December 8, 2009

Dear Purdue colleagues,

The governor's announcement on Friday of a significant decrease in higher education funding was not unexpected. We understand the challenges facing the state of Indiana and fully support the governor's efforts to weather this economic storm.

Already, I have met with Teresa Lubbers, Indiana's commissioner for higher education, and Michael Smith, chair of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, to discuss our plans and to convey our commitment to working collaboratively across the state.

At Purdue, we began planning nearly a month ago for reductions in funding with the formation of a steering committee and a planned review of our processes, programs and total compensation. The latest news from the state means we must step up these efforts and look for further sustainable ways to reduce our expenditures while remaining committed to our strategic goals and maintaining the quality of a Purdue degree.

Al Diaz, executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer, and Randy Woodson, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, are chairing Purdue's committee to conduct the planned review. That group also will begin to look for immediate solutions and steps that we can take in the coming months to address our financial challenges. I have asked the group to report back with concrete actions by early January.

Across the university, we each can take steps to reduce expenses and plan for the future. It will take the work and attention of all of us to help build a university that is efficient, streamlined and stronger for our efforts.

I am certain that this Purdue family can come together to find myriad ways to conserve and save in small and large ways while continuing to provide the education, the research and the engagement the state of Indiana needs to thrive as we move forward.

Communication will be essential over these next months. We have established a Web site at www.purdue.edu/sustaining where you can read about current efforts and offer suggestions and input as we move ahead in meeting these economic challenges. In addition, we will hold regular forums to keep faculty and staff informed of our plans and actions. The first of these forums will be Dec. 14. More information will be provided later this week on location and time.

The changes that we make will be done thoughtfully, transparently, and with concern and respect for the people that have made this institution one of the best universities in the world. Two years ago you worked with me to shape a plan for the next few years that would increase the reputation of Purdue and the value of a Purdue degree. We committed ourselves to increasing student success, stimulating broad-based partnerships nationally and globally, and -- in the tradition of our land-grant origin -- making the impact of our research and scholarship broadly felt. Thank you for your hard work, your good ideas, and your willingness to work together to accomplish the goals of this great university.



France A. Córdova