Raaj Kurapati, the new executive vice chancellor and chief operating and financial officer at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, traces his career in higher education to a conversation he had with his father, who was in the hospital preparing for heart surgery.
His father, Rajarathnam Kurapati, asked for three things he thought would help his son in the future: Get serious about business if he was continuing in that field; move from Micronesia, where they were living, to the mainland; and there was one more thing.
“He said, ‘both your mother and I have been lifelong educators and I always thought it would be nice if one of my kids did something in education,’” Raaj Kurapati recalled. “That never left me.” His father had served as the president of a college in India before moving to Micronesia, was a director of education, and retired as a professor of social sciences. His mother, Hazel, was a professor of natural sciences.
His father passed away some years later. Shortly after that, Kurapati had the opportunity to join Northern Marianas College as the chief financial officer in 2003. “I got into higher education, and I fell in love with it,” he said.
Coincidentally, September 1, his first day on the job at UTHSC, was the beginning of his 21st year in education.
Read more at our UTHSC news site.