February 5, 2021

Purdue trustees ratify faculty positions, approve new degree programs, award posthumous degree, honor friends of the university

Note to Journalists: Photos are available on Google Drive. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

pittendrigh-barry Barry Pittendrigh

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Feb. 5) ratified two faculty positions, approved three new degree programs and awarded a posthumous bachelor’s degree. Trustees also issued resolutions of appreciation for friends of the university.

The ratified faculty positions are Barry Pittendrigh as the John V. Osmun Chair in Urban Entomology and Margo Monteith as a Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences, both on the West Lafayette campus.

Pittendrigh rejoined the Purdue faculty as a tenured full professor of entomology in January, returning to West Lafayette from Michigan State University. His research spans many aspects of insect toxicology, genomics and entomology and has made an impact on insect theoretical genetics, ecology and molecular biology. Pittendrigh previously served as an assistant and associate professor at Purdue from 2000-08, during which time he led the Indiana Center for Insect Genomics and the body louse genome project, an NIH-funded collaboration of over 60 labs. After Purdue, he moved on to the University of Illinois and Michigan State, where he held endowed and named professorships, respectively. He has received over $30 million in grant funding, including two grants in excess of $10 million, and has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications. Pittendrigh leads an innovative program in outreach and public education focused on multilingual tools, and boasts a strong track record as an educator and a student mentor.

monteith-margo Margo Monteith

Monteith is an internationally renowned expert on diversity, inclusion, stereotyping and prejudice reduction who has served as a full professor at Purdue since 2006. Her pioneering research has investigated the self-regulation of prejudice, strategies and processes of change in implicit stereotyping and prejudice, and effective strategies for confronting prejudice. She has translated her theory to practice by developing interventions to reduce behavioral manifestation of biases and to improve the sense of belonging among marginalized groups. Her research is consistently published in the highest impact journals in her field, and she serves as editor-in-chief of “Social Psychological and Personality Science.” She also has served on executive committees of professional societies and as president of the Midwestern Psychological Association. She is a Fellow of five professional organizations and has received numerous grants to address pressing social issues, including female underrepresentation in positions of power and leadership, the implications of diversity and inclusion for science and society, and student inclusion on the college campus. Monteith received the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Research Career Achievement Award in 2019.

In other action, the board approved three new degree programs: Online Master of Nuclear Engineering on the West Lafayette campus, and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and Master’s Degree in Music Therapy, both on the Fort Wayne campus beginning in fall 2021. Trustees also approved the restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Professional Studies at Fort Wayne.

The Online Master of Nuclear Engineering degree is designed for working engineers and professionals to advance their skills without disrupting their careers, offering flexible plans of study with a format that allows students to study from their location. The School of Nuclear Engineering joins several other schools in the Purdue College of Engineering that offer online master’s degree programs, including Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice will allow Purdue Fort Wayne to respond to increased student interest in this important area. The degree is designed to prepare students to work in the major areas of criminal justice including policing, courts and corrections.

The Master’s Degree in Music Therapy will prepare students academically and clinically for board certification as a music therapist through the Certification Board for Music Therapists and for entry into the health care field as a clinical music therapist with advanced level clinical skills. Employers are increasingly showing preference for music therapists with a master’s degree when hiring.

The restructuring at Fort Wayne results in an academic organization aligned with the separate colleges of science, colleges of liberal arts, and colleges of education at Purdue West Lafayette. The creation of the College of Liberal Arts and College of Science, as well as the elimination of the College of Professional Studies at Purdue Fort Wayne, will result in a structure that students will more easily identify with and that is more robust for future growth and engagement with corporate and community partners.

Trustees awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Science degree in computer graphics technology from Purdue Polytechnic New Albany to Amber Simler. Deceased students who have earned at least 85% of their credit-hour requirements and satisfied most of the requirements for a major may be nominated for a posthumous degree.

Additionally, the board approved resolutions of appreciation for retiring Purdue director of audits Peggy L. Fish and for those who recently contributed $1 million or more to the university. Appreciation goes to David and Bonnie Brunner, to support College of Veterinary Medicine; Joanne Troutner, to support Purdue University, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, Purdue Research Foundation, the College of Agriculture, College of Liberal Arts, College of Veterinary Medicine, Convocations and Intercollegiate Athletics; William Phillips, to support the College of Science; Suzanne Robertson, to support the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; David Burow and Suzanne Sweeney, to support the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Valerie McKinney, to support the School of Management; Alexander and Helena Galezewski, to support Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation; Michael and Carol Sohn; to support Purdue Bands & Orchestras and the College of Engineering; the estate of Jon Taenzer, to support the College of Science; and one anonymous gift, to support the College of Health and Human Sciences.

In recognizing these donors, trustees further approved the naming of the forthcoming David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex. The board also approved the naming of Dr. Jon C. Taenzer Floor in the Chaney-Hale Hall of Science. Taenzer received his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1964.

As construction and fund-raising continues for Marc and Sharon Hagle Hall, trustees approved an increase to the authorized budget for the facility from $20 million to $22 million. The project cost is entirely covered by gift funds.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Sources: Jay Akridge, akridge@purdue.edu

Chris Ruhl, ruhlc@purdue.edu

Mike Cline, mbcline@purdue.edu

April Heady, ADHeaddy@prf.org

Barry Pittendrigh, pittendr@purdue.edu

Margo Monteith, mmonteit@purdue.edu 

Journalists visiting campus: Journalists should follow Protect Purdue protocols and the following guidelines:

  • Campus is open, but the number of people in spaces may be limited. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you may be asked to step out or report from another location.
  • To enable access, particularly to campus buildings, we recommend you contact the Purdue News Service media contact listed on the release to let them know the nature of the visit and where you will be visiting. A News Service representative can facilitate safe access and may escort you on campus.
  • Correctly wear face masks inside any campus building, and correctly wear face masks outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.