Sue Ellspermann

Ivy Tech president announces retirement

After eight years as president of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Sue Ellspermann announced her impending retirement at a board of trustees meeting Thursday.

Ellspermann, who has led the college since 2016, is Ivy Tech’s ninth president — and the first woman to hold the position. She said she will officially step down at the end of her contract, which expires June 30, 2025.

In her explanation, Ellspermann told the Ivy Tech board of trustees that she’s expecting her 10th grandchild. Her husband, she added, “has already retired twice.”

“The college has, over these last eight years, grown into an institution that is achieving record growth outcomes and impact. Further, the college has exceptional leaders who are even more capable of shepherding our continued growth and service to Indiana, and talented, innovative faculty and staff committed to our mission, our students and our communities,” she said. “So, that’s why I know it is a good time — the right time — for a new leader. It’s been an incredible honor, an honor of a lifetime, to serve as Ivy Tech’s president.”

Under her leadership, she helped Ivy Tech bolster its career development services and launch the first Industry 4.0 associate degree. She also led the development of Ivy Tech’s new strategic plan, which focuses on better preparing students to meet Indiana’s skilled workforce needs.

Prior to leading Ivy Tech, Ellspermann served as a state representative from 2010 to 2012 for District 74, which encompasses multiple counties in rural southwest Indiana. 

As a legislator, Ellspermann served on commerce and labor committees and co-authored the state’s right-to-work law “that has since attracted robust economic development to Indiana,” according to her Ivy Tech biography.

She was later lieutenant governor under former Gov. Mike Pence. In that role, Ellspermann served as vice chair of the Indiana Career Council and the Indiana State Workforce Investment Board. 

She resigned before the completion of her term in March 2016 to become president of Ivy Tech. Pence ultimately appointed now-Gov. Eric Holcomb to serve out the remainder of her term.

Aside from politics, Ellspermann was previously the founding director of the Center of Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana from 2006 to 2012.

Earlier in her career, she held operations and engineering positions at Frito-Lay, Michelin Tire Corp. and General Motors.

Currently, Ellspermann chairs the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership board of dDirectors and serves on the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, Indiana Chamber, Indy Chamber, Applied Research Institute, Strada Education Foundation and Center for Leadership Development boards. Her corporate board service includes OneAmerica, German American Bancorp and OFS.

Ellspermann earned doctorate and masters degrees from the University of Louisville in industrial engineering, as well as a bachelor’s from Purdue University in industrial engineering.

“I’ve never worked at a place like this. Ivy Tech is really special. The culture is great. The people work hard, and the focus is on doing the right thing — to serve our students and our community,” Ellspermann said Thursday. “It’s been so much fun for me to watch new employees fall in love, and truly fall in love, with Ivy Tech. I know, because I fell in love eight years ago.

“I hope that by announcing the year out, this provides the board plenty of time to complete an exceptional presidential search,” she continued. “Together, we will have and create a smooth transition, and we can use this year to further elevate the college, our campuses and our programs.”

This story originally was published by Indiana Capital Chronicle, which is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Indiana Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Follow Indiana Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.


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