TO:              Executive Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments and Offices

FROM:          Deba Dutta, Provost

DATE:           December 1, 2014

RE:               Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Named


I am pleased to inform you that Alyssa Panitch has been appointed to the position of vice provost for faculty affairs. Alyssa is the Leslie A. Geddes Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Director for Deliberate Innovation for Faculty (DIFF) in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Alyssa was the first faculty entrepreneur-in-residence at the Burton D. Morgan Center and has been involved in launching three successful companies.

Alyssa joined Purdue’s faculty in 2006. She specializes in bio-organic chemistry and her research focuses on designing biomimetic and synthetic materials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She received her BA in Biochemistry from Smith College, and a BS in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

Alyssa will report directly to me in her new position as vice provost for faculty affairs, which becomes effective on January 1, 2015. Please help me congratulate her on her new appointment.

As we welcome Alyssa, I also wish to thank Laurel Weldon for her outstanding work as interim vice provost for faculty affairs. Laurel stepped into the position in July 2013 with enthusiasm and has been a strong advocate for the faculty. Among the many important tasks she handled, Laurel worked with Pam Nesbitt in Human Resources to launch the new Recruitment and Retention Center focused on dual-career faculty; created the office of the new faculty Ombudsperson; and led the drafting of a new promotions and tenure policy, which sits now before the University Senate. I have personally relied on her during my transition and wish her great success as she returns her attention to authoring a book and furthering her research.

On behalf of Purdue, I want to acknowledge the search committee chaired by Dean Mark Smith for their diligent work in interviewing and recommending candidates for this significant position. My gratitude goes as well to the faculty members who came forward and submitted their names for consideration.

The vice provost for faculty affairs provides strategic direction for a wide array of faculty-focused initiatives including recruitment, retention, resource allocation and faculty development. The area also oversees faculty hiring initiatives and faculty success and retention efforts, and also is responsible for faculty policies including grievances, conflict of interest and commitment, and promotion and tenure.