Nasser Paydar was nominated by President Biden for the position of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education last week.
According to Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed, Paydar served numerous administrative roles for Indiana University over the last 30 years, “including chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, associate dean for graduate programs, associate dean for academic programs and executive associate dean.” He served as Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis’ executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer in 2012, and subsequently as fifth chancellor from 2015 until his recent retirement in March of 2022. His leadership “emphasized turning the campuses into more welcoming, diverse and inclusive places, enabling faculty, staff and students to achieve at the highest levels,” according to IU news. The university’s president, Pamela Whitten, shared that Paydar “put student success at the forefront and focused on creating opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue higher education.”
As IUPUI faculty, Paydar was the “principal and co-principal investigator on research grants from federal and state agencies and private companies,” as stated by the U.S. Department of Education. According to the Indianapolis University, IUPUI grew “to include more than 550 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs from IU and Purdue University” under Paydar’s leadership.
In his statement released on March 18th, current U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona asserts that he “could not be more pleased with President Biden’s decision.” He describes Paydar to have “championed equitable and affordable access to postsecondary education…[and] placed an important focus on diversifying the higher education workforce.”