sealPurdue Letter from the President

October 2001

We spent the last few weeks of October making changes and putting final touches on the new strategic plans for the University’s West Lafayette, Calumet, North Central and Fort Wayne campuses.

The Board of Trustees gave its final approval on November 2. These strategic plans will enable the University to serve its students and the people of Indiana even better than it has in the past. Five years from now, Purdue will be a better institution in every way -- better focused, better funded, better positioned to serve the people of Indiana and more accountable.

The plans are the result of intense effort on all Purdue campuses. Although key administrators and senior faculty members led the process, people representing all areas of the University participated on the committees. Open forums to discuss the plans drew hundreds of faculty, staff and students. Because of this open process, there is tremendous excitement at Purdue about the future. These plans are the beginning of a new era that will take the University to a new level of excellence.

I am enclosing a brochure that summarizes the plan for West Lafayette. I hope that you will have the opportunity to examine it and that you will let me know if you have any questions or comment.

These strategic plans focus on very specific objectives. Purdue wants to be a preeminent university, leading the world in the basic sciences, engineering and technology, while getting better in everything it does. We will achieve this through:

• Enhanced learning opportunities for students, including a better student-faculty ratio and less reliance on graduate teaching assistants and temporary faculty.

• Greater research capacity.

• More intense engagement with the state, especially for economic development.

Carrying out the plan for West Lafayette will require $156 million in new funds annually. This will require increases in each of the University’s five major funding streams: state funding, student fees, sponsored program support, private donations and internal reallocations.

We will not ask the state for dramatic increases in operating support, and we will limit requests for new programs to those that can have a significant, measurable impact on Indiana’s economy. However, we hope the state will stay the course by continuing to help us meet inflation and by providing operating funds for new facilities built with private donations. The West Lafayette plan calls for new facilities valued $784 million in the next five years. Private support will pay for $600 million of this cost.

Other financial assumptions in the strategic plans are:

• Students will pay a larger share of the cost of their education. However, they will bear less than one-quarter of the cost of the improvements the plan will bring about. In the 2002-2003 academic year, incoming freshmen will begin paying an additional $1,000 annually in fees on the West Lafayette campus and about $500 more on the regional campuses. Currently enrolled students will be exempted from this added amount, although their fees may be subject to normal inflationary increases.

• Sponsored program support will increase by at least $55 million a year. These funds -- mostly in support of research -- are awarded competitively. The increase will require our faculty to step up their activity in this respect.

• We will seek significant increases in private support from our alumni and friends and from the corporations and foundations that have a special interest in Purdue. Gifts to Purdue increased to $173 million in the last fiscal year. Our goal this year is $200 million, and before the end of 2002, we plan to announce the largest fund-raising campaign in the University’s history.

• Annual reallocations of our own resources will play a role. Purdue already is a very well-managed institution, but each year, we will ask ourselves where we can improve, and we will focus funds on the highest priorities.

• Access will be preserved. Inherent in the plan are increases in financial aid to make sure that no deserving student will be denied the opportunity for a Purdue degree.

Purdue is poised to enter the most exciting and productive period of its history. These strategic plans give us the blueprint for excellence, and we believe our students and the state of Indiana will be the major beneficiaries of the hard work we will do to make the plans a reality.

I hope that you share in our excitement and that you will join in our efforts to achieve true preeminence for our state’s land-grant university.

Martin C. Jischke