working with all parts of the university to fulfill its mission of serving students and helping them achieve their full potential.  She said her efforts are guided by her belief that students seek strong academic programs, excellent teaching, high quality research opportunities, meaningful mentoring, experiential learning, and a robust student life outside the classroom. 

“It would be a privilege to continue to serve the institution I love so much in this role,” Komarraju said.