sealPurdue News

May 16, 2002

Purdue restructures continuing education and conferences

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University took another step forward in the implementation of its strategic plan with the reorganization of its continuing education programs and conferences unit.

Don K. Gentry, Purdue vice provost for engagement, announced today (Thursday, 5/16) that Mark Pagano, the interim associate dean of the School of Technology and a professor of mechanical engineering technology, will serve as interim dean of continuing education and conferences.

Mark Pagano

"We are delighted to have a person with Mark Pagano's leadership and organizational skills heading up the Office of Continuing Education and Conferences through this most important transitional stage," said Gentry, to whom Pagano will report. "Mark has a rich background in serving non-traditional students and external organizations through his administrative experience with the School of Technology's Statewide Technology System and will be a great asset in the implementation of the new structure."

Pagano is no stranger to doing double duty for the School of Technology. Prior to his appointment as interim associate dean last summer, he had served as both assistant dean and administrator of Purdue's Statewide Technology System since 1996. He will continue his duties as interim associate dean on a part-time basis to assist the new incoming dean, Dennis R. Depew, during the transition. A search for a permanent dean for continuing education and conferences is planned in the coming year.

The new Office of Continuing Education and Conferences will oversee all of the activities previously associated with the Center for Lifelong Learning with the exception of educational travel programs, which will now be administered by the Office of the Dean of International Programs.

"This new structure positions the various continuing education opportunities at Purdue in a way that better serves the people who use them," Gentry said. "We anticipate that the office will continue to serve the role of advocate for part-time, non-traditional students who typically live off campus."

Paul Horngren

The new office also will include the conferences unit, which previously had been located within the Division of Instructional Services. Paul Horngren is the new director of conferences. He joins Purdue after serving six years as the director of the Gruenhagen Conference Center at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Among Horngren's responsibilities will be to serve as chair of the new Purdue Conferences Coordinating Council. This council will include the directors of University Residences, the Purdue Memorial Union, the Elliott Hall of Music, the Office of Business Managers, the University Calendar Office, the Division of Recreational Sports, and the director of the Greater Lafayette Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Some of the remaining units of the former Division of Instructional Services will be reassigned to the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. These include instructional technology, audio-visual equipment services, engineering and technical support, instructional data processing and data systems support, and broadcast technology.

The Center for Instructional Excellence will become the purview of the vice provost for academic affairs and continue its work in faculty and graduate teaching assistant development, instructional design, research and development, and assessment and evaluation.

The restructuring also includes the creation of a new Office of Communication and Marketing within the Office of Continuing Education and Conferences. This unit will include all photographic and graphic arts services that previously were part of the Division of Instructional Services. The office's role will be to provide marketing and publications support for continuing education and conferences, serve as that area's liaison to the university's printing services and provide photographic services for the campus.

"The previous structure of these offices and units were the result of a combination of institutional history and reorganizations that occurred within various units to meet a specific need at a given time," Gentry said. "At this time, we need to take Purdue to the next level, and we're very excited about the new structure and the creative synergy that we anticipate will come from having our continuing education and conferences staffs working more closely together."

Writer: Sharon A. Bowker, (765) 494-9723,

Source: Don K. Gentry, (765) 494-9095,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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