seal  President Jischke Speech

May 9, 2003

Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke made these remarks Friday (5/9) during a meeting of the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

President Jischke's comments to the board of trustees

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here at IUPUI.

This is a beautiful campus doing great work for students, the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis. All of us at Purdue University are very proud to be associated with it. We are very proud of all that has been accomplished here.

There will be a new chancellor at IUPUI next month. Charles Bantz will begin June 1. We are looking forward to working with him. And we appreciate the excellent job being done by Acting Chancellor William Platter. He will be speaking to you in just a few minutes.

Former IUPUI Chancellor Gerald Bepko, who is now interim president at Indiana University, will be retiring. He will return to the faculty after a one-year sabbatical. We certainly want to thank Gerry for his many years of service and his great accomplishments.

This is an exciting time with commencement upon us. The IUPUI commencement is Sunday. Our Calumet, North Central and Fort Wayne campuses will hold commencements next week. And the following weekend will be commencement in West Lafayette.

This is a wonderful time of the year. The commencement of students is a celebration of success. And we join with them and their families in taking a great deal of joy in their accomplishments.

We are coming to the end of an exciting academic year. I believe we have accomplished a great deal, and we are setting our sights on the next level of excellence.

As we look back on all that has been accomplished, I want to give special mention this morning to members of the Indiana General Assembly and the governor.

Once again, Indiana was faced this year with the daunting task of crafting and balancing a budget while at the same time building for a better tomorrow. Faced with a deficit running in the range of $800 million and a sluggish economy, the governor and General Assembly faced a most difficult task as they prepared a budget for the coming biennium.

They finished their work late Saturday night and early Sunday morning on April 26 and 27 ahead of the deadline.

A compromise was forged that included many, if not most, of the items considered important for Indiana’s economic future.

Their actions showed that they believe in the power of higher education. And they believe in the potential of major research universities in driving our state’s economy.

The governor and General Assembly did a very admirable job given the difficult circumstances.

First, they recognized the new adjustment for funding major research institutions. Although we did not receive all that we requested in this area – or all that was recommended by the Commission on Higher Education – what was accomplished signified an important step.

It showed that our elected officials understand the contributions of research universities.

In Fiscal Year 2004 this research adjustment will total about $2.5 million for our West Lafayette campus. It will go directly to our discovery initiatives that have so much economic development potential for Indiana.

This adjustment is very important in helping us leverage federal research dollars that create jobs and new companies for Indiana.

Second, included in the budget were our Biomedical Engineering program and building, the Millennium Engineering Building and the music building at Fort Wayne.

All of this will have major impact on our state.

In biomedical engineering alone, the U.S. Department of Labor estimated 31.4 percent more biomedical engineers will be needed by 2010. That is less than seven years away.

The additional funding from the state will allow us to create a new undergraduate program in biomedical engineering. It will enhance the department’s graduate program, which includes a joint MD/PhD in partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine here in Indianapolis.

This helps to foster collaboration and cross-disciplinary activities between the schools.

After an initial start-up period, Purdue will graduate 75 new biomedical engineers each year at the bachelor’s level and 25 at each of the master’s and doctorate levels.

The state budget also restores one-half of the budget cuts from our original appropriation for Fiscal Year 2002-2003.

In all, systemwide Purdue is receiving an operating appropriation increase of 4.1 percent for Fiscal 2004 that includes research support, targeted program support, support for enrollment growth at regional campuses and the partial restoration of cuts.

We are also pleased to acknowledge the appropriation of 25 percent in repair and renovation formula funds for Fiscal 2004. Although it is far short of all we need to maintain the state’s assets and investments at Purdue, we appreciate what we are receiving and we will put it toward good use.

The state budget includes start-up funding for Certified Technology Parks modeled after Purdue Research Park.

The 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, hailed as one of the most significant initiatives passed by the Legislature in decades, was expanded in the budget to $37.5 million for each year of the biennium. It currently is $18 million.

This is a significant and important move by the state in fostering a high-technology, advanced manufacturing economy.

Also in the budget is the creation of a commission to look at efficiencies in spending by all state-supported entities, including public universities.

We welcome this at Purdue. We have already been doing this internally. In 2002 I appointed a Presidential Task Force to examine various aspects of resource stewardship at Purdue.

The results showed the university is extremely efficient in its use of limited funds.

We have cut and held on the line on spending in these difficult times. The only Purdue line items partially restored in the budget were the Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab and the Centers for Paralysis Research.

The General Assembly and the governor deserve a great deal of credit for passing this budget and economic development package. We are very appreciative of everything the state has done.

However, there are concerns.

First, while we understand the revenue shortfalls the state faces and we appreciate the allocations that were made, the amounts appropriated fall short of the needs and mandatory costs for higher education.

The state has made investments in the future that I believe will pay off many times over. But funding is not sufficient for our general fund operating budget.

Later during this meeting I will show you that for West Lafayette the new flexible funds arising out of the state’s operating allocation total only about $3.5 million.

We have mandatory cost increases in Fiscal 2004 totaling more than $4 million, and increases of more than $5 million in unavoidable fringe benefits costs.

Second, there is continuing concern that this budget might face problems within the next year. Of special concern are increases in the state’s mandated expenses. If these increases are higher than budgeted, education could face adjustments in allocations down the line.

We are hopeful this will not happen.

We are proceeding with a great deal of excitement. If Purdue is going to be an engine helping to pull Indiana’s economy into the 21st century, we will have to use our resources wisely to become a better and stronger university.

I am very excited about the coming year and all that we can achieve as we continue working hand-in-hand with governor and General Assembly.

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