sealPurdue News

January 4, 2001

Purdue Calumet reviews campus events of 2001

HAMMOND, Ind. – The appointment of Howard Cohen to succeed retiring James Yackel as chancellor of Purdue University Calumet at mid-year and development of a five-year strategic plan intent on improving student success highlighted 2001 at Purdue Calumet.

Chancellor Cohen

Cohen previously served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay since 1996. He also held an academic appointment as a professor of humanistic studies. He directed an assessment-review of academic programs for the Green Bay campus of 5,500 students. He also developed and integrated university strategic operating plans and planned a $30 million capital campaign.

Cohen reports directly to Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke and is responsible for providing leadership over academic, administrative, advancement, student services and outreach functions and activities. The chancellor also is charged with directing Purdue Calumet's leadership role in enhancing the quality of life for residents of northwest Indiana and for supporting its business and industries.

Yackel retired June 30 after serving 11 years as Purdue Calumet chancellor.

Strategic Plan

The Purdue Calumet strategic plan is designed to improve student success through increased retention and graduation rates, while bolstering a commitment to engage in regional and economic development.

Cohen said preferred university status for Purdue Calumet will be nurtured by developing new bachelor's and master's degree programs in areas of university strength with respect to region needs, while articulating associate degree programs to bachelor's degree programs.

The Purdue Calumet plan is built on four goals:

• Improving student success;
• Promoting and supporting faculty/staff excellence;
• Developing a high performance learning environment; and
• Advancing positive change and economic growth regionally through an expanded partnership role.

The Purdue Calumet plan calls for increasing six-year graduation rates and student retention rates by 10 percentage points each.

A key strategy for doing so lies in the development of a Student Success Center. Such a center would serve as a support mechanism to help the university stay better connected with students. The plan also calls for a $350,000 increase in scholarships to encourage students to enroll in more credits per semester, as well as boosting the student wage pool by $600,000 to motivate students to stay and work on campus as they fund their education.

For students to be successful in achieving academic goals, the university believes, faculty and staff must remain current in their respective fields. To that end, another key strategy of the Purdue Calumet plan is to develop a Center for Professional Development. This center would serve as a source of support for faculty research, scholarship and teaching excellence techniques to ensure that the best possible instruction is provided.

The development of a high performance learning environment relates to the notion that preparing students for 21st century challenges demands that the campus learning environment and infrastructure stay current with changing technology.

One way Purdue Calumet plans to do that is by integrating Web-based instructional systems with electronic services, e-mail and library resources to improve access to learning.

The Purdue Calumet plan seeks to position the university to maximize its responsiveness to regional issues. To that end, the goal is to increase by 50 percent the number of faculty and staff engaged in sharing their expertise in matters of regional/community interest.

That also translates to a 50 percent increase in community participation on university advisory boards and bodies that help influence development of curricula in response to local needs.

Purdue Calumet also sees itself as a bridge that connects various regional entities. The Purdue Calumet plan outlines two strategies for accomplishing that: development of a Technology and Business Center and a south Lake County Post-Secondary Learning Center.


• A campus record amount of scholarship dollars – $408,610 – was awarded to 325 students. Purdue Calumet initiated a drive to increase its endowed scholarships in 1990. As result of alumni and community response to that effort, the number of students benefiting from scholarship opportunities has risen dramatically. In 1990, fewer than 100 students received scholarship support. In 2001, more than 325 students received scholarship funds, supported by private contributions.

• More than 1,100 graduates earned degrees during 2001, bringing to more than 32,000 the number of degrees granted at Purdue Calumet.

• Fall enrollment was 9,103, an increase of 58 students (0.6 percent) from a year ago. The number of credit hours in which students were enrolled was 80,715, up 2 percent from last fall.

• Faculty and staff members exceeded their Lake Area United Way campaign goal of "$21,001 in 2001!" by 11.2 percent with pledges and collections of $23,349.

• In an effort to enhance student success, the Offices of Career Services and Student Leadership Development merged to form the new Center for Career and Leadership Development. The new office is responsible for new student orientation, student organizations and activities, leadership programming and training, and career services. Rick Riddering was named director of the Center for Career and Leadership Development. Chandra Gary was named associate director.

• The Indiana Department of Environmental Management awarded the Charlotte R. Riley Child Center a Five Star Rating for going above and beyond minimal health and safety requirements and demonstrating environmental stewardship in the community.

• The Associate of Science Degree in Nursing Program was re-accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission for eight years (2000-08). Initial accreditation for the Associate Degree Program was issued in 1967. The School of Nursing also offers NLN-accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs in nursing.

• "Purdue Cal & You," a new, 30-minute news magazine and interview television program debuted on WYIN-TV/Channel 56. Students majoring in radio/television comprise the production crew as directed by production coordinator/studio supervisor Craig Blohm.

• Two professors enjoyed the national news media spotlight with their research. Matthew F. Ryan, associate professor of chemistry, is studying how to destroy pesky zebra mussels with low-energy radio waves. The mussels have damaged water intake pipes of power plants and water treatment plants on the Great Lakes. Harvey Abramowitz, associate professor of mechanical engineering is researching how to refine iron from a meteorite to form a new metal alloy to create a one-of-a-kind, strongest sword, "The Dragonslayer."

Writers: Wes Lukoshus, (219) 989-2217; Kathy Pucalik (219) 989-2579