In her first television interview since becoming Indiana University’s 19th president, Pamela Whitten talked about a range of issues, including the importance of connecting with communities statewide, continuing to grow IU’s research profile and her leadership style, which she describes as student-centric. “I want to make sure that everyone understands that students are the center of the universe at our institution,” said Whitten. “Everything we do, every decision we make, we’re going to ask, how is this going to benefit students.”

Whitten was a guest on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Whitten became the university’s first female president in April, selected by the board of trustees to succeed Michael McRobbie, who led the state’s largest university for 14 years.

Whitten comes to Bloomington from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, where she served as president for three years. She spent nearly 20 years at Michigan State University, a stint that included five years as dean of the College of Communications Arts & Sciences. Whitten was also senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia.

Since assuming the role of president July 1, Whitten has met with numerous student, faculty and community groups and has visited each of the university’s regional campuses.

“People are warm and they’re welcoming and they’re excited and I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of love around the state for Indiana University,” said Whitten.