Purdue News

September 29, 2006

Trustees honor deans, professors; OK appointments, academic changes

HAMMOND, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees, meeting at Purdue Calumet, on Friday (Sept. 29) approved the appointments of the College of Liberal Arts' first named dean and three designated professors.

John J. Contreni
John J. Contreni was appointed the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. In addition, the trustees also ratified the appointment of Leah H. Jamieson as the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and approved her new position as the Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The trustees also approved Craig Svensson as the dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences, as well as a department name change within the School of Veterinary Medicine. A new dean, Larryl (pronounced Darryl with an L) K. Matthews, and a new program at Purdue North Central also were approved.

Diane K. Denis
The trustees approved three endowed faculty positions at the West Lafayette campus: Diane K. Denis as the Duke Realty Endowed Chair in Finance, Rao S. Govindaraju as the Christopher B. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering and Kinam Park as the Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Contreni was named the dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 2006 after serving as dean of the Graduate School from 2004-06 and interim dean from 2002-04. His appointment as dean of the College of Liberal Arts was originally announced June 2.

"Morrill was the great mind behind the College Land Grant Act, which created the foundation for universities such as Purdue," said Provost Sally Mason. "His dream was to open the doors of higher education to the American people, and he believed that land-grant universities should be engaged with Americans and become natural partners in our country's progress and development."

The act is now known as the Morrill Act in honor of the congressman's 1862 legislation.

"Liberal arts continues to create new ways to reflect Purdue's land-grant mission in endeavors that will advance society and solve a variety of technical and social problems," Mason said. "Justin Morrill's commitment to educational access and quality are well-characterized in the College of Liberal Arts' current programs."

Contreni was head of the Department of History from 1985-97 and interim head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures from 1983-85. From 1981-85, he served as assistant dean for the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, which is now the College of Liberal Arts. He has been at Purdue since 1971, and he earned his doctorate and master's degrees from Michigan State University in 1971 and 1968, respectively. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., in 1966. His specialty is the intellectual and cultural history of the age of Charlemagne.

Leah Jamieson
Jamieson, who was named the Ransburg Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2002, served as interim dean of the College of Engineering prior to her appointment as dean. Earlier this year, Jamieson's colleagues recommended she be elevated to the rank of distinguished professor, which is an action that requires approval by the board of trustees.

She also served as associate dean for undergraduate education and is the co-founder and past director of Purdue's Engineering Projects in Community Service, known as EPICS. She was recently elected to serve as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) 2007 president.

Jamieson, who joined the Purdue faculty in 1976, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University. Her appointment as dean was announced Aug. 2.

Craig Svensson
Svensson's appointment was announced Aug. 7 and is effective Oct. 1. A former administrator, he has been a pharmacy faculty member for more than 20 years at the University of Iowa and at Wayne State University. He was a member of the University of Iowa's executive committee for three years and served as head of the Division of Pharmaceutics and as the Lyle and Sharon Bighley Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences for three years.

He received his professional pharmacy degree, known as a doctor of pharmacy or Pharm. D., in clinical pharmacy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He received his doctorate in pharmaceutics from the State University of New York at Buffalo and served as a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacokinetics there.

Larryl K. Matthews
Matthews, the new dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Purdue North Central, earned his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1982. His master's and bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering are from New Mexico State University.

Matthews is an expert in radiation heat transfer, experiment design and solar energy, and is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is the author of more than 60 refereed publications, including a book entitled "Laser and Eye Safety in the Laboratory." Most recently he served as dean and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine. His Purdue North Central appointment was announced Aug. 30.

The designated professorships honor individuals, such as Denis, Govindaraju and Park, whose academic achievements have been internationally recognized or who have made a unique contribution to the university through scholarship, research, teaching or leadership functions. Purdue now has 123 designated professors.

"These three professors represent the finest in scholarship and teaching at Purdue," Mason said. "Not only have these individuals made a difference at Purdue, but they also have influenced their fields - from understanding corporate mergers and acquisitions, to preserving and maintaining water resources, to enhancing drug delivery."

Denis, whose teaching and research is in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, international corporate governance, executive compensation, and downsizing, is the senior associate dean for faculty and research in the Krannert School of Management. She earned her doctorate degree from the University of Michigan in 1990, her master's of business administration from Cranfield Institute of Technology in England in 1981, and her bachelor's degree in management from Oakland University in 1980. Before coming to Purdue in 1995, she was on faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Denis is a member of the American Finance Association, Financial Management Association and the Western Finance Association. She has served on editorial boards and provided journal reviews for more than 15 professional journals, including the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Corporate Finance. She also has published 20 research articles.

In 2005 she was inducted into Purdue's Teaching Academy, and she received the Salgo Noren MBA teaching award in 2004. She is co-editor of the book "Governance: An International Perspective."

Rao S. Govindaraju
Govindaraju (pronounced go-vinda-rah-juu) specializes in hydraulics and hydrology, fields in which engineers work to prevent floods; supply water for cities, industry and irrigation; treat wastewater; protect beaches; and manage and redirect rivers. Govindaraju has special research interests in surface and subsurface hydrology, contaminant transport and watershed hydrology.

He earned the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1984, a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1986 and a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis, in 1989. He went to Kansas State University as an assistant professor in 1993 and was promoted to associate professor in 1996. Govindaraju came to Purdue in 1997 and was promoted to full professor in 2001.

He has co-authored three books, a dozen book chapters and more than 80 refereed journal articles. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals and is currently the Surface Water Section Editor of ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. He has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Civil Engineers Walter L. Huber Research Prize in 2005.

Kinam Park
Park, a professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Pharmacy, received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1975 from Seoul National University in Korea, and a doctorate in pharmaceutics from the University of Wisconsin in 1983. After two years of postdoctoral training in chemical engineering at the same university, Park came to Purdue in 1986 and was promoted to full professor in 1994. Since 1998 he has had a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Controlled Release and a member of the editorial boards of 12 journals. Park has received several awards and honors, including a New Investigator Research Award in 1986 from the National Institutes of Health and a Founders Award from the Controlled Release Society in 2004. He is currently serving as a member of the NIH Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences study section.

His research focuses on the use of various polymers and materials called hydrogels for controlled drug delivery. His current work includes development of new microencapsulation methods for drug delivery and layer-by-layer coating methods for making arterial stents that dispense medications. He has published more than 200 journal articles, and co-authored and co-edited six books in the area of controlled drug delivery.

In other business, the trustees also approved changing the name of the School of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Veterinary Pathobiology to the Department of Comparative Pathobiology. Comparative pathobiology is the study of disease phenomena basic to all species at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population and ecosystem levels. The name more accurately reflects the learning and discovery activities of the department and the expertise and training of its graduate students and faculty, Mason said.

The board also ratified a new a master's of science in international studies degree program at Purdue North Central. This program is geared for students interested in international issues and problems from the perspective of a number of academic disciplines in humanities, business and social sciences.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709, sfmason@purdue.edu

John Contreni, (765) 494-3661, contreni@purdue.edu

Leah H. Jamieson, (765) 494-5346, lhj@purdue.edu

Craig Svensson, (765) 494-1368, svensson@purdue.edu

Larryl K. Matthews, (219) 785-5297, lmatthews@pnc.edu

Diane K. Denis, (765) 494-8265, diane@purdue.edu

Rao S. Govindaraju, (765) 496-3402, govind@purdue.edu

Kinam Park, (765) 494-7759, kpark@purdue.edu

Kevin Doerr, director of alumni relations and public affairs for the School of Veterinary Medicine, (765) 494-8216, doerrkr@purdue.edu

Carol Connelly, director of media and communication services at Purdue North Central, (219) 785-5267, cconnelly@pnc.purdue.edu

Related Web sites:
Speech: President Jischke's comments to the board of trustees

Related news releases:
Trustees authorize sale of land, modernization of dining services

Advanced manufacturing funding included in Purdue's budget request

Purdue names new dean for College of Engineering

University of Iowa pharmacy division head named Purdue dean

History professor named dean of College of Liberal Artsl


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