January 10, 2014

To the Purdue campus community,

This morning we launched the search for the next provost of Purdue University -- a process in which each of you is invited to participate.

I have appointed a search committee, to be chaired by Tim Zwier, interim head of the Department of Chemistry, and the committee met for the first time today. We are on a fast track to find a successor to Tim Sands, who as you know will leave Purdue after the spring semester to become president at Virginia Tech University.

This is the most important choice a university can make. When we select a provost, we are deciding what kind of academy we want to be and how high our aspirations are. To that end, we intend the most open and open-minded search possible, in the pursuit of the most superb talent available.

The position description makes plain that the provost is expected to be an effective and enthusiastic leader of change for Purdue's priorities, including the implementation of a full-year academic schedule, enabling the possibility of graduating in three years; an institution-wide focus on STEM education and research; continuous pressing for efficiencies across academic programs; national leadership in innovative pedagogies and the use of instructional technologies; and rigorous program and student assessment. The provost must have ambitious ideas and the collaborative ability to enhance institutional focus on student intellectual growth and to broaden the university's success in world-shaping research. Additionally, the provost must possess the commitment and ability to maintain excellence in the liberal arts, education and business programs, recognizing their value within Purdue's technology and science focus.

I have asked the committee to have the position advertised by Jan. 17 with nominations being accepted immediately and applications being evaluated beginning Feb. 21. Finalists will be invited for on-campus visits, which we expect to be completed by early April. Each finalist will participate in a public forum, the dates, times and locations of which will be announced via Purdue Today and will be posted to Purdue's home page. I've asked the committee to deliver to me a slate of acceptable finalists by April 15.

Search committee members are:

I encourage each of you to be fully part of this search process. You may provide comments and suggestions to a search committee member or send confidential email to provostsearch@purdue.edu. I will read each e-mail and will share them with the committee unless requested otherwise by the sender.

Thank you in advance for your interest in Purdue's future.


Mitchell E. Daniels Jr.

Hovde Hall, Room 200 • 610 Purdue Mall • West Lafayette, IN 47907-2040 • (765) 494-9708 • Fax (765) 494-7875