3 Questions with Purdue's 12th
Mitchell E. Daniels Jr.
Mitch E. Daniels Jr.
The College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) is celebrating its third year with a new strategic plan and its first dean formally in place. New facilities will soon be online.
What role do you see HHS playing in furthering Purdue's land-grant mission, given the importance of health and health care to the state and the nation, as well as globally?
HHS exemplifies in so many ways the University's finest aspirations of service, engagement and research delivery, so I see it playing a central role as an emerging leader in representing Purdue's mission at home and abroad.
In some of my previous roles in both the public and private sectors, I have had to address health and health care issues and I see HHS tackling those vital concerns through superb teaching in its nine academic units, as well as research and research commercialization.
I am most impressed with the college's focus on enhancing the quality of living through prevention, behavior change and the knowledge that supports better health. Prevention saves money and it improves well-being. The focus on greater personal responsibility for health and innovations that prevent or slow the progression of diseases will only grow in importance.
HHS has been successful in developing applications and innovations with the Office of Technology Commercialization. An iPad application, for example, allows children with severe autism to communicate with others. How important are these innovations and applied-research initiatives to your goals for Purdue in the next seven years?
Very important! Improving on Purdue's tradition of discovery with delivery is what I hope to be a hallmark of Purdue's next era — and Dean Ladisch's administration. The translation of brilliant ideas and innovation into society represents one of our greatest opportunities — particularly given the University's recent overhaul of our Research Foundation and tech transfer processes, and the appointment of a chief entrepreneurial officer. We've created smoother pathways for researchers with faster assessment of their discoveries, express startup licenses, zero-fee small business grants and free mentoring. We've ensured they have more control over their intellectual property. And our student innovators have for the first time been given intellectual property rights over their inventions. At no time in our history has entrepreneurial activity on campus been easier, more supported or more encouraged.
That spirit of innovation and enterprise is engagement in its highest form, and I've seen its prevalence at HHS. I believe the time is now for HHS to help lead the University in bringing innovation to market.
HHS is pursuing one of our primary goals — to empower more faculty innovation and to become more attractive to faculty innovators. We want to turn Purdue into a fountain of new goods, services, companies and jobs. If we can build the right climate, good things will happen for the economy and society. HHS is filled with opportunity and promise in this area.
HHS has a strong extension service program. How important are these programs to Purdue's overall strategic mission?
Well, this is in keeping with the best traditions of Purdue's land-grant mission as HHS is without question a leader in bringing the expertise and resources of Purdue University to address the needs of Indiana's families in every county in the state. With offices in each of Indiana's 92 counties, Purdue Extension partners with the College of Health and Human Sciences, local agencies and extension educators.
HHS and its extension partners apply research through a variety of educational programs. This knowledge-based education outreach delivered locally is one of Purdue's finest benefits to the citizens and taxpayers of Indiana.
I congratulate the college on its third anniversary and look forward to its growing impact in the years ahead and to its playing a vital leadership role in the University's mission.