Purdue News

* Milestones of the Jischke presidency
August 4, 2006

Purdue President Jischke to step down in 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Martin C. Jischke, whose visionary strategic plan and dynamic leadership took Purdue to new levels of excellence, will step down as the university's president on June 30, 2007.

Martin C. Jischke
Jischke announced his plans today (Friday, Aug. 4), stating that he believes the time will be right for both him and Purdue to move in new directions with the scheduled completion next June of both the strategic plan and the largest fund-raising campaign in Purdue history.

"My time at Purdue has been immensely satisfying for me, and I believe we have made some significant strides for both the university and the state of Indiana," Jischke said. "Completing the strategic plan goals and finishing the campaign will be my priorities in the year ahead, and I will devote all my energy to continuing the momentum we have established.

"After that, I would like to give myself and my family a chance to do some of the things we all enjoy. I also believe a great university like Purdue needs a change in leadership after a certain point. This is the right moment for Purdue and for me. We will have accomplished the goals we set. I am fortunate enough to be in excellent health, and I think Purdue is positioned to attract some exceptional talent to this job.

"I have led universities for 23 years, and I consider the Purdue presidency to be the highlight of my career. I have come to think of our students, faculty and staff as an extended family, and working with this university's board of trustees has been the kind of experience every administrator would like to have. The members are a remarkable group of highly accomplished men and women who are devoted to Purdue. They asked me to help them carry out a strategic vision for the university, and they gave me the support I needed to do the job. Their leadership has made it possible for us to be successful."

Tim McGinley, chairman of the board of trustees, said: "Martin Jischke's presidency has been an unqualified success. Purdue is a much better university today than it was when he accepted the job, and it is positioned for continued improvement. Martin is a gifted leader who has spent long hours every day working to achieve our goals. He has taken Purdue to new levels of excellence and has raised the university's profile nationally and internationally, as well as in Indiana. The trustees are deeply grateful to him and his wife, Patty, for their contributions."

McGinley said the timing of the president's retirement is consistent with the schedule discussed when Jischke was hired in the summer of 2000.

"Dr. Jischke and the trustees have discussed the matter of succession extensively," McGinley said. "I expect to appoint a presidential search committee and engage an executive search firm by early September. Thanks to Martin, the university is positioned to attract the very best candidates. I am confident that the Purdue presidency will be a highly coveted position."

Jischke became Purdue's 10th president in August 2000 and immediately became a leading voice for higher education. He came to West Lafayette from Iowa State University where he had been president for 10 years.

After a year spent assessing Purdue's strengths and weaknesses, Jischke unveiled a strategic plan designed to take the university to what he and the trustees called "the next level." The plan's goals included adding 300 new faculty positions in order to increase the number of full-time professors in the classroom, upgrading the campus infrastructure with more than $700 million in new construction totaling about 3 million square feet and facilities improvements, increasing sponsored research, increasing student financial aid and expanding diversity at all levels.

Funding for the strategic plan came from a variety of sources, including the Campaign for Purdue, which Jischke launched with an initial goal of $1.3 billion, making it the largest fund-raising effort ever by an Indiana university. The initial response to the campaign was so strong that the goal later was raised to $1.5 billion.

Jischke also put a high priority on improving Purdue's ability to support economic development in Indiana. He regularly visited communities throughout the state to meet with business and government leaders in order to find ways to improve Purdue's ability to cooperate with local and regional efforts.

The Jischke presidency has brought the most intense period of new construction in the history of the West Lafayette campus. Since August 2000, more than $780 million in new facilities have been completed or initiated or are being planned. The centerpiece of these efforts is Discovery Park, a $300 million research and teaching complex designed to focus on interdisciplinary projects and to bring new ideas to the marketplace as efficiently as possible.

The oldest of six children of a Chicago grocer, Jischke became the first person in his family to earn a college degree, thanks to a scholarship he received after graduating from Proviso High School. The opportunity that financial help created motivated him to place a high priority on financial aid for students.

He spearheaded efforts to develop Science Bound, a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools that offers scholarships to inner-city youngsters who complete the program and are admitted to Purdue. He also developed the Purdue Opportunity Awards program, which annually provides a scholarship to one needy student from each of Indiana's 92 counties.

Jischke received his bachelor's degree in physics with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After joining the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, he became a department head, dean of engineering and served as interim president before becoming chancellor of the University of Missouri-Rolla prior to moving to Iowa State.

In March, Jischke was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has held numerous other national leadership roles in service to colleges and universities.

He has served as president of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture. He is on the board of directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and serves as chair of the association's Food, Environment and Renewable Resources Executive Committee. He is a member of the NCAA board of directors and Executive Committee and The Campus Compact board of directors. He is chair of the Association of American Universities and a council member of the National Academies Government University Industry Roundtable. He also is past chair of the Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents/Chancellors.

Jischke is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a recipient of the Centennial Medallion of the American Society for Engineering Education. The Illinois Institute of Technology, National Agricultural University of Ukraine, Anderson University and the University of Evansville have cited him with honorary doctoral degrees. He also has received the Illinois Institute of Technology Professional Achievement Award and the Ukraine Medal of Merit from that nation's president for outstanding service by a foreign national. He received the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2004 Justin Smith Morrill Award. In June, he was elected to the Indiana Academy.

He has served on numerous civic, state and corporate boards during his academic career. Additionally, he has been a science adviser and consultant to a range of state and federal agencies, government officials, and corporations, including a term as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation. He serves on the board of directors of Kerr McGee Corp., Wabash National Corp. and Duke Realty.

Writer: Joseph Bennett (765) 494-2082, jlbennett@purdue.edu

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

Tim McGinley, (317) 580-2535

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: A timeline of highlights from the Jischke administration is available online.

Related Web sites:
Significant events of Jischke's presidency


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