sealPurdue News

November 22, 2002

Jischke: Purdue strategic plan is on track

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue's five-year strategic plan to achieve preeminence marked its one-year milestone at a meeting of the university's board of trustees today (Friday, 11/22).

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke told the board that the university has made major strides toward fulfilling the plan's three goals to enhance learning, discovery and engagement.

"Our goal for learning is at the center of everything that is taking place at Purdue today," Jischke said. "The freshman class we enrolled this fall is the best academically prepared in our history. The average SAT score for incoming students this fall is 1,150 – up 16 points from last year and 55 points from six years ago. That is a remarkable gain. The freshman class also includes 88 students who are National Merit Scholars."

Jischke stressed that the entire Purdue system throughout Indiana remains committed to its land grant obligation to help provide higher education opportunities to every qualified Indiana student, and he cited Purdue's collaboration with the Community College of Indiana to meet that obligation. This fall nearly 76 percent of students enrolled in the Purdue system are from Indiana.

"There is not necessarily a place for every student at every institution," he said. "As enrollment is managed, and our West Lafayette campus becomes more selective, we expect our statewide campuses to grow."

Jischke noted past accomplishment within the context of future goals, renewing his commitment to all of the strategic plan's goals despite the serious challenges posed by Indiana's economic problems.

"We will stay the course," he said. "People see Purdue as a university that knows where it is going and how it will get there. Our strategic plans have met with overwhelming support from citizens, government offices, business and civic leaders throughout Indiana and this nation.

"We made a promise to the people of Indiana … we will keep our promise."

The promise – to become preeminent and to foster economic development in Indiana through accomplishments in high technology and advanced manufacturing – will require investment in seven key areas, which Jischke outlined:

• Faculty growth. Adding 300 new faculty to reduce reliance on teaching assistants and provide a richer learning environment.

• Expanded engagement. Plans are in place to expand engagement throughout Indiana.

• Diversity. Plans call for increasing diversity at all campuses.

• Scholarship and financial aid expansion. This plan is aimed at ensuring that all Indiana students have access to higher education.

• Recruitment and retention of faculty and staff through competitive salaries.

• Modernization and expansion of Purdue's infrastructure. Teaming with the state, Purdue plans to invest more than $750 million dollars in this effort.

• Expanded research programs and facilities. With initiatives such as Discovery Park, this effort will meet technological needs in Indiana and the nation.

Jischke cited the current $1.3 billion Campaign for Purdue – the largest in the history of Indiana higher education – as key in supporting those investments.

He also spoke at length about progress in each of the strategic plan's three missions during its first year.

In the area of learning, Jischke pointed to accomplishments in student quality, increased faculty and added diversity. He also cited a 10.5 percent increase in student financial aid, and 11 additional distinguished and named faculty.

He highlighted several milestones in information technology, such as the new infrastructure, with 260 well-equipped classrooms, in addition to wireless technology campuswide.

Regarding service learning, Jischke highlighted the Engineering Projects in Community Service, or EPICS program, as an example of community involvement that "provides some of the best learning opportunities a student can experience.

"Purdue EPICS is already at the next level of excellence in service-learning opportunities."

To date the EPICS program has developed projects for more than 100 community service organizations. In February Purdue EPICS went national to lead a coalition of university engineering community service teams in a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International.

Naming Intercollegiate Athletics as a key component in the ongoing strategic plans, Jischke said the $70 million Ross-Ade Stadium renovation, the new aquatic center and future golf training and tennis centers are aimed at earning Purdue membership in the "25/75 Club." Members are institutions that finish in the top 25 of the overall Sears Cup standings while graduating 75 percent of their student athletes. Boilermaker athletes already have achieved this graduation rate.

Regarding discovery, the second main component of the strategic plan, Jischke called attention to work on the $100 million Discovery Park, which will break ground next year on the Birck Nanotechnology Center and the Bindley Bioscience Center. Construction already is under way on the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

"Discovery Park is poised to transform this university," he said. "Discovery Park is already attracting millions of dollars in research money to Purdue … attracting the best scientists, engineers and students … and moving us from a model of autonomous research to a model of far-reaching multidisciplinary collaboration."

Jischke also discussed the new six-university institute for nanoelectronics and computing that Purdue will lead. It will work to develop high-performance technologies for NASA while Purdue's center to develop advanced life support technologies continues its work on sustaining human colonies in outer space.

Other innovations Jischke mentioned include "biochips," which mate computer chips with biological proteins for disease diagnostics and other medical applications, and Purdue's ground-breaking work in mapping three-dimensional models of deadly viruses, including West Nile.

The third strategic plan goal, that of engagement, is one that already is making a great impact in Indiana, Jischke told the trustees.

"We were recognized this year as one of the top 12 universities in the nation for support of state economic development," he said. "Purdue produces the talent Indiana needs to be a leader in the 21st century, knowledge-based economy."

Jischke cited a 29 percent increase in invention and copyright disclosures from Purdue and 16 new companies at the Purdue Research Park in the past year as a direct result of the emphasis on engagement.

"The Office of Technology Commercialization filed 42 new regular U.S. patent applications and 67 provisional patent applications – more than doubling the previous year," he said.

Jischke also pointed to ongoing discussions with the communities of Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Muncie, Richmond, Shelbyville, New Albany and Indianapolis concerning new business development plans in those cities.

A high-technology business incubator already is being built in Merrillville, Ind., where its proximity to Chicago and West Lafayette will open "whole new possibilities for economic development in northwest Indiana," Jischke said. "We also have opened an engagement office in Indianapolis, and we are joining partnerships such as the Proteomics Consortium – a for-profit venture among Purdue, Indiana University and Eli Lilly."

Jischke called Science Bound, Purdue's program to support underrepresented students during their science studies in high school and provide them scholarships for science and math studies at Purdue, "one of Purdue's most exciting projects.

"This program integrates learning, engagement and diversity, and provides incredible opportunities for discovery among the participants."

Jischke also listed the many building projects under way or soon to begin, that include:

• The $56.4 million Birck Nanotechnology Center.

• The $35 million Krannert School of Management's Rawls Hall.

• The $19 million addition to, and renovation of, the Chemical Engineering Building.

• The $16 million Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center.

• The $15 million Bindley Bioscience Center in Discovery Park.

• The $14 million renovation of Pfendler Hall, formerly known as Entomology Hall and Agriculture Hall.

• The $11 million Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research.

• The $7 million Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Discovery Park.

"These are exciting times, filled with remarkable opportunities," Jischke said. "We are very, very proud of Purdue – proud of what it has accomplished, proud of what it is doing today. But our greatest excitement lies in the fact that with all that Purdue has done, the future is even more promising than anything that has happened before.

"There is still much work yet to do. But we are well on our way."


Writer: Amy H. Raley, (765) 494-9573,

Source: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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