Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett became the third president of the University of Southern Indiana in July 2009, after serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs since 2003. In her first year as president, she led the effort to establish the University's first strategic plan.
Since coming to USI, Dr. Bennett has led initiatives focused on enrollment and retention management, outreach and engagement, faculty development, the retention of intellectual capital, accreditation renewal, and long-range planning. She coordinated the self-study, which led to the approval of USI’s first doctoral program — Doctor of Nursing Practice — by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. In addition to serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, she is a professor of political science and taught courses in Introduction to American Politics for USI students. She has more than 25 years’ experience in teaching, USI’s primary focus, and throughout her career as an administrator has recognized the importance of an outstanding faculty to a teaching institution with initiatives to enhance faculty recruitment and retention, scholarship, and engagement. Her scholarship focuses on public opinion about American politics and political institutions, as well as issues in higher education administration.
Linda Bennett came to USI from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where she served from 1999-2003 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of political science. At Appalachian State, she established a college-wide Diversity Committee to develop strategies for faculty recruitment and retention. She also led the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council in statewide friend-and fund-raising efforts, including a capital campaign that raised more than $5 million.
Bennett’s experience in higher education includes service at two other universities. From 1996-99, she was chair of the Department of Political Science and professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University. From 1983-96, she was associated with Wittenberg University. She chaired the Department of Political Science from 1994-96 and rose to the rank of professor in 1996.
President Bennett is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Cincinnati.