August 18, 2021

Purdue University Global chancellor honored for transformational work in undergraduate experience

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As Purdue University’s former senior vice provost for teaching and learning, Frank Dooley helped redesign the classroom learning environment for greater student success. He led the creation of IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation), a research-based course transformation and faculty development program that transforms traditional lecture courses into student-centered active-learning environments. He also led the effort for Think Summer, a program creating more opportunities for students to enroll in summer offerings to help them potentially graduate on time or early – and save money.

It is that kind of innovative thinking that led Purdue President Mitch Daniels to appoint Dooley as chancellor for Purdue University Global in March 2020. And it has led to a major award for Dooley and Purdue’s undergraduate education.

Dooley has been selected as a recipient of the EDGE Commendation for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, along with Martha Maria Chavez Brummel, president and CEO of Catch the Next Ascender Program for Student and Institutional Advancement in Texas Community Colleges, and the University of Kentucky’s Leveraging Economic Affordability for Developing Student Success Program. The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education will confer the awards during a virtual national convening on Oct. 22.

“I am deeply humbled and thrilled to accept this honor on behalf of a great many people,” Dooley said. “This is well beyond me. The classroom experience has seen needed and significant change in recent years, even before, but exacerbated by the pandemic. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to expand some of the benefits of these changes through Purdue Global, which is opening many new doors for online learners and making a difference in so many lives.”

Under Dooley’s leadership, Purdue Global has become a nimble, timely, highly relevant institution helping “nontraditional” students learn about and respond to today’s critical issues. The online university is reaching out to a population of students, primarily adult learners, who otherwise might never have completed their college degrees.

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Over the last year, Purdue Global has launched a free contact-tracing course to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, added four new micro-credentials (Law Enforcement’s Role in Society and Social Change; Leading Law Enforcement Reform; Diversity; and Social Problems, Prevention and Crisis Intervention), and been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (sponsored by The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency).

Starting in 2011, IMPACT – Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation – has transitioned numerous classrooms at Purdue from traditional lecture style to a more hands-on, immersive setting. This could include small-group discussion, projects and various ways to engage students. More than 700 unique Purdue courses have been transformed, with more than 400 faculty participating, and all Purdue colleges represented.

In the Think Summer program, Purdue has increased its summer course offerings to more than 800, including many online. The program has allowed students to save substantially on college costs. As students seek out more scheduling options, Think Summer provides flexibility through such programs as Early Start for incoming first-year students, and Summer Finish for students wishing to complete their degree during the summer session.

During Dooley’s tenure as senior vice provost, the Purdue West Lafayette four-year graduation rate climbed 15 percentage points from 46% to 61%. His ideas and initiatives that were created, implemented, and institutionalized are recognized as primary contributors to this dramatic improvement in student success.

The Edge Awards are in recognition of Russ Edgerton, former president of the American Association for Higher Education and senior program officer for the PEW Charitable Trusts, for his vision, big-picture thinking and contributions to improving undergraduate education. These awards celebrate a distinguished contribution to improving undergraduate student success. The honor is given annually.

About Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers personalized online education tailored to the unique needs of adults who have work or life experience beyond the classroom, enabling them to develop essential academic and professional skills with the support and flexibility they need to achieve their career goals. It offers personalized paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, desired pace, military service, previous college credits and other considerations – no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is affiliated with Purdue University’s flagship institution, a highly ranked public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University also operates regional campuses in Fort Wayne and Northwest Indiana, as well as serving science, engineering and technology students at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. For more information, visit

Media Contact, Purdue Global: Tom Schott, 765-427-1721

Media Contact, Gardner Institute: Katie Locke, 828.210.2408,

Source: Frank Dooley

Note to journalists: Photos of Frank Dooley are available on Google Drive.

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