Trustees approve new guidelines for promotion and tenure to highlight mentoring

October 9, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 9) approved the faculty promotion and tenure policy for the West Lafayette campus.

The board also approved changing the name of a department in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and revised criteria for nominating and approving honorary doctorate candidates.

The board approved revisions to the promotion and tenure criteria for faculty on the West Lafayette campus to include documentation of involvement in student mentoring, undergraduate research experience and pedagogical innovations.

Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, told board members that the most recent document reflected changes proposed by a team of three faculty members from the Senate Faculty Affairs Committee and his office.

The approved document highlights “an active role in mentoring, advising and supporting the academic success of students and postdoctoral scientists” as part of the tenure and promotion process. The approved document also states that “Accomplishment in discovery may also extend to guided inclusion of undergraduate students in faculty research activity that results in published work, scholarly presentations, patents and entrepreneurial activity.”

The board also approved changing the name of the Department of Aviation Technology in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute to the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. This action recognizes the continuing evolution of both the current and future scope of this academic area. Within the last year, the department has experienced growth in both the academic and operations sides.

Its list of undergraduate majors has grown to seven, including new offerings in unmanned aerial systems and aerospace financial analysis. The academic enhancements are complemented by increased industry participation as a part of the new Purdue Research Park Aerospace district, which expanded the school’s ability to create research and other industry partnerships with the local fixed-base operator - now called Purdue Aviation - into the curriculum.

“The designation as a school enhances the visibility of the education and research conducted by our faculty, and encourages shared resources for greater sponsored research and engagement opportunities to benefit students, faculty and partners,” Dean Gary Bertoline said.

The school has also created the Industry-Purdue Opportunity Pipeline, or iPop, which connects students in the aviation programs with a wide variety of aviation companies.

“The iPOP academic model allows us to work closely with associated industry partners to maximize educational and financial benefits for both academia and industry. The model combines a transformative, affordable and accessible educational experience, leadership in the STEM disciplines, and world-changing engagement and research,” Bertoline said. “iPop embodies one aspect of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s transformed learning experience.” 

In addition, trustees approved revising the criteria for honorary doctorate candidates and the procedures to nominate and approve candidates.

Those eligible to be considered for a honorary doctorate can be former Purdue students, faculty or staff or others who meet one or more of the following criteria: academic accomplishments and sustained achievements of distinction; impact and contributions to the community, nation or humanity; national/global recognition of leadership in one’s field; commitment, involvement and leadership toward the advancement of Purdue; and distinguished service to the university or state. All nominations will go through an internal process at each campus prior to the president making formal nominations for consideration and approval by the Board of Trustees.

Trustees also approved a request from President Mitch Daniels to extend the term of College of Health and Human Sciences Dean Christine Ladisch an additional two years.

Sources: Gary Bertoline, 
               Deba Dutta,


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