September 23, 2005

Trustees honor 3 profs; approve name changes, reorganization plans

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Board of Trustees today (Friday, Sept. 23) approved three named professorships, a department name change at Purdue North Central and four school name changes at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. The trustees also approved three supporting proposals for reorganization at Purdue University Calumet.

Mark Bernstein, professor of philosophy, was named the Joyce and Edward E. Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics; Scott Jackson, associate professor of agronomy, was named Wickersham Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Research; and James Leary, professor of basic medical science and biomedical engineering, was named School of Veterinary Medicine Professor of Nanomedicine.

"These three faculty members are examples of the superior faculty we are able to attract and retain for Purdue," said Provost Sally Mason. "Their scholarly contributions will enhance our reputation worldwide, and we're pleased their peers have honored them with these awards."

Designated professorships honor individuals whose achievements in scholarship or research have been internationally recognized or who have made a unique contribution to the university through scholarship, research, teaching or leadership functions. Purdue now has 114 designated professors.

Mark Bernstein

Bernstein's research interests are primarily in applied ethics and contemporary metaphysics. His books include "Without a Tear: Our Tragic Relationship with Animals," "On Moral Considerability: An Essay on Who Morally Matters" and "Fatalism." He has published more than 30 journal articles and reviews.

Bernstein joined the Purdue faculty this year from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was on the faculty since 1983, most recently as the Peter T. Flawn Distinguished Professor of Philosophy. He also was previously on the faculty at Wesleyan University.

He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Queens College, City University of New York, in 1969. He earned a master's degree in philosophy in 1975 from California State University-Northridge and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1982.

Scott Jackson

Jackson's research interests include plant genomics and cytogenetics, and he has been instrumental in mapping and sequencing the rice and soybean genomes. His work has been funded by more than $19 million in grants, almost $9 million of which supported work at Purdue.

He was named a National Science Foundation Young Investigator in 2002 and receives support from both the NSF and the United Soybean Board.

Jackson received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and 1999, respectively. He joined the Purdue faculty in 2001.

Jackson is the first recipient of the Wickersham chair. It was established to support agricultural research through the recognition of early- to mid-career faculty who show promise as outstanding scholars.

James Leary

Leary joined Purdue this year with a joint appointment in the School of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Basic Medical Science and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. In addition to his roles as professor of nanomedicine, professor of biomedical sciences and professor of biomedical engineering, Leary also will be involved in the Birck Nanotechnology Center, Oncological Sciences Center and the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue's Discovery Park, as well as the Purdue Cancer Center.

Prior to coming to Purdue, he was a professor of internal medicine, pathology, biophysics, microbiology and immunology, and human biological chemistry and genetics at the medical school of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He also held faculty positions at the University of Rochester for more than 16 years, during which time he conducted sabbaticals in the Netherlands and China.

His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. He is the holder of five U.S. patents with three more pending. Under NASA funding, he has been the lead scientist in a multidisciplinary team developing nanomedicine for astronauts on longer term space journeys.

Leary's research interests include engineering of new high-throughput cell separation technologies; microgenomics and cell/tissue engineering of adult human stem cells; and engineering of integrated, "smart" bionanosystems for nanomedicine.

Leary received two bachelor's degrees in 1970 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in aeronautics-astronautics and philosophy-history. In 1974 he received a master's degree in physics from the University of New Hampshire. He earned his doctorate in biophysics in 1977 from Pennsylvania State University.

In other business, the board approved changing the name of the Department of Computer Technology at Purdue North Central to the Department of Computer and Information Technology.

The board also gave approval to rename four schools to colleges at Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne. The School of Arts and Sciences is now the College of Arts and Sciences; the School of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science is now the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science; the School of Health Sciences is now the College of Health and Human Services; and the School of Visual and Performing Arts is now the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Trustees also approved three proposals for reorganization at Purdue University Calumet:

• The Department of Computer Information Systems and Information Technology will be reorganized as the academic Department of Computer Information Technology.

• The School of Management will restructure four of its academic departments to create new departments of accounting, finance and economics, information systems and marketing, and human resources and management.

• The computer information systems department in the School of Technology and the management information systems in the School of Management will merge into the new Department of Information Systems.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Sources: Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Mark Bernstein, (765) 494-4295,

Scott Jackson, (765) 496-3621,

James Leary, (765) 494-7280,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Related Web sites:
Purdue Department of Philosophy

Purdue Department of Agronomy

Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine

Purdue North Central

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

Purdue Calumet


To the News Service home page