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Experienced IU leader named associate vice chancellor and dean at IUPUI

Christina Downey has been selected as associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education and dean of University College at IUPUI, Interim Chancellor Andrew R. Klein announced.

Christina Downey Downey brings 15 years of teaching and leadership experience to the role. She currently serves as interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of psychology at IU Kokomo, and previously served as the campus’s associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success.

In collaboration with academic units across all disciplines, Downey will work to advance student success and improve retention and graduation rates at IUPUI. Her duties will also include overseeing the financial operations of the Division of Undergraduate Education and University College, identifying and seeking external funding, and working with deans across campus to ensure effective planning, use of resources and support for strategic priorities.

“Dr. Downey’s strong academic credentials and leadership experiences, including a deep commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, position her well for this critical role,” Klein said. “We particularly look forward to her vision for improving retention and graduation rates and championing the practice of inclusive teaching methods across all undergraduate courses.”

Downey joined the IU Kokomo faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor of psychology. She was promoted to chair of psychology in 2013, became interim assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success in 2016 and was promoted to associate vice chancellor in 2019.

In student success, Downey led all professional undergraduate advising. She also designed and directed First Year Experience programs, including orientation, registration, Summer Bridge, seminars and the Freshman Learning Community program.

As associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success, she focused on academic compliance and policy in a range of areas and was involved in accreditation reporting activities for the 2022 Higher Learning Commission institutional update.

In her interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs role, Downey is responsible for all IU Kokomo academic operations. She oversees operations of five academic schools and Academic Affairs budgets, plays an integral role in hiring and personnel issues involving faculty, and is a key partner on the campus cabinet with fellow vice chancellors.

“Throughout my career, my primary focus has been improving student success and reducing equity gaps,” Downey said. “I’m honored to continue that mission at IUPUI, a campus that is built on a culture of emphasizing inclusivity, diversity and equity, and that fosters academic success through collaboration, research and innovation.

“Leaving IU Kokomo, a campus that also shares those values, is bittersweet, but I’m energized to join IUPUI at this exciting time. I look forward to taking on this new role, especially working with colleagues and students to help prepare for and implement the bold transition to IU Indianapolis.”

Downey is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, National Academic Advising Association and Association for Psychological Science.

She earned a Bachelor of Psychology with highest distinction from Purdue University and has a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan.

Her appointment is effective Feb. 1.