Former Chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg Mukund S. Kulkarni passes away at 75

Mukund S. Kulkarni, 75, former chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg passed away on June 2.
Photo Courtesy: Penn State Harrisburg

Penn State Harrisburg recently announced the passing of former Chancellor Mukund S. Kulkarni, 75 on June 2.

A resident of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Kulkarni retired from the college in 2018, after more than 30 years of service to Penn State, according to the press release.

“Mukund was an exemplary colleague and a dear friend,” Madlyn Hanes, Penn State’s senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor was quoted saying.


According to him, Penn State Harrisburg grew and prospered under his leadership.

“Mukund’s many contributions to the college, the University, and the broader community earned him high regard, and his legacy will be long lasting. He will be deeply missed,” Hanes added.

“Mukund Kulkarni was a valued member of our Penn State community and of our leadership team. He was always quick to share credit for the successes that the Harrisburg campus realized, although Dr. Kulkarni possessed the ability and drive that made positive change possible,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron.

Kulkarni became the chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg in 2010. He joined the college in 1985 as a member of the business faculty. He also had served as director of undergraduate studies, director of the School of Business Administration, and senior associate dean for academic affairs.

In addition to his administrative appointment, Kulkarni was also a professor of finance. He was widely published in academic journals and had presented papers at several scholarly conferences. His research interests were in the areas of capital budgeting, banking operations, and information content of stock prices.

Kulkarni earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in his native India, an MBA from Marshall University, and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky.

In 2018, the college received more than $3 million in gifts donated in his honor. The gifts supported student scholarships, the naming of the Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre in the college’s Student Enrichment Center, and the Mukund S. Kulkarni Cultural Series Program Fund.

He was one of the founders of the organization Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania and had also served as its president; he was currently serving as an advisory council member. Kulkarni had also served as president and chairperson of the Hindu American Religious Institute.

Upon his retirement from Penn State, Kulkarni reflected on the legacy he was leaving behind: “There are certain [successes] that are easy to see. … But the one thing I hope I have created and I hope will continue even after I leave is that I changed the tone of dialogue. Bringing civility, politeness and respect when we address each other, when we talk to each other, when we write to each other. I think that is important and I hope that remains as my legacy.”

Kulkarni is survived by his wife, Prabha, daughters, Gauri (Vikram) and Manjiree (Hardik), and four grandchildren. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, support may be provided to the brain tumor research of Dr. David Kamson at Johns Hopkins University at




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