Prema Arasu new CEO and vice provost of Kansas State University Olathe

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

by Jeff Morris

An infectious diseases researcher, veterinarian and leader in university international engagement has been chosen to head Kansas State University's presence in Greater Kansas City.

Prema Arasu is K-State Olathe's new CEO and vice provost, succeeding Dan Richardson, who retired June 30.

"K-State is incredibly fortunate to have found a new leader whose background aligns so well with our purpose on the Olathe campus," said K-State President Kirk Schulz. "Scientific research, animal health, graduate education and international linkages are a perfect combination for our mission at K-State Olathe. For example, the campus is home to the U.S.-China Center for Animal Health."

Most recently Arasu served as vice provost of international programs at Washington State University, with oversight of global services, global learning, international research and economic development. Before joining Washington State, Arasu spent 15 years at North Carolina State University, where she was director for global health initiatives, associate vice provost for international academics and professor in the department of comparative biomedical sciences.

"Our Olathe campus serves as the front door of the university to Kansas City and the Animal Health Corridor and our graduate education," said April Mason, Kansas State University provost and senior vice president. "With Prema Arasu leading the effort, we look forward to delivering on the tremendous potential of this campus."

"I am very excited about joining the team and expanding the academic-corporate-government-community relationships through the Olathe campus that advance K-State's 2025 goals," Arasu said.

Arasu has published extensively in peer-reviewed and refereed journals like the Journal of Parasitology, and Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. She conducted postdoctoral research at New England Biolabs Inc., Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and Cornell University. She was also a science and technology policy congressional fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Health in 2002-2003.

Arasu earned a bachelor's degree in biology and diploma of education from the National University of Malaysia, a master's degree in food science from the University of Wyoming, a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Hahnemann University -- now Drexel University -- and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.