Mark Canada installed as Indiana University Kokomo’s eighth chancellor: Indiana University Kokomo

KOKOMO, Ind. Indiana University expects Mark Canada to build on IU Kokomo’s legacy of exceptional teaching and scholarship, student-centric educational excellence, and community engagement, and honor him as its eighth Chancellor in a ceremony on Friday, October 21 at the Havens Auditorium uses.

IU President Pamela Whitten noted that Canada continues the tradition of excellence on campus leadership, noting in particular the IU Kokomo Experience and You or KEY program, the distinctive experiential-based learning program established during his tenure as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic affairs was developed.

“Mark knows and understands the mission of the regional campuses and has been an advocate for student engagement and other important initiatives during his time at IU Kokomo,” she said. “Under the leadership of Chancellor Mark Canada, I am confident that the IU Kokomo campus and the wider region can look forward to bigger, better and brighter days.”

More than 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, family members and friends from the community attended the event and formalized Canada’s appointment, which began August 15.

Canada said as he reflected on the day, the words of baseball star Lou Gehrig came to mind: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man alive.”

“I feel lucky to be working for my alma mater and IU Kokomo in particular because of all the wonderful colleagues that surround me today, but this day is not about me,” he said. “It’s about us, united in our mission here and in all of education.”

He said “happiness” might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking about the current state of the world, with the global pandemic, the war in Europe and violence and injustice resulting from racism and hatred . But, he said, educators are fortunate to work in a profession that can change these things for the better.

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“Each of you here today can make a positive difference by doing your job well, acting in a way that lifts others up instead of tearing them down, and participates constructively in a democratic society,” Canada said, adding that we getting it right this time with love and will – our conscious ability to choose and act.

“Every morning when I come here to IU Kokomo, I have the opportunity to contribute to this glorious mission of higher education, as do all my colleagues here before and around me,” he said. “We, all human beings of every profession, race, age, orientation and creed, control our destiny. Let’s join our heads, hands, hearts and minds to create the world we envision and need.

“Then we can all consider ourselves the happiest people on earth,” Canada said.

The ceremony also includes words of support from several IU Kokomo constituencies – including the students.

Mary Hogsett, President of the Student Government Association, commended Canada for its care and enthusiasm for the university, its pride in its students and its determination to do whatever it takes to help them.

“The Chancellor is really the biggest fan of the student body and made that clear from the start,” she said. “We are so thrilled to have such a loyal student supporter and excited to see all the great things you have brought and continue to bring to campus.”

New graduate Alex Martakis spoke about the support he received from Canada as he tried multiple majors before deciding on computer science and the impact of the KEY program. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of California San Diego – one of the top computer science programs in the country.

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“I always felt prepared for success at IU Kokomo,” said Martakis. “Due to the time and efforts of Dr. Canada, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Silicon Valley, study abroad in England, and receive a letter of recommendation that helped me get accepted into graduate school.

“Due to the exceptional quality of IU Kokomo’s faculty and training, we alumni are well prepared and Chancellor Canada has shown he will be there to provide a wealth of opportunities.”

Eva White, Professor of English, congratulated Canada on behalf of the faculty, noting that they appreciate his active listening and serious consideration of ideas.

“That’s the key to his success,” she said. “He cares, he’s involved, he wants to hear what you have to say and he wants to help you achieve your dreams for our campus. We, the faculty, offer you our support as you navigate the challenges ahead and trust that together we can meet them and advance both our campus and the communities we serve.”

Robert Hayes, representative of the campus advisory board, said IU Kokomo is in good hands with Canadian leadership, particularly praising his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and “bringing a sense of belonging to everyone”.

Susan Sciame-Giesecke, vice president for regional higher education and online education and Canada’s predecessor as chancellor, assisted Whitten with the installation.

Other speakers included April Evans, Director of Human Resources and Payroll, and Paul Wyman, Howard County Commissioner. Student Logan Brittain led the singing of the national anthem and “Hail to Old IU”.

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Canada previously served as Deputy Chancellor since 2021 and as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 2015. A native of Indianapolis, he holds a bachelor’s degree in English from IU and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Canada lives in Kokomo with his wife Lisa. They have two adult children, Esprit and Will.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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