The approach of fall brings a rush of activities every year, but 1999 seems to have more intensity than any previous time. Perhaps we are hurrying to clean up the details of the waning millennium.
Here are some of the things that promise to make the rest of this year very exciting at Purdue:
Another new service will allow phone access to the University computing system from off-campus locations. Students, faculty, and staff will be able to use the service at no cost to them. This initiative is designed to reduce the need for students to come to campus to work on assignments that require computer access.
For the 1999 event, the astronauts will take part in our President's Council annual meeting and will attend the Purdue-Penn State football game. Some of them will teach classes for returning alumni on space-related topics. We also hope to help Neil Armstrong celebrate the 30th anniversary of his historic walk on the moon.
We expect this reunion to be the largest gathering of astronauts in Purdue history, and several high-level NASA officials have expressed an interest in attending. It should be a memorable weekend!
The incubators offer a friendly environment that allows new high-technology firms to grow and gain strength. By providing low-cost, flexible space, shared resources, and the support of Purdue expertise, the incubators give these new and promising businesses a chance to get off the ground while minimizing their financial investment. Firms that become successful eventually move on to conventional facilities and become contributing parts of the state economy, providing new jobs and other economic benefits.
Another important initiative is a new World Wide Web page called "Connect Indiana." Developed by Jeff Gunsher, assistant director of the Office of Industry Research and Technology Programs in the Purdue Research Foundation, the Web page provides firms with easy access to the University's huge supply of support systems for business and industry. Located at http://www.purdue.edu/Purdue/Partners/, the site will be a tremendous resource for companies that take advantage of it.
The goal of fielding competitive teams that maintain high academic standards and play by the rules has never changed, but I have to admit that the high level of performance Coach Tiller and his staff have brought to Purdue makes Saturdays a lot of fun for everyone.
Summer has not been quiet at Purdue, but fall will bring a change of gears. We are ready and eager for the new academic year.