Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke Biography
Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Ph.D., is the seventh Chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo, after contributing to numerous areas across the campus for many years. As chancellor, she is taking bold steps, working with sister regional campuses to advocate for the importance of higher education as a benefit to everyone, improving retention and graduation rates in those regions, and leading regional partnerships in education, business and economic growth, and research. On July 1, 2021, Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke also assumed the role of Interim Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs.
Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has led successful campus initiatives to enhance degree programs, student success and graduation initiatives, athletics and other student life programs, and she has worked to deepen and broaden community and P-12 connections throughout the 14-county service region of IU Kokomo.
Under her leadership, with strong support from IU Kokomo's faculty and staff, numerous new degree programs have been launched, including a Bachelor of Applied Science program in conjunction with other IU regional campuses and a degree in hospitality and tourism.
Campus capital projects Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has overseen include the $14 million renovation of the Main Building, transforming it into a 21st-century learning space and an extensive renovation of the Library. She has also led construction of a new advising center, a new outdoor courtyard, the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center, the Cougar Gym located in downtown Kokomo, the “Ground Up” coffee shop, and most recently, the Student Activities and Event Center which opened in August 2020.
Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke also facilitated discussions for the establishment of a regional economic development organization, which includes a six-county partnership in the campus’s service region. She led efforts to create a funding formula, organizational structure, and bylaws for the new organization. This regional planning council has had a $6.1 million direct impact in the member counties since 2015.
Prior to her permanent appointment as chancellor, she served as the interim chancellor from 2012 to 2014 and the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs from 2010 to 2012.
In her role as interim executive vice president, Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke is responsible for Indiana University’s five regional campuses and shares her passion for the students that they serve. She leads collaborative efforts with the campuses to maximize opportunities for student success, such as multi-campus degree programs. Additionally, she is responsible for university-wide academic initiatives and programs, external academic relations and online education.
Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke began her academic career teaching speech communication courses. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, a master’s from Illinois State University and a doctoral degree from Indiana University. In addition to her campus administrative roles, she also directed the Indiana University Enhancing Minority Attainment Conference and the Indiana University Faculty Leadership Institute, each for several years. An accomplished speaker, Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has consulted with a variety of organizations to enhance communication and productivity.
In both the chancellor and interim executive vice president roles, Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke is committed to increasing student persistence and degree completion. She collaborated with leaders from two other IU regional campuses to win a three-year, $450,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation to increase the number of college graduates in Indiana. Grant funds supported Ivy Tech graduates as they earn their bachelor's degrees at the regional campuses. Under her leadership, the IU Kokomo campus launched several programs designed to enhance student success, including a Jump Start program for first-generation college students, minority students, and 21st Century Scholars, a summer bridge program for at-risk students, international student travel programs, a coaching/mentoring program, a Finish in Four program, enhanced internship opportunities, and a financial literacy program. Additionally, the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) program was developed and launched during her tenure as chancellor. The KEY is a highly experiential curriculum that provides students with real-world experiences through travel, internships and activities.
As a regional campus, being a Steward of Place is a key strategic priority for the campus. Advisory boards have been created in nine of the 14 communities in the campus’s service region. These board members help the campus learn about their community challenges and provide strategies for how the campus and community can partner to solve these problems. The campus has hosted visits from hundreds of school children, elementary through high school, introducing them to college and encouraging them in a variety of careers.
Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke has long been a strong voice for the importance of higher education as a benefit to everyone. As interim executive vice president, she continues to advocate for all Hoosiers to have access to post-secondary education.