December 2018 Provost's Message

Provost Jay

Happy Holidays!

Dear Colleagues, 

While finals week is here and December Commencement is coming up on Sunday, there does not seem to be much slowdown in campus activity. Class projects to wrap up, exams to be given (and taken), research articles to get back in review before the end of the year, grant deadlines, interviewing candidates for our vice provost for diversity and inclusion position ... and on Tuesday afternoon, we will induct our new class of 45 extraordinary educators into the Purdue Book of Great Teachers. It all seems a fitting finale to a semester full of accomplishment ... including kicking off our 150th anniversary celebration, Giant Leaps, and all of the work so many of you have done to successfully launch the Business Process Engineering project in January. 

With winter upon us, the heat of August and the start of our academic year seems a long time ago. And I can’t possibly recap all that you have accomplished since we welcomed our largest freshman class to Purdue — leading to a record enrollment of undergraduates at West Lafayette. Driven in part by increased demand for our online MS offerings, our graduate student enrollment also hit a record this fall. More importantly, because of all you do in and out of the classroom to support the success of our students, they are graduating from Purdue at historically high rates. There are many more metrics that could be shared to characterize the momentum we have as a university, including record levels of sponsored program/research funding and philanthropy.

But beyond the numbers, as I have completed my first year without “interim” in front of my title, the most rewarding part of my role has been to see firsthand (and literally every day) the spirit and pride that permeates our University. From conversations with students about instructors, advisors and mentors who have made an impact on their lives, to service award ceremonies where staff and faculty talk about why they have stayed at Purdue 40, 45, 50 years, to Board of Trustees meetings where newly ratified distinguished professors share their passion for research and teaching, to the profound and humbling grace and gratitude expressed by Purdue student Tyler Trent — inspirational stories about the difference being made by each of you abound. 

So, as we approach the holidays, I just wanted to take a moment and express my deepest thanks for the work each of you does every day to make Purdue one of the world’s great universities. It is a true privilege to serve as your provost and chief diversity officer. I wish you, and your families and friends, the very best of this special time of year, and really can’t wait to see what you will do to take our University the proverbial “one brick higher” in the spring. 

All the best, 


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