President Mung Chiang’s Inaugural Message
January 1, 2023
It is the highest and most humbling honor to serve as the president of Purdue University, the most remarkable land-grant institution in the land of the free.
Over the past 10 years, President Daniels, the Board of Trustees and an outstanding team have built Purdue into the most consequential public university in the United States. Our university attained its strongest academic reputation, achieving record-breaking student success and all-time-high research excellence while completing the Ever True campaign and a campus transformation. Purdue led the country in safely reopening during the pandemic, and announced an Indianapolis campus and a new School of Business post-pandemic. Mitch Daniels is also regarded as the most innovative president in America, pioneering a tuition freeze for affordability, a new vision for a 21st-century land-grant through Purdue Global, and Discovery Park District at Purdue for economic growth in Indiana. The exciting momentum of the Daniels Decade will continue.
On June 10 last year, I pledged to keep learning from you in preparing myself to serve so many inspiring and dedicated talents on our multiple campuses. Since then, I have had opportunities to listen to many of you, through hundreds of hours of faculty sessions, brainstorming with students and staff, college-by-college roundtables, visits to residence halls and lunch at dining courts, ice cream socials with community leaders, statewide Extension visits across many counties in Indiana, and alumni gatherings throughout the country and the world. Each conversation added insight and further deepened my appreciation of the Old Gold and Black.
As an immigrant living the American dream and as a citizen of the greatest nation in human history, I am grateful to serve in higher education, the best hope for freedom and opportunity. Our university creates the time when many lives are lifted by access and success across differences in background and perspectives. Our university preserves a place that welcomes the best minds in pursuit of open inquiry. Our university will continue to elevate and become one of the most preeminent universities in the world. It takes a village, and each day is a reminder of our shared sense of purpose, despite seismic changes coming to the modality and impact of residential education, online learning and university research.
Fueled by a sense of urgency, we got right to work today and will report actions to you in the coming days, skipping any investiture ceremony. The only “ceremony” in the months ahead will be my previewing a new sophomore course and relay running to raise funds for student organizations on April 26, the 2023 Purdue Day of Giving. My family will then host a cookout that evening at Westwood for community members with young children.
Rooted on the banks of the Wabash, our community is where scholars debate and collaborate, ideas battle and blossom, and knowledge is brilliantly created and broadly disseminated. Nowhere else are talents, careers and knowledge co-generated at larger scales or with a higher quality. To Purdue’s unique combination of excellence and values, generations of Boilermakers have been ever true. When confronted with challenges, Boilermakers act with optimism. When tempted by complacency, Boilermakers choose to aim higher and touch the face of the moon.
In the decades ahead, let us keep innovating across all units and keep excelling at scale – one brick at a time, toward boundless potential in the Boilermaker future.
Hail our Purdue, and happy New Year!
Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering