sealPurdue News

May 1996

Purdue initiatives focus on teaching undergraduates

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue is recognized as a leading North American research university. But the university also prides itself on emphasizing and rewarding undergraduate teaching.

For example, Purdue recently named three faculty members to distinguished professorships primarily because of their marks as classroom teachers. They're the first distinguished professorships Purdue has created to recognize faculty primarily for their teaching abilities. Typically, distinguished professorships are based on a combination of teaching and scholarship, but traditionally scholarship -- or research -- has received more weight at virtually all universities.

"These three professors represent 'the best on the Purdue campus,' and the university is making it a priority to recognize exemplary teaching," says Robert L. Ringel, executive vice president for academic affairs. "The faculty members demonstrate the essential relationship between working at the cutting edge of one's discipline and the commitment to share knowledge with students."

As another example, about one-fifth of the university's proposed Excellence 21 initiatives are devoted to undergraduate teaching. Excellence 21, based on the Total Quality Improvement concept developed by Motorola, is a comprehensive program designed to build quality improvements among all departments and areas at the university.

The Excellence 21 initiatives include a School of Science proposal to improve retention of minority students through a summer program to help them make the adjustment from high school to college, and a School of Management proposal to enhance the writing skills and business communications skills of undergraduates.

Purdue also emphasizes undergraduate teaching with:

CONTACTS: Ringel, (765) 494-9709
George Van Scoyoc, associate executive vice president for academic affairs, (765) 494-0608; Internet,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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