Ruth Person


Honorary Degree (2016)
Doctor of Humane Letters
IUK Honors Convocation
Location: Kokomo
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie
President's Medal for Excellence (2008)
Farewell Reception
Location: Kokomo
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie


Ruth Person's distinguished and multifaceted career in higher education abounds with impressive accomplishments. As the fourth chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, from 1999 to 2008, and then as the seventh chancellor of the Flint campus of the University of Michigan - UM-Flint - from 2008 to 2014, Person has earned many significant honors.

Person led IU Kokomo during a period of substantial growth. Several new bachelor's and master's programs were added, and 14 new academic curricula were developed. She oversaw the accreditation process of the School of Business, the implementation of the ACCELerated Evening College, and the development of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. Also during her chancellorship of IU Kokomo, resident full-time faculty increased by 25 percent, global diversity was expanded through increased international programming, and Greek life was introduced on campus. In addition, Person focused on the creation of numerous classrooms, improvements to lecture halls, upgrades to classroom technology, and construction of Hunt Hall, the campus's award-winning science facility. These achievements all occurred during a period of challenging economic conditions for the region.

At UM Flint, Person made history as that campus's first female chancellor in its 53-year history. She expanded academic offerings and increased the depth of student engagement, garnering the respect of the University of Michigan's former president, Mary Sue Coleman, who said, "I have been enormously impressed with Ruth Person's leadership. I am particularly pleased with the increasing depth of engagement by students with the Flint community and beyond."
Before her appointment at IU Kokomo, Person served for four years as the vice president for academic affairs and a professor of business administration at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. She was also vice president for academic affairs at Ohio's Ashland University, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, dean of the College of Library Science at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, and associate dean at the School of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. As an American Council on Education Fellow, Person worked as chief academic officer with the Arizona Board of Regents.

She earned a bachelor's degree in history and psychology from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, a master's degree in library science from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in administration from George Washington University, and a doctoral degree in management and library and information science from the University of Michigan.
Person has lent her leadership expertise to numerous institutional governing bodies. She has served as the president of the American Association of University Administrators and as a member of many influential boards of directors, including those of the Indiana Technology Partnership, the Old Crescent Insurance Company, the Gamma Phi Beta Foundation, the Kokomo - Howard County Public Library, the San Angelo Cultural Affairs Council, St. Joseph's Hospital in Kokomo, and the Flint Institute of Arts.

She has remained a steadfast supporter of IU Kokomo. Person's recent gift of $3.5 million is the latest example of her devotion and commitment to the campus. IU Kokomo Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke says, "Ruth has a passion for IU Kokomo, and will be very supportive of the campus as we move forward. She continues to visit campus, and we consider her to be an integral part of the IU Kokomo family." In recognition of her many contributions to the university, she has received the Distinguished Hoosier Award and the Indiana University President's Medal.