About the President

Deborah J. Curtis
12th President of Indiana State University

Dr. Deborah Curtis

Deborah J. Curtis began her tenure as the twelfth president of Indiana State University on January 3, 2018. She is the first female and only the second graduate of Indiana State to serve as president. She came to Indiana State from the University of Central Missouri where she had served as provost and chief learning officer since 2012.

At the University of Central Missouri, her responsibilities included overseeing all academic programs and support services, including the university's four academic colleges, the library and extended studies, as well as enrollment management, information technology and student affairs.

Prior to becoming provost at Central Missouri, Curtis served as dean of the College of Education at Illinois State University from 2006 to 2012, interim dean from 2005 to 2006 and as director of the Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center and Clinical Experiences and Certification Processes from 2001 to 2005. She served on the faculty of Illinois State for 26 years, advancing to the rank of full professor. Earlier in her career, she served as a music specialist and coach in K-12 schools in Illinois and Indiana including one year at Indiana State’s University School where she filled in for a maternity leave.

Curtis earned her Ph.D. from Indiana State University in curriculum and instruction with specializations in secondary education and supervision of instruction. She holds a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in music education from MacMurray College.

Throughout her career, Curtis has served her community and profession through engagement in a variety of service roles. Some of these include the Missouri Council of Chief Academic Officers with the Missouri Department of Higher Education, member of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, executive committee member of the Illinois State Action for Education Leadership Project, Missouri Public Charter School Commission, member of the United Way of McLean County Education Vision Council, member of the McLean County Community Compact, member of the Illinois School Leader Task Force, board member of the McLean County Urban League Satellite Office, board member of the National Network for Educational Renewal Governance Board, board member of the Illinois State Teacher Certification Board, Future Teachers of Chicago board member, board member for the Illinois Education Research Council, and member of the Professional Preparation & Certification Committee of the National Middle School Association (NMSA). Curtis recently joined the boards of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, Terre Haute Competes, and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Curtis and her husband, Lynn, are the parents of five children and nine grandchildren. Lynn worked in public education for nearly 40 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal and school district superintendent.