sealPurdue Letter from the President

October, 1998

Since 1993, Purdue's Office of State Relations and the Office of University Relations have joined forces to publish a directory of the services the University provides to the state of Indiana and its people. The 1998-99 edition has just arrived from the printer, and even a brief glance shows what a tremendous value Purdue is for Hoosiers. If you think the institution's work stops with the classroom and the laboratory, I urge you to get copy of Purdue Serving the State.

The directory's 92 pages are packed with information about programs and services that are available to individuals, families, businesses, farms, schools, organizations and governmental entities all across the state. Here are just a few random examples:

  • Purdue's Department of Foods and Nutrition operates the Have a Healthy Baby program to teach pregnant teen-agers and at-risk adults to make healthy nutritional choices. It has reached more than 8,000 women and has reduced the number of low-birthweight babies, decreased days of infant hospitalization, and improved the nutritional quality of mothers' diets. It saves an estimated $1.5 million a year in health care costs.

  • The Business and Industrial Development Center helps companies take advantage of Purdue management and technical expertise, provides access to university facilities and programs, and assists with proposal preparation. It has handled more than 6,000 requests for assistance since 1983 and has been involved in the start of 60 new companies or organizations.

  • The Breaking New Ground Outreach Program provides specialized services to farmers with disabilities. Farming is a high-risk profession, and the program enhances and sometimes preserves farmers' ability to work by providing access to special programs or modified equipment. It serves 80 to 100 farmers each year.

  • Professors in the Classroom is operated by the School of Agriculture, but it works with high-school classes in biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and agriculture. Through the program, Purdue professors visited 60 junior and senior high schools last year, reaching 5,000 students.

  • "A Taste of Aerospace" is an outreach program that has reached more than 10,000 middle-school students with presentations on the flight of aircraft and spacecraft.

The above list is just a small sample of the nearly 300 programs listed in the directory. In addition to the services operated on a statewide basis, Purdue also offers many others for specific regions or counties. The directory lists them, as well. Purdue Serving the State is an outstanding documentation of the land-grant ideal.

The month of October was an eventful time for Purdue's School of Management. During a period of just over one week, the annual survey by Business Week magazine ranked the school's master's degree program among the top 25 in the country; Krannert alumnus Richard Dauch announced a major financial commitment to the school; and Dean Dennis Weidenaar made public his plans to give up his administrative duties and return to the classroom next year.

Dick Dauch, who heads American Axle & Manufacturing in Detroit, announced that he and his family will give $6 million to Purdue over the next five years. The Krannert School will receive $5 million as the anchor gift in a new $55 million campaign, "Krannert at the Frontier." The campaign will raise money for expansion and redesign of facilities, faculty and outreach development, and student scholarships and programs. In appreciation of the gift, Purdue will rename the Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises for the Dauch family.

As dean, Dennis Weidenaar has led his school not only to national prominence, but also to new levels of excellence in teaching and research. He wants to spend several years before he retires engaged in his first love: teaching.

Another distinguished Purdue administrator will be leaving the University for a new opportunity. Luis Proenza, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, will become the president of the University of Akron on January 1, 1999. Luis has been a great colleague and will provide excellent leadership to the institution.

Steven C. Beering