INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College has selected Chris R. Lowery to serve as Chancellor of the college’s combined region which includes the Columbus and Southeast (Batesville, Lawrenceburg, Madison) regions.
Lowery most recently served as the Director of Public Policy and Engagement for Hillenbrand, Inc, a company he has been a part of for the last 19 years.
“I am honored and pleased to have been selected to lead the newly created Columbus/Southeast Region. The trust placed in me by President Snyder, his cabinet, and the regional boards is humbling. The rich history and promising future of Ivy Tech are unparalleled and I welcome the opportunity to be part of the team moving forward,” Lowery said. “I look forward to meeting and building relationships with the students, staff, faculty, and administrators at Ivy Tech. And, I look forward to strengthening the partnerships between Ivy Tech and employers, schools, and communities of the Columbus/Southeast Region.”
Passionate about education, Lowery serves as President on the Board of Trustees of the Batesville Community School Corporation and was a founder of the Batesville Community Education Foundation. As President of the Batesville Board, he has led the school corporation in efforts that have resulted in top academic and managerial rankings including: “A” ranking by the Indiana Department of Education; “Best Buy” from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce; and top ISTEP, AP, and SAT scores in Indiana (top 10 among public schools). Under his leadership, the school corporation partnered with the city of Batesville, private businesses, philanthropic organizations, and individuals to fund and establish a full scale Ivy Tech Community College campus in Batesville. The campus opened to students in January of 2013.
“We are pleased to add Chris to our team in this multi-campus leadership position. His passion for education, and how Ivy Tech will rebuild our middle class, are among the many reasons we selected him,” Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said. “He will ensure that our efforts in the various communities we serve are consistent with the needs of those communities. He brings a wealth of experience in economic and workforce development, which is at the core of our mission at Ivy Tech Community College.”
Three years ago, Lowery founded the Batesville Roundtable, whose participants are leaders from business, education, healthcare, and the not-for-profit sectors. The three-fold purpose of the Roundtable is to: convene community leaders regularly with the intent of strengthening ties and friendships; gather and hear from a wide range of state and national leaders to prompt thoughtful discussion and dialogue; and think deeply about and develop strategies around such issues as economics, business, education and quality of place. In 2013, Lowery was appointed by Governor Pence to serve as chair of one of the newly created Indiana Regional Works Councils for southeastern Indiana.
“As the Indiana Career Council recently shared, there are challenges and opportunities facing Indiana as leaders seek to align, engage, and advance a strategic plan for transforming Indiana’s workforce,” Lowery said. “As a state and region it will be critical that we: make certain that K-12 education, higher education, employers, and communities are aligned; relentlessly focus on and ensure that services are student- and worker-centric and geared toward success; and invest in demand-driven programs. In observing these pillars for transformation, I know that Ivy Tech Columbus/Southeast will be central in driving these outcomes and in addressing the related and tangential challenges and opportunities.”
As Director of Public Policy and Engagement for Hillenbrand, Lowery was responsible for corporate communications, public affairs and government relations. Leading all engagement and communications efforts for Hillenbrand, his focus was to ensure the corporate strategy of acquisitive and organic growth was aligned in implementation and message across the enterprise. He also served as chair of Hillenbrand’s Charitable Contributions Committee. In his nearly two decades with Hillenbrand, Lowery previously served in a variety of leadership capacities at Batesville Casket Company in the areas of sales development, human resources, product leadership, and marketing and strategic planning for the options division.
Prior to joining Hillenbrand, Lowery was Executive Director of the Association of Indiana Counties, an aide to former Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr, and an aide to then Senator Dan Quayle. While on the staff of Governor Orr, he was actively involved in supporting the A+ Program for Educational Excellence and received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award for his service to the people of the State of Indiana.
Lowery also currently serves as Vice Chair of the Public Affairs Steering Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers and is a member of the Indiana General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Economic Development. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, the Southeastern Indiana YMCA, and the Batesville Chamber of Commerce.
He is a graduate of the Indiana University (IU) School of Public and Environmental Affairs. His wife, Jerilyn is also a graduate of IU. They are members and supporters of the Well House Society, the Arbutus Society, the Alumni Association, the Varsity Club and Hoosiers for Higher Education. He also serves as a member of the SPEA alumni board and is a member of the IU Alumni Association (IUAA) Executive Council, the governing body of the IUAA. Chris and Jerilyn have two children, one a graduate of IU and the other a sophomore at IU.
The combination of the Columbus and Southeast regions took place in January with the retirement of Southeast Chancellor James Helms, and the appointment of then Columbus Chancellor John Hogan to an Associate Vice President position.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.