Board of Trustees adds to presidential search committee

October 13, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees has added another person to the presidential search committee in an effort to ensure diversity interests and concerns are addressed in the selection of the university's next president.

Keith Krach, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the board has appointed Mark J.T. Smith, dean of the Graduate School and Michael J. and Katherine R. Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to the committee.

"Dr. Smith has experience at the highest levels of academic leadership, and he has great expertise and insight into issues of faculty research and graduate student instruction," Krach said. "Mark's appointment also adds expertise in recruiting and supporting diverse faculty, staff and students, and that applies to finding the next president as well."

Smith has a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in electrical engineering. After working on the faculty of Georgia Tech and serving as assistant to the president of the university, he joined Purdue's faculty as head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Smith was named dean of the Graduate School in 2009.

Smith is the principal investigator for the Midwest Crossroads Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate. AGEP's goal is to increase the number of domestic students who graduate with doctorates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities. He also is on the steering committee of ADVANCE-Purdue, a National Science Foundation-funded project that seeks to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty in science and engineering fields.

The Purdue presidential search committee has a website at that its members are using to advertise the position and solicit nominations. The site also lists committee members and the position description.

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, 765-496-2644,

Sources:   Keith Krach,
                    Mark J.T. Smith, 765-494-2604,