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June 18, 2012

Purdue plans professorship in honor of Lechtenberg

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Victor Lechtenberg and Purdue President France A. Córdova. (Purdue University photo)


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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University President France A. Córdova has announced a challenge match to endow a professorship in honor of Victor Lechtenberg, the university's former vice provost for engagement.

The position will be known as the Lechtenberg Professorship of Engagement.

"Purdue is known throughout the world as an engaged university thanks to the efforts of Vic Lechtenberg," Córdova said. "Vic has worked tirelessly to spur economic development in Indiana and help find answers to global challenges."

Gifts from donors for the professorship will be matched dollar for dollar by the university. The goal is to raise money for the endowment over the next three years as Lechtenberg phases into retirement.

"This professorship will raise the profile of scholarly work being done in engagement throughout the state, the nation and the world," Córdova said.

The professorship will be part of the Faculty Fund for Excellence, announced by Córdova last winter. The program is raising private gifts that are matched by up to $7.25 million in university funds designated for faculty investment. Gifts from $750,000 to $1 million are matched dollar for dollar.

Lechtenberg currently is special assistant to the president and director of the Center for Regional Development.

He joined the Purdue faculty in 1971 as a professor of agronomy. He taught crop science and conducted research on forage and biomass crops until 1982. From 1982-1993, Lechtenberg served as associate director of agricultural research programs and as executive associate dean of agriculture. He was dean of Purdue Agriculture from 1993-2004.

From 2004-2011, Lechtenberg served as vice provost for engagement, a position that was established in 2001. He was interim provost from 2007-2008, and from 2008-2009 was interim vice president for governmental relations.

Lechtenberg served as chair of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's national Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board from 1996-2002. In that capacity, he provided written testimony on biosecurity for the U.S. Senate. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He is a past president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, an organization of 30 scientific societies and associations relating to agriculture.

In recognition of his impact on the state of Indiana, Lechtenberg received the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's (IEDC) 2009 Accelerate Indiana Award. He was recognized as the IEDC's best resource for connecting Indiana's strong academic culture with that of the business world.

In April, Lechtenberg received the Morrill Award, given by Purdue for careers that have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and engagement missions.

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

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

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