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University of Southern Indiana alumnus Steven J. Bridges named USI Interim President

May 31, 2024

The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Steven J. Bridges as Interim President, effective July 20, 2024. Bridges is a longtime USI employee and two-time USI alumnus and will be the first alumnus to serve in this leadership position. Since April 2015, he has served as the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA), the University’s chief business and fiscal officer.

Bridges will replace outgoing President Ronald S. Rochon, PhD who has faithfully served the institution as its fourth President since 2018 and as Provost since 2010. Last week it was announced that Rochon has accepted the presidency of California State University, Fullerton.

“It has been a true honor to serve with President Rochon in advancing the mission and vision of USI, particularly as we embarked upon our journey as a Division I institution," said Christine Keck, Chair of the USI Board of Trustees. “His new presidential appointment is a testament to the strength of his leadership as well as his passion for and dedication to higher education and student success.

“Steve Bridges has demonstrated 35 years of dedicated service to the USI community as both an employee and alumnus,” stated Keck. “A combination of Steve’s strong credentials and passion for the institution made him the top choice for Interim President. He has the full confidence of the USI Board as he takes on the challenge of leading our University in this interim period.”

Receiving his bachelor’s degree in accounting from USI in 1988, he began working for the University the following year as a Staff Accountant. His career progression continued to Bursar, Chief Accountant, Controller and Assistant Business Office Director, Assistant and Associate Vice President and an interim appointment for Operations and Assistant Treasurer, and eventually to VPFA. Along the way, he earned his Master of Business Administration degree from USI.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to serve as Interim President,” said Bridges. “I was the type of student for which this campus was founded nearly 60 years ago, and I feel a great responsibility to continue the extraordinary education I received, for our students of today and tomorrow. I have a genuine love of this institution, two of my children also are USI alumni. This is so much more than the place I am employed. My heart and life’s work are here.

“I am confident that, working with the faculty and staff, this interim period will not be one of waiting but instead a period for advancing in all we do. USI will be well positioned for the next president who takes the helm.”

Bridges resides in Henderson, Kentucky, with his wife Rosemary. They have three adult children, three grandchildren and a fourth grandchild due this fall.

The University will begin the process to conduct a national search for its fifth President this summer.

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