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Bendapudi, Neeli

Bendapudi, Ph.D.
Year Inducted: 
Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D.
  • First female Dean of the University of Kansas School of Business
  • Raised over $50 million in private funds to build a new business school in her first two years as Dean
  • Past Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Huntington National Bank

Neeli Bendapudi is a committed Jayhawk. She received her MBA and BA from Andhra University in India. In 1987 she came to the United States to start her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas. After graduating from KU, with distinction, Bendapudi spent a short time teaching at Texas A&M before moving to Ohio State University and becoming a Professor there in 2008. While teaching at Ohio State, Bendapudi served as a customer experience consultant then Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Huntington National Bank. Bendapudi could have gone anywhere, done anything—but she chose to return to KU. In 2011, she was the first woman named Dean of the University of Kansas Business School. 

If you ask anyone to describe Neeli Bendapudi they will tell you she is a force of nature. In the past two and a half years Bendapudi has managed to breathe new life into the KU School of Business. She has raised over $55 million to build a new state-of-the-art business school. She has worked to instill social responsibility in KU business students by starting a program that pairs MBA students with Kansas non-profit organizations. She is also working across University departments to increase the number of women in business.

Bendapudi’s female students will tell you that she pushes them to engage in women’s programs and that they are proud to be educated by such an amazing woman. Her colleagues will tell you that “she is an inspiring, groundbreaking leader.” Bendapudi’s dedication to community-building, good humor and hard work has endeared her to all those she meets and is lifting the KU School of Business to new heights. Ann Cudd said it best, the University is “lucky to have such an articulate and enthusiastic representative.”

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