A stated meeting of the Purdue University Board of Trustees convened on Friday, December 3, 2021, at 10:49 a.m. in Room 326 of Stewart Center on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Everyone in the room was wearing a mask amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

All trustees were present: Michael Berghoff, chairman; Sonny Beck; JoAnn Brouillette; Vanessa Castagna; Theresa Carter; Malcolm DeKryger; Mark Gee; Michael Klipsch; Gary Lehman, vice chairman; and Don Thompson.

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; Janice Indrutz, corporate secretary and senior executive assistant to the Board; Ron Elsenbaumer, chancellor, Purdue Fort Wayne; and Tom Keon, chancellor, Purdue Northwest.


Chairman Berghoff called the meeting to order and noted all trustees were in attendance.


The Academic and Student Affairs Committee, Finance Committee, and Physical Facilities Committee all convened public meetings immediately prior to this Stated 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 – September 30, 2021; Stated Meeting – October 1, 2021;
  • Ratification of Dr. Haley F. Oliver as a 150th Anniversary Professor;
  • Ratification of Dr. Jeffrey P. Greeley as the Charles D. and Nancy G. Davidson Professor of Chemical Engineering;
  • Ratification of Dr. Zoltan Nagy as the Arvind Varma Professor of Chemical Engineering;
  • For Purdue Fort Wayne, approval to change the names of departments: Biology to Biological Sciences; Chemistry to Chemistry and Biochemistry; and General Studies to Integrated Studies;
  • For Purdue Northwest, approval of Doctor of Technology degree;
  • Approval of Treasurer Ruhl’s recommendations: $500 faculty and staff appreciation payment; FY23 salary merit pool; no increases to room and board rates for West Lafayette residence halls; and extension of tuition freeze for West Layette campus for 11th year;
  • Approval of 2022-2023 student housing rates, system-wide;
  • Endorsement of changes to Investment Policy;
  • Approval to execute leases with Aspire at Discovery Park and Fuse Apartments;
  • Approval of revised list of positions ratified by the Board;
  • Approval of Conflict of Interest disclosures, system-wide; and
  • Approval of exceptions to Nepotism Policy.

Chairman Berghoff then 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.


Provost Akridge respectfully requested approval to appoint Dr. Jerome M. Adams as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the College of Pharmacy; Dr. Adams joined Purdue in October 2021 as the university’s first executive director of health equity initiatives. Provost Akridge informed the Board hat Dr. Adams had made an enormous impact on public health as former Indiana State Health Commissioner and the 20th Surgeon General of the United States, and he noted Dr. Adams’ professional and military accolades, including having been twice-awarded Indiana’s Sagamore of the Wabash Award for Outstanding Service. Provost Akridge expressed his belief that Dr. Adams brought great distinction to Purdue and would help elevate the awareness and impact of Purdue’s science-based public health education programs, as well as public health research and engagement. To conclude his recommendation, Provost Akridge cited two of seven letters received in support of Dr. Adams’ appointment.

Trustee DeKryger remarked that Dr. Adams joining Purdue was a “big deal” and shared that his (Trustee DeKryger’s) father completed a fellowship under C. Everett Koop, the 13th Surgeon General of the United States. Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify Dr. Adams as Distinguished Professor of Practice. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.

Dr. Adams expressed his personal excitement about being a Boilermaker, saying Purdue felt like home even during the recruiting process. He spoke about growing up poor, rural, and Black and said he never dreamed of being Surgeon General because he had never met a Black doctor in his life. Therefore, he said, “Commitment to diversity is important and representation matters.” Dr. Adams also applauded the university leadership for recognizing the importance of engagement. Using Neil Armstrong as an example, Dr. Adams concluded his remarks by saying, “Academic achievement without engagement fails to maximize the societal impact of Purdue University.”

Chairman Berghoff thanked Dr. Adams for sharing his great message and pointed out that his remark about representation aligned with the pillars of the Equity Task Force. Trustee Thompson thanked Dr. Adams for his service to the country and expressed his appreciation for Dr. Adams’ comment about impact because that had also been discussed by the Equity Task Force during the course of its work.


Provost Akridge respectfully requested approval to appoint Dr. Sabre Kais as a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He informed that Board that Dr. Kais was a world-leading expert in quantum information science who had made significant contributions to quantum theory and quantum computing and whose work spanned multiple disciplines. Provost Akridge discussed Dr. Kais’ scientific collaborations and noted that Dr. Kais had received a number of distinguished awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Provost Akridge also cited one of seven letters received in support of Dr. Kais’ appointment, which was written by Dr. Dudley Herschbach, the 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, who said Dr. Kais was “highly respected for both his vision and creativity and his generous efforts to foster and credit the work of others.”

Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify Dr. Kais as Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.

Dr. Kais expressed his gratitude and said when he came to Purdue in 1994, he was told it was a “good school” and, after 27 years, it was still a good school. He discussed his research and hinted how it could impact execution of Board meetings in the future.


Provost Akridge respectfully requested approval to appoint Dr. J. Paul Robinson as a Distinguished Professor of Cytometry. He informed the Board that Dr. Robinson was internationally recognized as an innovative and creative scientist, productive and effective teacher and researcher, and highly impactful leader in the field of cytometry. Provost Akridge discussed some of the new technologies developed by Dr. Robinson and said his work had garnered him 18 patents in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Provost Akridge also shared that Dr. Robinson had established the non-profit organization Cytometry for Life to make affordable, wide-spread AIDS testing available in Africa, for which he raised funds by climbing Mount Everest. To conclude his recommendation, Provost Akridge cited one of 11 letters received in support of Dr. Robinson’s appointment, the writer of which said Dr. Robinson had “the uncanny ability to see what could be rather than what is.”

Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify Dr. Robinson as a Distinguished Professor of Cytometry. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.

Dr. Robinson expressed his gratitude and said it was a great honor to have worked at Purdue for 33 years. He also said he was privileged to be part of both life sciences and engineering, and he discussed his approach of looking at what could be.


President Daniels profiled the gifts of $1,000,000 or more which the university had received since the Board’s Stated Meeting on October 1, 2021. 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: Max W Brown, to support the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Caterpillar, Inc., to support the Purdue Polytechnic Institute; Jean Anne and James Chaney, to support the College of Pharmacy; Donald Janes, to support the College of Science; Barbara Kile, to support the College of Science; Glenn (Ed) Mann, to support Purdue University; David and Mary Miers, to support the College of Agriculture; Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc., to support the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and College of Engineering; Terrance and Judy Riordan (posthumously), to support the College of Agriculture and College of Education; Evan and Sue Ann Werling, to support the College of Veterinary Medicine; Anonymous, to support the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Anonymous, to support Intercollegiate Athletics; and Anonymous, to support the Purdue Center for Cancer Research and College of Engineering.

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


President Daniels began his report on institutional reputation by sharing positive feedback from Moody’s and S&P with regard to the university’s enterprise profile, which, he said, gave reason to have great confidence in the university growing forward. He said the university’s institutional reputation could also be measured by the number of companies that had chosen to partner with Purdue, and he was pleased to highlight three that had gone so far as establishing a physical presence on campus. President Daniels expressed his belief that Purdue’s research had been recognized more broadly in the past year than before; this included Purdue’s Center for Cancer Research having been one of seven recognized by the National Cancer Institute and the only cancer research center at a public university, as well as the distinction received by the Purdue Energetics Research Center. Chairman Berghoff also noted that the FDA had approved a pioneering drug for ovarian cancer surgery developed at Purdue by Dr. Philip Low, Purdue University's Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. President Daniels also provided examples of some of the largest research awards the university had ever garnered.

President Daniels then turned his report to rankings. He recognized that rankings tended to be subjective and one should approach them with skepticism, but said when the university is listed in the top of a variety of rankings, “it indicates something.” He was pleased to highlight that Purdue had been ranked in the top 5 by Forbes for graduating the most STEM majors, and Purdue had been ranked as a Top 10 most innovative university in America by U.S. News & World Report. President Daniels illustrated Purdue’s reputation for a world-class education, saying he was especially pleased by the #3 ranking by Newsweek for best online learning institution, which, he said, demonstrated that Purdue’s focused online learning efforts had gained momentum. President Daniels also highlighted rankings to demonstrate Purdue’s reputation for value and its on-campus experience, but he pointed out that it would be an ongoing challenge for all of higher education to make it clear to students and parents that the residential university experience was irreplaceable.

President Daniels provided a snapshot of a number of rankings, comparing Purdue to competing universities in Indiana, the Big Ten, and nationally. In response to a question from Trustee Lehman, President Daniels expressed his belief that the “safest college town” ranking was usually discerned from FBI statistics and the 15th ranking nationally was the lowest for Purdue in his recent memory. Trustee Carter remarked that the rankings were consistent across the board, which, she said, demonstrated persistence. President Daniels also pointed out that the number of students who received a major scholarship had doubled with the creation in 2013 of the National and International Scholarships Office.

To conclude his report, President Daniels recognized the university’s Marketing and Media team, operating under Mr. Ethan Braden’s leadership as senior vice president for marketing and communications, for their successful efforts to bring national media attention to the university. He provided examples of such attention and engaged Mr. Braden for further clarification on the data presented. President Daniels was pleased to share with the Board that Purdue University was the only university in Fast Company Magazine’s inaugural list of 95 “Brands That Matter,” which was announced in October 2021. He indicated that Purdue was chosen for its commitment to affordability, cutting-edge industry partnerships, innovative approach to education, and practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges, and he expressed his belief that this recognition was general confirmation of the university’s positive reputation. A copy of President Daniels’ report presentation was filed with the minutes.

Chairman Berghoff expressed his appreciation for the way in which President Daniels presented the data. Trustee Gee asked in what areas the university may need to improve. Mr. Braden responded that it was important to continue to broaden the university’s reputation across the United States in order to be more widely known. President Daniels added that the largest proportion of the higher than expected number of new students who arrived at Purdue in the fall came from the other 49 states, which meant that Purdue was indeed on its way to becoming more widely known. He also stated that Purdue Global was the number one area in which he hoped to see great progress in the coming year. In response to questions from Chairman Berghoff and Vice Chairman Lehman, Mr. Braden discussed Marketing and Media’s support of the Purdue for Life Foundation, as well as efforts to represent Purdue in the Indianapolis area and capitalize on the success of Purdue’s Intercollegiate Athletics programs.


Dr. Karen Plaut, dean of the College of Agriculture, began her report by saying the College of Agriculture looked different today than it did many years ago given advances in technology and data analytics to improve agriculture, food, and forestry. Dean Plaut was pleased to share that the College of Agriculture was ranked #7 in the Unites States and #15 internationally, with a near-record level undergraduate enrollment of 2,791 undergraduate students and 769 graduate students. She shared that the College enjoyed a record research year in FY20, with $76 million in awards, and the Extension program had seen great growth during the COVID-19 pandemic because of its ability to engage participants online. She was also proud to share that nearly half of Agriculture undergraduate students had received scholarships from the College and that the College was able to endow 10 new chair positions. Dean Plaut thanked the Board for the new Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building and informed Board members that the ABE undergraduate program had been ranked #1 for the last 11 years, which was met with applause. Dean Plaut was pleased to highlight several faculty and staff members who had received national recognition, and she said students were also leading in many award areas.

Dean Plaut also highlighted a number of partnerships and innovations through which the College had made an impact. These included leading in digital agriculture and data science, partnerships with industry, demonstrating practical applications, leading globally in food security, and real-world problem solving by students, and she provided an example of how the College created new opportunities for entrepreneurship. To conclude her report, Dean Plaut discussed a number of the College of Agriculture’s strategic directions, some areas in which the College had already begun to excel, as she had discussed, but also included enhancing student recruitment, developing online programs, investing in new facilities, and being a champion of inclusive excellence. A copy of Dean Plaut’s report presentation and supplemental material was filed with the minutes.

As an alumnus and current graduate student of the College of Agriculture, Trustee Gee remarked that there was much good work happening in the College. Trustee DeKryger pointed out that the Provost Akridge, Chancellor Dooley of Purdue Global, and Dr. Jenna Rickus, vice provost for teaching and learning, all hailed from the College of Agriculture, and he shared their pride in the College.


Dean Plaut transitioned her report on the College of Agriculture to an update on the Purdue’s Next Moves Plant Sciences 2.0 initiative. She provided examples of ways in which progress was being made with initiative. She said she was excited about efforts in digital forestry and explained methods by which to count trees in an effort to measure their carbon bio mass, expressing her belief that these kinds of tools would find many important applications in the future. Dean Plaut also discussed the application of data for food demand analysis and predicting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agriculture industry. She also highlighted ways in which Purdue was leading in entrepreneurship and workforce readiness by launching innovative ideas into the marketplace to improve lives and providing a diverse and data-savvy workforce for the agriculture, food, and forest industries. Dean Plaut also discussed the Digital Innovation in Agrifood Systems Laboratory and informed the Board that agriculture and food systems were behind other industries in using digital technologies. She also discussed the DIAL Venture Studio model, which she described as a new, exciting model for bringing digital innovation to Indiana and food systems. A copy of Dean Plaut’s report presentation was filed with the minutes.


President Daniels recommended to the Board that the Electrical Engineering Building be named the Max W & Maileen Brown Family Hall. He expressed his belief that naming the building for the Browns would honor their generous $10 million deferred gift to provide ongoing support toward any renovations of the building and support the Elmore School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve naming the Max W and Maileen Brown Family Hall. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


Chairman Berghoff recommended to the Board that Trustee DeKryger and Trustee Klipsch be designated to serve as directors for the Ross-Ade Foundation for another one-year term. Hearing no other recommendations, and upon proper motion duly made and seconded, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of Trustees DeKryger and Klipsch’s subsequent terms of service to the Ross-Ade Foundation.


By consent, the meeting adjourned at 11:57 a.m.