The Indiana Commission for Higher Education unanimously voted to hire Chris Lowery as the state’s seventh Commissioner for Higher Education during its monthly Commission meeting on March 10.

Lowery replaces outgoing Commissioner Teresa Lubbers, who announced her departure in late 2021 and served in the role for nearly 13 years. As senior vice president of workforce, careers, and adult strategy at Ivy Tech Community College, Lowery has led the college’s workforce and career initiatives and organization.

“Alignment between education and workforce is critical to making Indiana a leader in attracting and developing talent,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “Chris is uniquely experienced and positioned to continue advancing this vital work. He understands the role higher education must play in the skills and ability necessary for Indiana to compete in the global economy. I’m grateful he’s stepped up to take on this most important assignment.”

The Commission conducted a national search led by a six-member search committee, which subsequently recommended Lowery to the full Commission for a vote of approval and appointment. Members of the 14-person Commission are gubernatorial appointees.

In his new role, Lowery will focus on college affordability and ensuring quality higher education is delivered and tied to career relevance as the Commission continues its efforts to realize the state’s goal of at least 60 percent of Hoosiers with quality education and training beyond high school. Along with addressing declining college-going rates, the Commission will concentrate on increasing the number of adult learners who earn a degree or credential beyond a high school diploma.

“Indiana’s colleges and universities provide much of the fuel in terms of education, training and research to support individual growth, investments and innovations of employers,” said Lowery. “By bringing together leaders from our higher education institutions, employers, K-12 partners, nonprofits, philanthropy, government and other stakeholders, we can blur the lines and increase the value proposition of higher education.