sealPurdue News

June 7, 2002

Trustees approve new faculty designations, dean, academic programs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Board of Trustees today (Friday, 6/7) honored three professors on the West Lafayette campus, ratified a new dean on the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus and approved two new bachelor of science degrees in industrial technology.

Ray Bressan, a professor of horticulture, and Anant Ramdas, a professor of physics, have been honored with distinguished professorships in their respective fields, while Robert D. Plante has been appointed the James Brooke Henderson Professor of Management in the Krannert School of Management.

"These professorships are the highest honors to be achieved in an academic career," said Purdue Provost Sally Frost Mason. "They are critical to the university's goal of preeminence in the areas of basic and applied sciences."

Bressan is internationally recognized for his research into the physiology and molecular biology of salt and water stress on plants and disease resistance toxins. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Illinois State University in 1972 and a doctorate in plant physiology from Colorado State University in 1975.

Ray Bressan

He joined the faculty of Purdue's School of Agriculture in 1978 after completing two years of postdoctoral research at Michigan State University. A prolific researcher, Bressan has collaborated with public and private laboratories across the United States and Europe, as well as Israel, Japan, China, Korea and Mexico. His own laboratory at Purdue has sponsored 41 postdoctoral scholars and 14 doctoral students, and provides hands-on research experience for undergraduates.

Ramdas is described by colleagues as a "world-class expert" in the spectroscopy of crystals, including semiconductors and their quantum well structures. Results of his research have appeared in 249 publications in refereed journals. Educated at Poona University (bachelor's degree in 1950) and the Raman Research Institute (master's and doctoral degrees in 1953 and 1956, respectively) in India, Ramdas joined Purdue's Department of Physics in 1960 after completing four years of postdoctoral work on the West Lafayette campus.

Ramdas has been named the first Lark-Horovitz Distinguished Professor of Physics. The professorship is named for Karl Lark-Horovitz, who served as head of the physics department from 1929 to 1958.

Anant Ramdas

He is a fellow in the American Physical Society, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Optical Society of America and the American Vacuum Society. He has held individual National Science Foundation research grants continuously since 1968.

Ramdas was the Alexander von Humbolt Foundation Senior U.S. Scientist Award winner for 1977-78 and won the Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society in 1994. He was named the Raman Professor of the Indian Academy of Sciences for 1994-95. Purdue presented him with the Herbert Newby McCoy Award in 1994 and the Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award in 2001.

Plante, a senior associate dean in the Krannert School of Management, joined the Krannert faculty in 1980 upon completing a doctorate in business administration at the University of Georgia. He earned his undergraduate degree in physics from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1970.

Robert D. Plante

During his career at Purdue, Plante has served as the director of professional master's programs in management and the director of doctoral programs and research in management and economics. He served on the editorial boards of 15 professional journals and won three teaching awards in graduate management education.

Plante's research interests include the development of state-of-the-art statistical quality control and improvement models and procedures for contemporary and futuristic manufacturing systems. He is the author of more than 50 refereed research publications in his field. He is the second Krannert faculty member to hold the James Brooke Henderson Professorship.

The new appointments bring the number of distinguished professors at Purdue to 52 and the number of named professors to 26.

The trustees also ratified the appointment of Marc J. Lipman as the new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, effective July 1. He replaces Dean Van Coufoudakis, who will retire at the end of this month.

Lipman, who is currently the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., served as a professor of mathematics on the IPFW campus from 1976 to 1991. He earned his bachelor's degree from Lake Forest College in 1971 and received master's and doctoral degrees from Dartmouth College in 1973 and 1976, respectively.

Marc J. Lipman

The board also endorsed proposals to offer bachelor of science degrees in industrial technology at Purdue North Central and at eight of the university's statewide technology locations. If approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, students could begin enrolling in the North Central program in the fall of 2003. The new degree programs at Anderson, Columbus, Kokomo, Lafayette, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend/Elkhart and Versailles would begin accepting students in the fall of 2004.

Finally, the board awarded posthumous degrees to former students Sean Keeley and Jeremy Paul Francis. Keeley had completed 85 percent of the coursework for an associate degree in electrical engineering technology at the time of his death, while Francis had completed 89 percent of the credits required for a bachelor's degree in financial planning and counseling.

Writer: Sharon A. Bowker, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Sally Frost Mason, (765) 494-9709,

Ray Bressan, (765) 494-1336,

Anant Ramdas, (765) 494-3028,

Robert Plante, (765) 494-4364,

Marc J. Lipman, (248) 370-3426,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of Ray Bressan, Anant Ramdas, Robert D. Plante and Marc J. Lipman are available at,, and

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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