A stated meeting of the Purdue University Board of Trustees convened at 11:11 a.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020, on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. The meeting was held in Stewart Center, Room 214, to allow for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions were placed on the number of observers in the room, and other members of the media and the public who wished to observe the meeting virtually were provided such instructions. Everyone in the room was wearing a mask.

All trustees were present in person or, where specifically noted, by means of electronic communication pursuant to the Electronic Meeting Policy: Michael Berghoff, chairman; Sonny Beck; JoAnn Brouillette; Vanessa Castagna; Theresa Carter (virtually); Malcolm DeKryger; Michael Klipsch; Gary Lehman; Noah Scott (virtually); and Don Thompson (virtually).

Officers and administrators in attendance were: Mitch Daniels, president; Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity; Chris Ruhl, chief financial officer and treasurer; Jim Almond, senior vice president, assistant treasurer, and assistant secretary; Steve Schultz, general counsel; Trent Klingerman, deputy general counsel (virtually); Janice Indrutz, corporate secretary and senior executive assistant to the Board (virtually); Ron Elsenbaumer, chancellor of Purdue University Fort Wayne (virtually), and Tom Keon, chancellor of Purdue University Northwest (virtually).


Chairman Berghoff called the meeting to order and noted that all trustees were in attendance, with Trustees Carter, Scott, and Thompson attending virtually.


The Academic and Student Affairs Committee, Physical Facilities Committee, Finance Committee, Audit and Risk Management Committee, and Compensation Committee all convened meetings prior to this Stated Meeting, with all trustees in attendance for each meeting. Chairman Berghoff read the list of items on which the Committees voted to recommend full Board approval, which composed the unanimous consent agenda along with other routine items, as follows:

  • Minutes: Executive Session – October 1, 2020 and Stated Meeting – October 2, 2020;
  • Approval to award a posthumous Bachelor of Arts in Biology degree to Abigail Sue Wood, a student in the Purdue School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis;
  • Ratification of Dr. Michelle A. Drouin at Purdue Fort Wayne as the Jack W. Schrey Professor of Psychology;
  • Ratification of Dr. Matthew D. Lynall as the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship;
  • Approval of interdisciplinary M.S. degree in secondary STEM education with initial licensure;
  • Approval of 2021-2022 student housing rates;
  • Approval of contract in excess of $2,000,000: Ellucian / Banner;
  • Adoption of updated charter for the Audit and Risk Management Committee;
  • Adoption of presidential performance metrics for 2020-2021;
  • Approval of revised list of positions requiring Board ratification;
  • Approval of Conflict of Interest disclosures; and
  • Approval of exceptions to Nepotism Policy.

Chairman Berghoff asked if any of the Board members wished to have an item removed from the consent agenda for further discussion. Hearing no such request, and upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the unanimous consent agenda. All supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


President Daniels profiled the gifts of $1,000,000 or more that the university had received since the Board’s stated meeting on October 2, 2020. The donors of these gifts were recognized in the following Resolution of Appreciation:

WHEREAS, the following friends of Purdue University have generously contributed $1,000,000 or more to move Purdue to greater excellence and preeminence; and

WHEREAS, the University wishes to acknowledge the significance of these gifts to new directions, advancements, and momentum in Purdue’s history, progress, and future;


1. That the University and the Trustees are grateful to these individuals for their leadership and support of Purdue University; and

2. That this resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Board of Trustees as part of the permanent record of the University.

FRIENDS: Leslie and Stephen Braun, to support the College of Health and Human Sciences; Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation, to support Intercollegiate Athletics; Leo Millstein and Linda Finkelman, to support the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Lilly Endowment Inc., to support University Initiatives; Ed and Bea Schweitzer, to support Purdue Polytechnic High School; Anonymous, to support the College of Veterinary Medicine; and Anonymous, to support Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the resolution. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


President Daniels focused his report on the topic of institutional reputation. He said faculty awards and honors were an important part of the university’s success in this key reporting area. He informed the Board about the number of faculty members who had been inducted into different national academies. President Daniels noted that, while Purdue had tended to lag behind its peers in this area, he would continue to look for ways to help faculty achieve the recognition and credit they richly deserved based on their contributions. He likened these forthcoming efforts to the emphasis placed in recent years on increasing the number of undergraduate national and international scholarship recipients, which had produced results through focused and organized effort.

President Daniels also noted that Purdue could take pride in its place in a number of recent university rankings. These included being recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a top 10 public university in America and being ranked by U.S. News as the fifth most innovative university. He expressed his belief that these rankings were a testament to the university’s goal of providing higher education at the highest proven value. President Daniels also recognized the successful efforts of Purdue Marketing and Communications to make Purdue even more visible through social media as evidenced by social media data. He concluded his report by saying the university had a good product and a great marketing department.

Chairman Berghoff expressed his appreciation for the way in which President Daniels had presented the rankings information. He recognized both Purdue Marketing and Mr. Ethan Braden, senior vice president of marketing and communications, for having been named higher education’s Marketing Team of the Year and 2020 Higher Education Marketer of the Year, respectively, by the American Marketing Association. Chairman Berghoff echoed President Daniels’ belief that these accolades were made possible because of the excellence of the university’s product.

A copy of President Daniels’ report presentation was filed with the minutes.


Provost Akridge respectfully recommended the Board’s ratification of Dr. Dennis K.J. Lin as Distinguished Professor of Statistics. He informed the Board that Dr. Lin had joined the university during Summer 2020 as head of the Department of Statistics, having been recruited from Penn State, and he discussed Dr. Lin’s research focus on statistical methodologies related to business, industry, and government. Provost Akridge shared that Dr. Lin had been named a fellow of all leading statistical societies and associations, earned dozens of professional awards, and was a sought-after speaker. Provost Akridge cited one of eight letters received in support of Dr. Lin’s appointment, the writer of which said Dr. Lin’s prominence in the statistics community and his ability to convey complex statistical methods and thinking to diverse audiences had increased the awareness of the impact of statistics throughout science and industry. Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify Dr. Lin’s appointment. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.

Dr. Lin was in attendance and thanked everyone for the support he had received since arriving on campus.


Provost Akridge respectfully requested approval of (1) an exception to the mandatory retirement age and (2) a two-year extension for Dr. Niaz Latif, dean of the Purdue Northwest College of Technology and interim dean of the College of Engineering and Science. He reminded the Board that it had approved a previous extension for Dr. Latif through June 30, 2021, and he explained that Dr. Latif’s expertise and knowledge would be invaluable while Purdue Northwest would seek to merge its College of Technology and College of Engineering and Science. Saying he had gotten to know Dr. Latif over the years, Trustee DeKryger offered his full support of the recommendation. He noted his personal observation that Dr. Latif was “ageless” and stated that Dr. Latif was a true asset to Purdue Northwest. Chancellor Keon echoed Trustee DeKryger’s remarks and reminded the Board that Dr. Latif had been a faculty member on the West Lafayette campus prior to his service at Purdue Northwest.

Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the exception and grant Dr. Latif a two-year extension through June 30, 2023. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


Dr. Willie Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, began his report by thanking the Board, President Daniels, and all those who helped secure the funding for the new veterinary hospital. He narrated an animated video which showed what the new veterinary hospital and areas surrounding it would look like when construction was completed, and he played a drone video of how construction was progressing.

Dean Reed then provided an overview of the College’s organizational structure and informed the Board that the College of Veterinary Medicine provided oversight of the IU School of Medicine Medical Education Program housed on campus. He highlighted key successes, which included development of a strategic plan through 2023 and a significant increase in the diversity of both the students and faculty, and he noted that Purdue had the most diverse veterinary college in the Big Ten. Trustee DeKryger shared his thoughts on the successful diversity efforts. Dean Reed was pleased to report that significant funding had been garnered for research of COVID-19 vaccines, and he discussed successful engagement efforts. He also illustrated that, of the 30 veterinary schools in the country, Purdue ranked 27th for the amount of debt carried by DVM students, and, in response to a question from Trustee Lehman, he said Purdue ranked 28th for the cost of tuition. Additionally, Dean Reed discussed the process of drug discovery in the College of Veterinary Medicine and how it provided benefits to both animals and humans. Trustee Thompson summarized the many successes shared by Dean Reed, and he thanked Dean Reed for both his leadership in demonstrating “what Purdue is all about” and for his role on the Equity Task Force.

Dean Reed reviewed a number of efforts the College had made to enhance its operations, which included improving the veterinary hospital’s customer service. To conclude his report, he outlined key strategic issues on which the College would focus over the next three to five years in the areas of programmatic excellence, collaboration, food animals, and investments in people, and he identified challenges the College would face as it strived to accomplish its strategic goals.

Chairman Berghoff expressed appreciation for Dean Reed’s report and, in the interest of time, he informed Dean Reed that the Board members would contact him directly with any questions. A copy of Dean Reed’s report presentation and supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


Trustee Thompson, chair of the Equity Task Force, reported that the Task Force was moving forward “fairly aggressively.” He reviewed the six expected deliverables of the Task Force’s charge and said the Task Force was taking a strategic approach to ensure its work would have a long-lasting impact. He reviewed the five phases of the Task Force’s work, which included engaging stakeholder groups across the West Lafayette and regional campuses, and he discussed nine equity issues which had been identified: undergraduate recruitment, yield, and retention of African Americans and Native Americans; graduate student recruitment, retention, and success; post-doctorate recruitment and retention; faculty recruitment, retention, and promotion; staff recruitment and retention; climate; safety and wellness; curricular and co-curricular activities; and diversity initiatives. Trustee Thompson added that athletics had also been identified as an issue.

Trustee Thompson informed the Board that, although the goal was to bring recommendations to the Board at this meeting, the Equity Task Force would need more time to complete its work. He presented a timeline which indicated that a Purdue Equity Strategic Plan would be presented to the Board at its meeting on February 5, 2021.

Trustee Thompson thanked his fellow Board members and President Daniels for their support of the Equity Task Force, and he recognized Provost Akridge and others who had devoted a tremendous amount of time to advance the efforts of the Task Force. He remarked that it was a very personal and fragile discussion and said, “We have to get to the point where we can talk about race, equity, and inclusion. We have to get to the point where we can talk about the real issues and move forward.”

Chairman Berghoff thanked Trustee Thompson for the report and expressed his belief that the work of the Equity Task Force was on track.


Upon the recommendation of Chairman Berghoff, and upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to designate Trustees Malcolm DeKryger and Michael Klipsch as directors for the Ross-Ade Foundation for another one-year term.


By consent, the meeting adjourned at 12:40 p.m.