Keon named Purdue University Calumet chancellor

HAMMOND, Ind. – Thomas L. Keon, dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida, on Thursday (April 7) was named chancellor of Purdue University Calumet.

Keon’s appointment must be ratified by Purdue’s Board of Trustees, which will meet Friday (April 8) on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

Keon will succeed Howard Cohen, who will be stepping down June 30.

“Thomas Keon has the abilities, experience and vision to continue Purdue Calumet on its path of excellence,” said Purdue President France A. Córdova. “An exhaustive national search produced an outstanding pool of candidates, and Thomas has superlative credentials. I am enthusiastic about the leadership he will provide.”

John Rowan, interim dean of Purdue Calumet’s School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and co-chair of the selection committee with Purdue Provost Timothy J. Sands, praised Keon’s selection.

“The search committee is very excited about Dr. Keon becoming the next chancellor,” Rowan said. “He is a strong leader who will continue the positive stewardship of Howard Cohen. He has significant experience with community engagement and external fundraising. It was clear to all of us that his background as the chief academic officer of a large school at a large university has prepared him well for this position.”

Keon, who is scheduled to start as chancellor July 1, has served as dean of the College of Business Administration at Central Florida since 1997. He has been responsible for all personnel, including 150 full-time faculty members, budgets up to $31 million, 9,100 students and academic programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels at a university of more than 55,000 students.

“I am excited about the opportunities at Purdue University Calumet,” Keon said. “The university plays a key role in providing the educational and economic development foundation in northwest Indiana. I am committed to the aspirations spelled out in Purdue Calumet’s strategic plan and look forward to challenging myself and our campus to meet those goals.”

Prior to coming to Central Florida, Keon served as dean of the College of Business and Administration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1995-1997. From 1990-1994 he was associate dean of the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University. He was associate dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri in Columbia from 1989-1990. He also served as director of graduate studies in the School of Business at Missouri from 1988-1990 and as chair of the Department of Management at Missouri from 1988-1989.

Keon earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bentley University, a master’s degree in education from Suffolk University and his MBA from Babson College. He received his doctoral degree in management from Michigan State University.

Keon’s salary as chancellor will be $280,000.

Purdue University Calumet is a comprehensive regional university of nearly 10,000 students located in Hammond. Its 167-acre, 18-building neighborhood campus is less than 25 miles southeast of downtown Chicago. Purdue Calumet also offers classes 20 miles southeast of campus at its Academic Learning Center in Merrillville.

Purdue Calumet offers associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees, plus professional certificates in more than 80 fields of study, including engineering; technologies; liberal arts; natural, behavioral and social sciences; and professional programs of nursing, management/business and education.

During his 10 years at Purdue Calumet, Cohen, 66, presided over record enrollment, the introduction of campus student housing, strategies to advance student success and degree attainment, construction of the learning center in south Lake County, and the establishment of nine centers and institutes of applied research.

Cohen previously served administratively at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,
Wes Lukoshus, 219-989-2217,

France A. Córdova,
Thomas L. Keon, 407-823-2183,
Howard Cohen, 219-989-2204,
John Rowan, 219-989-2401,

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Purdue University Calumet:

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