Lechtenberg to lead engagement transition

May 20, 2011

Victor Lechtenberg

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Victor Lechtenberg, Purdue's vice provost for engagement, will help guide a reorganization of the university's economic development efforts before his planned June 2012 retirement.

Purdue's Board of Trustees on Tuesday (May 17) approved a resolution of appreciation to mark Lechtenberg's service to the university.

"Vic Lechtenberg and Purdue are known around the world for creating an engaged university that spurs the state's economic development and addresses global challenges," said university President France A. Córdova. "He has impacted agriculture, business development and education by taking on issues from world hunger to laying the foundation for the next generation of electric vehicles. Vic has left an indelible mark on the world, the state and Purdue."

The next year will be a busy time for the 40-year Purdue veteran as he continues the engagement office's programs and maps out a successful transition for his successor.

On June 20, Julie K. Griffith will become vice president for public affairs as part of a reorganization that pulls government and community relations and engagement under one office. Lechtenberg will become interim associate vice president for engagement until a permanent associate vice president is named. He then will serve as an adviser to the office of the vice president for public affairs and as a special assistant to the president until his retirement.

Lechtenberg, who has been at Purdue since 1971, has been vice provost for engagement since 2004. He plans to continue serving as co-director for the Center for Regional Development, which, since 2005, has generated more than $19 million for work with more than 100 community, state and national entities.

The Office of Engagement puts Purdue resources to work to address issues affecting the state's prosperity and quality of life. Areas of focus include economic development, P-12 education, community service and lifelong learning.

"This transition period will provide a time for reflection and planning to strengthen and enhance Purdue's commitment to engagement with the state and beyond," Lechtenberg said. "We will continue to help the state grow its economy and enhance the quality of education Purdue provides to its students."

One example of the Office of Engagement's impact on the state is the Technical Assistance Program. Under Lechtenberg's leadership, TAP in 2010 completed projects with 541 employers in 82 Indiana counties. These efforts resulted in $54 million in increased or retained sales, $6.8 million in cost savings, $26 million in capital investments and nearly 1,100 jobs created or retained.

Purdue also has partnered with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to recruit companies to the state and help retain Indiana companies.

"Vic is a great teacher, scholar, inventor, business person, mentor and Renaissance man who, through his years of service at Purdue University, made Indiana a much better place," said Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and CEO of Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "His contributions to Indiana economic development will be missed, but we wish him all the best as he transitions into retirement."

Lechtenberg began his Purdue career as a professor of agronomy. He also has served as dean of the College of Agriculture and executive associate dean and associate director of Purdue's agricultural research programs.

Writer:  Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu 

Sources:   France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu

                    Victor Lechtenberg, vll@purdue.edu 

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