Purdue News

July 2005

A monthly letter from President Martin C. Jischke

Dear Purdue Partners,

Those of us who work in higher education get used to the idea that many people believe we have nothing to do during the summer months. There's a common perception that when May commencement ceremonies end, the university goes into a hot weather hibernation period, and faculty and staff are on vacation for the summer.

Although some professors and a few staff members are on 10-month appointments, most of us keep very busy indeed during these months. Traffic on the West Lafayette campus is not as heavy, but the academic enterprise remains very intense. About 12,000 students were enrolled in classes this summer, and more than 1,300 of them are eligible to receive their Purdue degrees at the August commencement ceremony.

In addition, more than 32,000 people have spent parts of the summer here participating in conferences. These include a tremendous variety of programs and activities, ranging from meetings of religious organizations to firefighter training to legal seminars to children's sports camps. Participants stay in our residence halls, eat in our dining courts and use classrooms, laboratories and other educational facilities.

Here are some other things that have been going on at Purdue this summer:

• Participation in Indiana Black Expo's Summer Celebration: Purdue increased its involvement in this important event to an unprecedented level. More than 100 students, staff and faculty volunteered their time to help create and operate the university's multi-faceted exhibit. As the sponsor of the Black Expo's Youth Summit, Purdue participated in activities with more than 300 young people at the Indiana Convention Center and the RCA Dome. I attended several events during the week of Summer Celebration, and I am deeply impressed with the quality of programming, the enthusiasm of the participants and the spirit of cooperation. Black Expo President Joyce Rogers and her staff are to be commended for their leadership. They have created an event of which all Hoosiers can be proud.

• Announced new leadership for Discovery Park: Alan Rebar, who has been dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, has become interim executive director of Purdue's hub for interdisciplinary research and entrepreneurism. Alan also will fill the position of interim senior associate vice president for research, working closely with Chip Rutledge, vice president for research. Alan is a talented and experienced administrator with a broad understanding of research. He will give Discovery Park the full-time leadership it needs now that its major facilities are coming online, and it is maturing into a full-scale operation.

• Announced the creation of three important new research centers in Discovery Park: The Center for the Environment will focus on economic development that is consistent with clean and safe environmental practices. The Oncological Sciences Center will use interdisciplinary research to learn about and fight cancer. The Energy Center will explore alternatives from clean coal to wind turbines to nuclear power to help make the nation more energy independent and efficient. One more Discovery Park Center will be announced very soon.

• Continued success in national rankings: The Krannert School of Management ranked 16th in a national evaluation of business schools by corporate CEOs in Chief Executive magazine. Krannert consistently gets high marks from corporate recruiters and employers who hire Purdue graduates. Dean Rick Cosier and his faculty work hard to earn these rankings, and our graduates continue to be top performers in the job market.

• • •

I'd like to welcome three new trustees to Purdue's board. Tom Spurgeon of Peoria, Ill., was elected by our alumni this spring. Last week, Gov. Mitch Daniels named William Oesterle of Indianapolis and Rachel Cumberbatch of Lebanon to the board. Rachel will serve as the student trustee. The governor also re-appointed Mamon Powers – who has served with distinction – to another term.

I look forward to working with all of them.


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