Trustees ratify appointments, approve new degree programs

July 20, 2012

Timothy Sands

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (July 20) ratified appointments of top administrators at the West Lafayette and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campuses.

Trustees also confirmed the appointments of two named professors, approved three new degree programs and ratified the appointments of several regional campus administrators.

Victor Lechtenberg

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The board ratified Timothy D. Sands as acting president of Purdue and Victor Lechtenberg as acting vice president for academic affairs and provost. Sands, who has been at Purdue since 2002 and served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost since 2010, will be acting president until January when Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. becomes the university's 12th president. Lechtenberg has held several key leadership positions over four decades at Purdue, including interim provost from 2007-2008. He will be acting provost until January.

Sands and Lechtenberg have served in their respective new positions since July 16.

Vicky L. Carwein

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Vicky L. Carwein (pronounced CAR-wine) was ratified as chancellor of IPFW, effective Sept. 1. Carwein is chancellor at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland, Wash. Prior to that, she served as president at Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., and chancellor at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Carwein also served at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, beginning as an instructor before leaving 23 years later as dean of the College of Health Sciences.

She earned bachelor's and doctoral degrees in nursing from Indiana University-Indianapolis (now IUPUI) and her master's degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco.

Trustees also approved the IPFW appointments of Walter J. Branson as acting chancellor and Steven T. Sarratore as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Walter Branson

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Branson, who began serving as acting chancellor on July 1, has been vice chancellor for financial affairs at IPFW since 1993. As chief financial officer, Branson is responsible for the budgetary and financial control of the campus. He directs the operations of six departments employing more than 280 people; serves as the campus public records officer; and oversees the operation of the Indiana–Purdue Foundation at Fort Wayne. He received his bachelor's degree from Purdue and worked for 15 years in several positions at Purdue's West Lafayette campus before coming to IPFW.

Steven Sarratore

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Sarratore, who has been at IPFW since 1986, is associate vice chancellor for academic programs. He also is a professor of theater. His previous assignments have included chair of the theater department, interim chair of the music department, and interim dean of visual and performing arts. Prior to IPFW, he was on the faculty at Ashland University. He earned his MFA degree from Wayne State University.

Trustees also ratified David Radcliffe as Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Arvind Varma as the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of Chemical Engineering, both at the West Lafayette campus.

Radcliffe, who has been at Purdue since 2007, was named associate head of the school in January 2009 and interim head in July 2009. He has served as head of the School of Engineering Education since 2010. He also has served as the Epistemology Professor of Engineering Education and chair of the graduate program.

His research interests include interdisciplinary research methods in engineering education, design thinking and engineering knowledge creation, engineering design and design management in industry, sustainable systems design, and professional formation of engineers in practice.

David Radcliffe

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Radcliffe came to Purdue after 18 years at the University of Queensland in Australia. He has worked at various other universities and with industry in both Australia and the United States. He founded the Catalyst Research Centre for Society and Technology to create solutions to complex social and technological challenges facing industry and the community by considering both social science and engineering aspects. Radcliffe was named the inaugural National Teaching Fellow of 1994 in Australia and the first Australian Boeing Welliver Fellow.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Queensland and a doctorate in bioengineering from Strathclyde University in Scotland.

Varma is the R. Games Slayter Distinguished Professor and head of the School of Chemical Engineering and came to Purdue in 2004. Before that he was on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, beginning in 1975, serving as chair from 1982-1988 and as the inaugural Arthur J. Schmitt Professor from 1988-2003. He was founder and director of the Center for Molecularly Engineered Materials at Notre Dame. He also has worked as a senior research engineer for Union Carbide Corp.

Arvind Varma

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A fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has co-authored three books and is founding editor of the Cambridge University Press series in chemical engineering.

Varma's research interests are in chemical and catalytic reaction engineering, new energy sources and synthesis of advanced materials. He has written more than 265 archival journal research publications in these areas.

He earned his bachelor's degree from Panjab University, India, his master's degree from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

In other business, trustees approved a bachelor's degree program in environmental and ecological engineering for the West Lafayette campus, a bachelor's degree program in technical communication at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and a bachelor's degree program in applied computer science at IUPUI.

No new state funding is being requested for any of the programs and no additional learning resources are necessary. All three programs are scheduled to begin this fall and require approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

The goal of the environmental and ecological engineering program is to prepare graduates for employment in those fields or to continue education in an advanced degree program or a related field, Lechtenberg said.

"A distinguishing feature of the program is the interdisciplinary approach and the contributions from faculty across several disciplines of engineering," Lechtenberg said. "Complex modern environmental problems cannot be solved by traditional environmental engineering alone, and require contributions, change in design practices and altered problem-solving approaches across engineering disciplines."

Lechtenberg said the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in environmental engineering will grow much faster than average, with the addition of almost 17,000 jobs by 2018. Growth in employment in the field in Indiana is expected to be equivalent or better than national projections, he said.

The technical communication degree is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level technical communications work or graduate work in technical communication or related fields. It also is geared toward students who want a double major, pursue work in a technical field relevant to technical communication, and people in mid-career who want to upgrade their skills.

Technical communication is a growing, dynamic field as technology becomes more complex and specialized, Lechtenberg said.

Preparing students for jobs in the computer science and information technology field is the objective of the applied computer science program.

Lechtenberg said computer science is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy in Indiana and the nation. In 2008 and 2010, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development listed computer software engineer as the top job on the "Hot 50 Hoosier Job" list, he said. Two other IT industry positions requiring a bachelor's degree also were on the list.

Thomas F. Brady Jr.

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Trustees also ratified the appointment of Thomas F. Brady as dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Purdue University North Central, Jane F. Mutchler as dean of the School of Management and professor of accounting with tenure at Purdue University Calumet, and Regina Biddings-Muro as interim vice chancellor for advancement at Purdue University Calumet.

Brady, who is already serving as dean, has been on the faculty at PNC since 1998, most recently as professor of industrial engineering. Prior to that he was executive director of the Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises at the Krannert School of Management.

His teaching and research interests are in industrial engineering and operations research, including computer simulation, optimization and process improvement.

Brady earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate at Purdue.

Jane F. Mutchler

Mutchler, whose appointment is effective Aug. 1, was most recently associate dean for academic planning and programs at Georgia State University. She also was the Ernst & Young-J.W. Holloway Memorial Alumni Professor of Accounting. She had been at Georgia State since 1999, and also served as director of the School of Accountancy.

Before that she taught at Pennsylvania State University from 1991-1997, the University of Arizona from 1989-1991 and at Ohio State University from 1982-1989.

She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of South Florida and her doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Regina Biddings-Muro

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Biddings-Muro is executive assistant to the chancellor for engagement at Purdue Calumet. She began working at Purdue Calumet in 2004 after working several years in corporate communications and broadcast journalism.

She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue Calumet.

In other business, the trustees approved resolutions of appreciation for committees that spearheaded the searches for Purdue's new president and a new chancellor at IPFW.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

Sources:  Timothy D. Sands,

                  Victor Lechtenberg,

                  Susan Alderman, media director at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, 260-481-6165,  

                  Vicky L. Carwein,

                  Walter Branson, 260-481-6804, 

                  Steven Sarratore, 260-481-6116,

                  David Radcliffe, 765-494-3884,

                  Arvind Varma, 765-494-4075,

                  Wesley Lukoshus, assistant vice chancellor for advancement 219-989-2217,

                  Thomas F. Brady Jr., 219-785-5456,

                  Jane F. Mutchler, 404-413-7011,

                  Regina Biddings-Muro, 219-989-2552,