Purdue President Steven C. Beering announced today (Wednesday, 10/1) that Burke will give up his university position to become vice president for human resources at Inland Steel Industries, the parent company of Inland Steel Co. where Burke was a vice president before taking the Purdue job.
"I will be leaving my job here, but I will not leave Purdue," Burke said. "I will always be a Boilermaker. I love this university, and I will remain fully involved as an alumnus and as a person who will serve the institution in whatever capacity I can. I feel very good about what we have accomplished so far, and I regret that I won't be here for the completion of some very exciting projects, but there is never going to be a good time to leave this job. Right now, we have an excellent staff that is functioning at a very high level, so whoever succeeds me will have outstanding support.
"I came to Purdue expecting to stay seven to 10 years. I was not planning to leave at this time, but Inland approached me with a very big challenge that meshes perfectly with my long-term career goals. I am the kind of person who seeks challenges, and after a lot of soul searching, I have decided that this is the time for me to move on."
Beering said: "Morgan Burke has brought energy, excitement and excellence to all aspects of Purdue athletics. In a very short time, he became recognized as a national leader among athletic directors because he is a highly skilled manager, a great motivator and a person who cares deeply about the welfare of student athletes. On Purdue's behalf, I deeply regret that he is leaving, but as a friend, I am very pleased that he has been given such a significant opportunity."
The president said he expects Burke to remain in full charge of Purdue athletics at least into the first quarter of 1998. "In addition to his normal management responsibilities, I have asked Morgan to continue his leadership of the fund-raising campaign for a new aquatics center and Recreational Gymnasium renovation and to focus on the university's NCAA reaccreditation," Beering said.
Robert J. Darnall, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Inland Steel Industries, said: "Morgan made significant contributions to the company during his tenure, and I am pleased to have him return with the additional experience he gained at Purdue."
Burke's leadership of Boilermaker athletics has stressed competitive success and high academic standards. Purdue teams had the best overall rate of performance improvement in the Big Ten during his tenure. At the same time, the average grade index for student athletes improved from 2.63 to 2.80. Varsity athletes' current average grade index of 2.80 nearly matches that of the student body (2.82).
One of Burke's priorities has been to bring Purdue into compliance with NCAA gender equity standards. Purdue added women's softball as a varsity sport in 1990 and women's soccer, which will field a team next year.
Financial support for athletic programs -- which are fully self-supporting -- also is on the increase under Burke's administration. During the past year, marketing revenues have increased 17 percent; total annual giving to athletic programs has gone up more than 14 percent; and the John Purdue Club, which supports athletic scholarships and other sports programs, has gone past 6,000 members, a 40 percent growth since January 1993.
Burke also has led a major effort to improve facilities. One of the two 18-hole courses in the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex is being rebuilt by renowned designer Pete Dye, and the other course has been upgraded. The $7 million project, which is being carried out in partnership with Purdue's School of Agriculture, is being funded entirely with private contributions.
A new Jumbotron video screen was added to Ross-Ade Stadium this fall, and Burke has launched a campaign to raise funds for a new aquatics center and improvements to the university's Recreational Gymnasium. This year, the basketball floor in Mackey Arena was replaced, and the volleyball floor in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility was renovated.
Burke also led the effort to launch the Purdue Athletic Hall of Fame, which inducted its fourth class last week.
A native of Indianapolis, Burke captained the swim team at Purdue, where he earned a bachelor's degree in management in 1973 and a master's in 1975. In 1980, he graduated from Chicago's John Marshall Law School.
Before his appointment as athletic director, Burke spent 17 years with Inland Steel Co.'s Indiana Harbor Works, where he became vice president for operating and administrative services. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Indiana Bar Association.
Burke's wife, Kate, is a pharmacist who received her degree from Purdue in 1974. They have three children. A daughter, Joyce, is a sophomore at Purdue; a son, Morgan, plans to enroll next fall; and a son, Patrick, is a fifth-grader at Burtsfield Elementary School in West Lafayette.
Source: Morgan Burke, (765) 494-3189
Writer: Greg Zawisza, (765) 494-2086; e-mail, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
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