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Chancellor Michael Harris Initiative Led Indiana University Kokomo to be Named “a leader in innovation ensuring degree completion” by James Merisotis, President and Ceo of the Lumina Foundation Michael Harris, Chancellor, Indiana University Kokomo (2010-2012)
In his short time here, he wowed me. He was too big for Kokomo. His ideas were transformative, and the speed with which he implemented things was jarring. He created a lot of enemies in a very short period of time because of that. As with all leaders of that caliber, he had some flaw that sent him away early. We may never know what that was. But if you wanted something done, you got Michael Harris.
The university is much better off for his time here. Student housing, new degree programs, record enrollment, a new fitness center, the athletic program -- they all originated on his watch.
I knew that Michael would push so hard and so fast that he would end up ahead of the cart, and he did. His legacy was so strong and so immediate that the stories we wrote about him still garner significant traffic on our website two years after his departure.
He understood the university’s role in building the community and in economic development. He actively worked to make IU Kokomo a factor when it never had been at that level. He turned it into a place you’d actually be proud to earn a degree from.