A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Purdue University Board of Trustees convened at 10:29 a.m. on day, Friday, August 12, 2022, in Stewart Center, Room 326, on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Committee members present in person or by means of electronic communication pursuant to the Electronic Meeting Policy were: Michael Berghoff, chair (conference call); Gary Lehman, vice chair; JoAnn Brouillette (conference call); Sonny Beck (conference call); and Vanessa Castagna (conference call). Other trustees in attendance were: Mike Klipsch (conference call).

Officers and administrators in attendance were: Mitch Daniels, president (conference call); Steve Schultz, general counsel; Cindy Ream, corporate secretary; Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity.

Pursuant to Article V, Section 1, of the Bylaws, during intervals between meetings of the Board, and subject to such limitations as may be required by law or specifically imposed by action of the Board, the Executive Committee has the authority to exercise all powers of the Board.


Chairman Berghoff called the meeting to order, conducted roll call and confirmed a quorum of the Executive Committee was present. He called upon President Daniels to present the first order of business, noting that the approval of the creation of the Purdue Institute for a Sustainable Future was important to accomplish before the academic year gets underway.


President Daniels introduced the proposal to create this institute, which had been described in the memo from Theresa Mayer, Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, distributed to the Board prior to the meeting. President Daniels noted that Board approval is required for a University-level institute of this type based on Purdue’s policy on centers and institutes. He commended Dr. Mayer’s efforts to pursue two important goals at Discovery Park: the facilitation of greater collaboration across research and education disciplines and the promotion of administrative efficiencies. He noted that this action entails the consolidation of two closely related centers into one, which provides an organizational structure and a vehicle for investments that will lower barriers to cross-sector collaboration. He requested the Board’s approval to make it official. After providing a reminder that the Executive Committee has the authority to approve actions like this one on behalf of the full Board in periods between its meetings, Chairman Berghoff asked for a motion to approve and noted that a roll call vote would be needed. Upon a motion duly made by Vanessa Castagna and seconded by Gary Lehman, Secretary Ream conducted the roll call vote. As evidenced by that vote, the Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the full Board, unanimously approved the creation of The Purdue Institute for A Sustainable Future. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


Chairman Berghoff turned to the second agenda item, noting it is a special one that has been under consideration for some time, which is Purdue’s presence in Indianapolis. He noted that the Board had been presented with a proposed agreement with Indiana University, specifically a Memorandum of Understanding concerning IUPUI. The proposed action is to approve the MOU and authorize the University’s officers to sign and implement the measures it outlines, along with counterparts at IU.

President Daniels then framed the proposal, its origins, and the road ahead. He observed that for some time, people have been calling for Purdue to up its game in Indianapolis. He shared that, with new leadership at IU and the openness of the IU Board of Trustees to a new model, an opportunity has been presented to move forward to the great benefit of the state and its capital city. The MOU outlines reassignment of certain mission responsibilities, but importantly it entails the separation of the institution into two distinct academic organizations. President Daniels proceeded to share a few highlights of the realignment contemplated by the MOU and the variety of ways it will benefit students, faculty, and Indiana businesses. President Daniels noted that the original 1970 agreement between Purdue and IU contemplated that there would be occasional reassignments of mission areas in Indianapolis. Following President Daniels’ comments, Chairman Berghoff called for a motion to approve the MOU and authorize the officers to move forward with related actions. Proper motion was then duly made by Gary Lehman and seconded by Vanessa Castagna.

Chairman Berghoff asked for additional comments or questions. Vice Chair Gary Lehman confirmed that this topic has been in discussion for quite some time, as the Board has long contemplated alternative structures that would make sense, better utilize Purdue’s capabilities, and better serve the Indianapolis area, students of Purdue and the citizens of Indiana. He applauded the leadership of both universities for getting us to the threshold of this historic opportunity.

At Chairman Berghoff’s request, Steve Schultz, general counsel, noted a few details of the timetable and what to expect going forward. He relayed that the MOU provides for a joint management team consisting of representatives of the two universities, which will continue coordinating the efforts of subject matter working groups that will identify the many issues to be covered and develop a realignment plan to address those issues. Consistent with the approach taken for IPFW in 2017, this plan will be captured in a set of definitive agreements, which will be brought to both boards in June 2023 for approval. This approval will be followed by a transition period of one year leading to a realignment effective date of July 1, 2024.

Trustee JoAnn Brouillette commended the two universities for coming together in this way, which speaks to their responsiveness to the wishes and needs of stakeholders in the Indianapolis business and civic community. She noted that, when this unified campus was envisioned 50 plus years ago, the idea of the city leaders in Indianapolis was to have a world-class research university to drive its economic growth. Now, with what we are doing today, Indianapolis is going to have two great research universities—each focusing on its particular strength. She noted she is looking forward to seeing what the future will bring for all the stakeholders who will be impacted by this development.

Trustee Sonny Beck agreed with these sentiments, noting that this will put Purdue on the cutting edge of development and research projects in Indianapolis in a way it has not been before. He expressed his confidence in that fact that this will especially create more opportunities for faculty at both universities to partner with corporate sponsors. He added that this will likely attract other companies to relocate to Indianapolis and elsewhere in Indiana. He also said that he is confident this will go a long way to addressing the shortage of talent Indiana has experienced in STEM and in the health care fields.

Trustee Vanessa Castagna expressed how much she is impressed with the strategic thinking behind this idea. IUPUI has served so well for so many years, but the more complex modern economy calls for a fresh approach, and a reimagining of how Purdue and IU can serve Indianapolis in better and stronger ways. She also expressed the need to give credit to our predecessors, both in the Indiana legislature and on both of the two boards of trustees, who had the foresight to anticipate that this kind of joint venture would need to evolve over time. She also gave credit to the current leadership for their willingness to embrace change and embrace a new model for the next 50 years.

Chairman Berghoff noted that the Fort Wayne experience from a few years ago demonstrates how much effort goes into a transformational plan like this. He shared that, although much work remains ahead, with many details to be determined, he is confident in the path forward, because the concept had been proven in Fort Wayne, and because Purdue has a partner in IU that shares this new vision for Indianapolis. On behalf of the full Board, he expressed eagerness to hear more updates as the opportunity is further developed.

Secretary Ream then conducted a roll call vote on the proposal. As evidenced by that vote, the Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the full Board, voted unanimously to approve the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning IUPUI. Supporting materials were filed with the minutes.


By consent, the meeting adjourned at 10:49 a.m.