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Ken Iwama to serve as new IU vice president for regional campuses and online education

May 6, 2024

Ken Iwama, who has served as IU Northwest’s chancellor since 2020, has been named vice president for regional campuses and online education for Indiana University.

Ken Iwama headshot Ken Iwama. Photo by Indiana University Iwama will step into his new role on July 1, succeeding Susan Sciame-Giesecke upon her retirement. In the coming weeks, following consultation with IU Northwest faculty, staff and students, the university will announce interim leadership plans and details for the search for a permanent IU Northwest chancellor.

“Our regional campuses and IU Online are key pillars in how we serve this state and provide access to a life-changing education,” Iwama said. “I’m looking forward to building on the robust academic community we’ve nurtured at IU Northwest as I serve Indiana University in this new role. As we move forward together, I have no doubt that we can create new connections with community partners, bolster our academic programs, and expand the reach and impact of IU Online — among countless other initiatives that will further strengthen our regional campuses and online offerings.”

During his tenure at IU Northwest, Iwama has helped the campus cultivate an environment that supports academic and programmatic funding leading to a surge in regional campus grant activity and awards. He has worked with a team to collaborate on data-based strategies and empowered the campus efforts to gradually stabilize post-pandemic enrollment declines; for fall 2023, the campus achieved an increase in first-year undergraduate students and the highest number of new applications and admitted students in over a decade.

Iwama saw IU Northwest become the first campus after IU Bloomington to implement the signature student-success Groups Scholars Program supporting first-generation students and students of color. IU Northwest is also the first comprehensive public institution in the state to receive designation as a Hispanic- and Minority-Serving Institution, recently achieving the campus’s all-time-high percentages of Hispanic students, 29.1%, and all students of color, 53.9%.

Before coming to IU, Iwama served as founding vice president for the Division of Economic Development, Continuing Studies and Government Relations for the College of Staten Island for the City University of New York. In addition to providing diverse educational programming for 4,000 pre-college, professional-certificate and matriculated students, his division supported faculty research and innovation, government relations, corporate and foundation engagement, specialized student career services, student residential life, workforce development, auxiliary services, and community-based centers and programming.

“From CUNY to IU Northwest, Chancellor Iwama’s track record of success and his deep commitment to the success of students is unmatched,” IU President Pamela Whitten said. “Ken will bring energetic leadership, creativity and a commitment to innovation that will only further strengthen our regional campuses and IU Online.”

Iwama also previously served as chief of staff and deputy for two College of Staten Island presidents and was the college’s director of diversity and compliance. He also served as general counsel for the state-operated School District of Jersey City, New Jersey.

“It has been a privilege to serve alongside Chancellor Iwama,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “I can’t wait to see how IU, our regional campuses and IU Online continue to grow and thrive in the years to come.”

Sciame-Giesecke was the first at IU to hold the vice president for regional campuses and online education role, which was formed in 2022 to provide focused strategic leadership for IU’s regional campuses and online programs. Sciame-Giesecke had previously served as chancellor of IU Kokomo and interim executive vice president for university academic affairs.


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Bethany Nolan

Executive Director of Internal Communications

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