sealPurdue News

May 29, 1998

Purdue trustees confirm 2
for distinguished professorships

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Purdue University Board of Trustees today (Friday, 5/29) awarded distinguished professorships to Terry L. Powley, professor of psychological sciences, and incoming faculty member Richard Lesh, a professor of education.

The board also approved creation of two new degree programs and awarded degrees posthumously to two former graduate students.

"A distinguished professorship recognizes outstanding performance in teaching, research and service, and it is the ultimate peer recognition for faculty," said Robert L. Ringel, executive vice president for academic affairs. "Dr. Powley's and Dr. Lesh's careers are outstanding illustrations of the kind of individual Purdue seeks out for this honor."

Purdue now has 41 distinguished professors.

Powley was named Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences. He has taught physiological psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. His research has looked at the role of the central nervous system in the control of feeding and metabolism.

Terry Powley
Powley, a professor at Purdue since 1980, previously was on the faculty at Yale University. He earned his bachelor's degree from DePauw University and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Lesh is coming to Purdue from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where he was professor of mathematics, program director for National Science Foundation research on teaching and learning, and director of the Princeton Research Institute on Science and Mathematics Learning.

Richard Lesh
Lesh has been named the Robert B. Kane Distinguished Professor of Education as well as associate dean for research and development in the School of Education and director of the School Mathematics and Science Center. According to Marilyn Haring, dean of the School of Education, Lesh is consistently ranked among the top three mathematics educators in the world for his groundbreaking work in children's proportional reasoning and assessment of mathematical problem-solving.

Lesh is co-director of five national projects funded by either the U.S. Department of Education or the National Science Foundation.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Hanover College and master's and doctoral degrees from Indiana University. He is the associate editor of Mathematical Thinking & Learning: An International Journal. He also serves on the editorial boards for the Journal for Research on Mathematics Education, the Journal of Children's Mathematical Behavior, and the journal Problem Solving.

The board also created a new advanced degree program in agribusiness, developed by the Krannert Graduate School of Management and the School of Agriculture. The master's of business administration in agribusiness degree would be the first of its kind offered in the United States and would be targeted to management professionals in the food and agricultural industries. The new program features a distance learning component that will allow students to stay on the job while earning the degree. If approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the new program will begin in the fall of 1999.

The trustees approved a new associate's degree program in interior design for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. If approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the new program will begin this fall.

It would be the only such degree-granting program in Indianapolis and answers the call made by numerous area architectural and interior design firms. The degree would prepare students to become interior design assistants.

The new associate's degree would be offered within the Department of Construction Technology, and courses will use faculty who are practicing professionals with academic credentials -- interior designers, architects and engineers. The program at IUPUI differs from many interior design degree programs because students will use the department's engineering and technology resources, such as computer-aided drafting and multimedia creation programs.

The board also awarded posthumous master of science degrees to Erik Eriksen and Paul J. McKinley. Eriksen, of Montage, Calif., died last December. He had pursued an industrial engineering graduate degree on the West Lafayette campus. McKinley, of Security, Colo., was studying psychology at the graduate level at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis at the time of his death last November. Both had completed a sufficient amount of credit hours to satisfy the core and elective requirements of the their respective degrees.

Source: Robert Ringel, (765) 494-9709; e-mail:
Writer: Jeanne V. Norberg, (765) 494-2084; e-mail:
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Black-and-white photographs of Terry Powley and Richard Lesh are available from the Purdue News Service at or by calling (765) 494-2096.

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