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Longtime IU Administrator Kenneth Gros Louis Dies At Age 80

Kenneth Gros Louis, seen here in 2001 with a sculpture of mentor Herman B. Wells, served IU for 45 years, including 25 years as a chancellor.

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Longtime Indiana University administrator and LGBT advocate Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis died overnight on Friday, according to an IU spokesperson.

Gros Louis served in various positions at IU for more than five decades, including Vice President over all IU campuses and Chancellor of the Bloomington campus. He began teaching English and Comparative Literature at IU in 1964. He has served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Chairperson of the Department of English.

In a statement, IU President Michael A. McRobbie said: “Indiana University will be forever grateful for all of Ken’s efforts to strengthen the core missions of the university that have left such an indelible mark on thousands of IU students, faculty, alumni and friends around the country and all over the world. He was a remarkable man deeply dedicated to the university and the Bloomington campus.”

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As Vice President and Bloomington Chancellor, Gros Louis interacted with students, faculty and staff to address concerns and complaints. He was instrumental in the founding of the Office of Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Student Support Services in 1994 and in establishing a domestic partner benefit for IU staff and faculty in 2001.

He also spearheaded the founding of the Film, Jewish & Afro-American studies departments, and helped expand the department of journalism into the School of Journalism. He has been recognized for dozens of accomplishments in research and teaching.

Gros Louis retired in 2001, but rejoined the university in 2004 as Interim Senior Vice President and Bloomington Chancellor. He has served as University Chancellor Emeritus since the Board of Trustees bestowed that honor in 2011.

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